Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Why Do Chicks Dig Vampires?
“I can’t believe I’m reading a book about Vampires,” were the first words I heard when a girlfriend recently finished reading Stephenie Meyer’s first Twilight book.
A group of us girls had a deal that when we came across good reading – we would share. I was particularly surprised because having majored in library sciences, Kristen prides herself on reading material that challenges her mind, expands her education or encourages her personal development. She adamantly professed she could not for the life of her understand why she couldn’t put this guilty pleasure of fiction down and reluctantly handed me her copy to read.
I took it home, and promptly found it delicious. I voraciously sucked up, so to speak, every book in the 4-part series. I simply had to follow the story of Edward and Bella through to the end.
Why do chicks dig vampires? I can’t speak for most chicks, and I haven’t seen the True Blood series which I’ve heard is like Twilight, but for adults. (Whatever that means…besides more sex.) But I will tell you why I’d be willing to sacrifice my human nature for a lifetime of Edward Cullen.
The truth is, it’s not about the vampire. It’s about what strong, independent, highly intelligent and assertive women want in a relationship.
Edward represents what women desire in a man. Bella represents who women want to be.
In the Twilight series, Bella is an intelligent, independent and assertive female. She is wholly & completely herself – perfect in all of her imperfections: her insecurities, her vulnerabilities & her desires. She has an inner sensuality that she longs to express, with a man who is strong enough to create a safe place for her be vulnerable. She has her inner geek and her inner Goddess, and claims both as her birthright. She questions her own beauty and desirability, yet doesn’t back down from what, or who, she really wants. She has the courage to step out of the crowd of who’s ‘normal’ to choose the man who challenges her to the core.
Every woman longs for her match. Someone who can stand toe-to-toe with her, who isn’t intimidated by her strengths or her vulnerabilities; who can stand witness to her emotions and not be threatened by them. Who will hold steady and not withdraw, just because he may not know what to do next. To be able to ‘throw herself up against’, if you will, a man who at the end of the day states simply, “Do what you need to do. Stomp your feet. Throw a tantrum. Cry your eyes out. I’m not going anywhere.” He can romance her, make love to her and still challenge her in every way.
Edward is all of that. He’s intelligent, well-read, artistic, athletic and witty. He is more than aware of his own physical strength and his inherent nature – and aware of the threat that poses for the woman he has fallen in love with. He is mouthwateringly aware of himself; his strengths, his weaknesses, his desires and his abilities.
He is all man. And yet, even in his awareness of his own strength and ability to literally “take” that which is the essence of who Bella is, he expresses a level of self-control that allows him to experience Bella completely, without sacrificing her lifeblood (literally or figuratively) for him to surrender to his own base desires. For Edward, it’s not just about banging the chick or the instant gratification of sucking her blood and turning her into something that more closely resembles himself. He doesn’t expect her to change for him. He accepts her for all that she is, weaknesses and emotions included.
He doesn’t argue or compete for his role as the man in the relationship. He quite simply IS it. Whether he opens a door, controls a kiss, throws her onto his back or saves her life he is clear in his role. And while he may have to ride in every now and then on his white horse, in his shining white armor to save the damsel, he is fully aware that his dame has her own sword – and isn’t afraid to use it.
Our culture and media today is a crapshoot of mixed messages. Sex is used to sell everything, but we’re still supposed abstain from it. We are overloaded with information and technology, but supposed to find time to relax and unwind. Women are supposed to be good at their jobs, good at parenting, good at relationships, but if they show their emotions they’re considered weak and too sensitive. Men are supposed to be strong, provide for their family, be a good employee, be a good husband, be a good parent and be more understanding, but if they show their emotions they’re considered weak and too sensitive.
Uh…so in this day and age, how do we ever know who gets to be the guy, who gets to be the chick and when do we just get to be who we are? If we’re all supposed to be living up to some societal definition of the norm, how the hell are we ever going to get what we want? Do we ever get to have it “all”? Or by society’s definition do we have to sacrifice something of ourselves or our lives to experience the depth of love, passion and intimacy in a relationship?
Edward and Bella forge their own road together. They go up against the cultural paradigms of both human and vampire to create a life, and a love, on their own terms. They’re committed to their families, but not to the point of sacrificing themselves in the process. They’re committed to each other, and honor each others individuality – without asking them to be someone they’re not. They’re hot for each other and…well, unless you read through the series, I’m not going to give it away.
Immortality and blood-sucking aside, it’s the strength of character that oozes from a man who knows himself and what he wants that is so deeply attractive; and the opportunity for a strong woman be with a man strong enough for her to be vulnerable and let him take the lead.
It’s not about the vampire. But until my Edward shows up in real life…I’ll be happy to indulge in the fantasy. I can dig that!