The Prurient Urges of Teens

...or why the Twilight series is so popular. Hm. I might change that title. I don’t know who’s going to Google that.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Why is Ed the Undead so popular with younger teenaged girls?  He’s totally safe. (At least until the fourth book, which my sister-in-law has read, and confirms that he does unveil his Sparkly Love Wand. “How does that work? Is it always hard?” my brother asked. “Yes,” said Carol. “So does it, you know, bend?” “It’s articulated.”)

But I digress. Edward can’t even kiss Bella for more than a little while before he has to draw back so he doesn’t suck her blood. His self-control is absolute. We know this because his passion is boundless, yet he never even considers making her into a quick snack. She is forbidden fruit, and he obeys the rules. Furthermore, he never tries to talk her into going a step further. He never says, “C’mon, baby, just with our shirts off.”  He’s safe. The safety and non-cajoling factor is important for your average early teenage girl, because she doesn’t have a lot of experience. Edward’s self-control is appealing because he’s not giving in to his bad self, and he’s certainly not letting Bella, either.

Notice the verb up there? Letting. He’s the one in control because “He’s older and he knows better.” And, boy, do we hear that a lot. But he’s older so he acts as guidance. And first love is scary. Who wouldn’t want a little guidance? But not from someone who is inappropriately older, because then there’s a power imbalance. But Edward looks the same age as Bella, so there isn’t that Creepy Older Guy thing going on. He’s calling the shots, and he’s staying within the safety guidelines. But because he doesn’t look grossly older, it’s okay.

Also, there’s his appearance. He’s handsome, and that’s nice. But hell, he’s sparkly! And only Bella knows it! It’s like he has a secret girlie side only she knows about! It’s the boyfriend who lets you paint his toenails!

Edward is actually a perfect recipe for young teenage girls to crush on. He’s virile, but he’s not going to force the issue, so he’s safe. He has loads of experience, but, on the surface, never strays into a power imbalance, because he looks like a teenager.   And he sparkles in the sunshine, like dollar-ninety-nine drugstore nail polish. What thirteen-year-old girl could resist?

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