Edward Cullen: Negative Influence on Teens?

January 10, 2010
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Is the seemingly innocuous, fictional movie, Twilight, a danger to teenage girls everywhere? Edward Cullen, the dashing vampire heartthrob, is affecting girls of all ages from the U.S to the U.K, and instigating infatuation in many. The question at hand debates whether Twilight is a negative or positive influence on teenagers. Some say that one in ten teenage girls become over obsessed and it damages their relationships with friends and family. Others believe that the Twilight phase is normal and will pass in no time. Many elements of Twilight can be interpreted differently and have different effects on girls, but overall, are Edward Cullen and the Twilight series a negative and abusive example or a positive impact on teen relationships? There are many points supporting both sides to this argument, yet the case saying that Edward Cullen is a negative and cynical role model contains many unsupported fallacies.

Twilight does not negatively affect today’s youth, but instead sends a positive message worldwide. Edward Cullen is not a dangerous or abusive role model for teenage girls, and he will not make girls feel like they need to turn to abusive partners and risky relationships. He simply wants the best for Bella and looks out for her, trying his best to keep her safe at all times. The fact that Edward wants Bella to go to college and do what she wants to do with her life demonstrates that girls can have a relationship as well as pursuing their personal goals. A comment on one article from supportive mom describes, “Not only has the Twilight Saga made me and my daughter swoon for a man with such good qualities, but it has made us closer in communicating her goals in life. My daughter knows she can have a man like that AND her own life/career” (Smith 2). Edward demonstrates how to treat a girl right, but still give her the freedom she needs to live her own life. The dashing vampire heartthrob provides an example of true love and courtesy. He possesses old world characteristics and knows how to treat a girl right. Edward’s personality is a wake up call to men everywhere about how to show girls the love and respect they deserve. Edward Cullen and the Twilight obsession is just a phase. It will come, and it will go. At some point, girls will realize that not all guys are Edward Cullen. Despite this, they can still follow in his polite, Christian example. Twilight has a positive influence on teens because it encourages men to treat women right as well as showing the girls that relationships should not keep them from living their lives and fulfilling their goals. The argument that Twilight is a negative influence on teens is in many ways flawed. In the article on over obsession, the question “Is the Twilight Saga teaching our young women that abusive and unhealthy relationship are acceptable?” is raised. First, Edward is not abusive. He does nothing bad to Bella. He never once tries to hurt her and lives solely to protect her and love her. Therefore, Edward Cullen cannot be a sadistic example to teens, causing them to turn to abusive partners. The opposition argues that this twenty-three year old British obsession is causing teens to have poor relationships with friends and family, along with emotional issues. Most likely, the teens that struggle in these situations have previously suffered problems that add on to the obsession. They may have come from harsh backgrounds and formerly had weak relationships. These statistics are unknown; therefore, one cannot assume that the Edward Cullen infatuation is the sole cause. Finally, the percentage of teens that fall into the category of “intense personal celebrity worship” is not a high percentage (Smith 1). One out of ten girls may become over obsessed, but the other nine out of that ten are either not affected at all or they are positively affected. It is rare that girls will find themselves in bad situations and relationships because they read a fictional story about a loving, caring vampire. Edward Cullen is not an unhealthy obsession instigating violent, dangerous relationships in teens; it is all simply an overreaction to a common phase of celebrity worship that will come and go like everything else.

Edward Cullen and the Twilight series positively influences both teenage girls and guys by providing an example of a good relationship as well as showing girls that boyfriends do not have to control their entire lives. Edward is the perfect guy, and nobody can be quite like him, but it is perfectly okay to learn a little from him. There is no way that Edward Cullen’s actions can be interpreted as abusive or unhealthy. Saying that a fictional love story is going to send a teenage girl into a depression and ruin her is a bit of an over exaggeration. Twilight is harmless, and there is no need to freak out about its effect on teens. Do not just assume that a girl’s obsession with Edward Cullen is going to harm her in any way; it is simply a stage in teenage life that will pass. Despite the fact that Edward Cullen is causing girls everywhere to cover their walls in his pale white vampire face, the obsession will be gone in no time, and it is not a reason to panic. Edward Cullen is in no way an abusive dangerous role model; he is simply a teenage phase, making girls fall head over heals in love. So guys, why not learn a little from such a gentleman?

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Angel*music*lover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 26, 2010 at 9:32 am
He can't be a negative influence if he hasn't publically done something negative...
jordansz replied...
Jan. 26, 2010 at 12:22 pm
My point exactly (:
kksexi12 replied...
Sept. 23, 2011 at 10:54 am
 EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! why doesn't anyone agree!!
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