Thursday, November 19, 2009

Edward or Jacob?

At the church where I work I have a whiteboard outside my office and every Wed I have a question there posted for the kids (large and small to answer).  Sometimes they are profound (what made you smile today?), seasonal (favorite halloween candy?), or church related (favorite hymn/church song?).

This Wednesday I was struggling to come up with a question, until it hit me.  There is a phenomenon going on amongst the teen girls and a surprisingly large amounts of cougary moms interested in this thing called Twilight.  Have you heard about it?

I have read it, and seen the movie and have the courage to admit that I have tickets for a showing of New Moon on Sat night.  It will be the first movie I've seen in the theater since Star Trek (my  mother's day present).

Inspired, I wrote three simple words on my whiteboard:

Edward or Jacob?

Within moments I had a dozen girls outside my office door professing their love for Edward or Jacob, or their respective actors, or for the wolves or vampire clans they represented.  They debated up until Confirmation and the other programs began.  When I arrived back at my office after the activities of the night every square inch of the board was covered with opinions.

I, of course, have my own opinion (Edward) but I'm curious about the phenomenon that Twilight embodies.  I am very supportive of anything that encourages reading, though while I've read the books and enjoyed them I hardly call them great literature.  But it seems that Twilight is a new mass media circus that we've really only seen with Harry Potter and a few other things.

Even when I was a young girl there wasn't the deep fangirl-ness that I see here.  Oh sure there was New Kids on the Block.  And Tom Cruise, or since we've already established my geek roots Wil Wheaton.  But was it as pervasive as it is now?  I'm not sure.

So what do you think?  Has fangirl-ness changed?   What were your childhood obsessions?  And of course, Edward or Jacob?


Kim said...

Childhood obsession? Jonathon Taylor Thomas. He was a cutie.

Naomi said...

Is Edward the source of your baby's name?? lol I'm guessing not, but it's still funny you picked him. I need to watch the movies I guess... I still have to read the Time Traveler's Wife over Christmas break, so we'll just see how much time I have. Being ignorant, I will not vote.

Soupy said...

Ditto the NKOTB, Teeny bopper magazies - my room was plastered w/the pin ups - and I loved Wil Wheaten and River Phoenix (Stand by Me).
I think it is much more intense, as it is w/everything these days- clothing, singers, movies, books, etc.
We never had Hannah Montanta (Debbie Gison? Tiffany? Hardly close!), etc, and I think the 'tween' disney channel shows contribute to some of that- my neice is 8 and so into that stuff.

I'm all about Jacob! :) Edward is too "cold" for my taste!

Valerie said...

I don't know. I definitely remember having debates over J.C. or Justin. Or on a broader scale, *N Sync or Backstreet Boys. Then again, I'm a little younger so maybe it was really starting to grow then. Also, I don't really remember any big, female starts (like Hannah Montana).

Really, I blame Barney (or Teletubbies depending on your generation). Now, of course, they're the Wiggles as well. They're every kid's first big obsession!

Rebecca said...

Edward - obviously.

The other day, I saw a bumper sticker that said:

"Knight in Shining Armor? I'd rather have a vampire in a shiny Volvo."


The Marketing Mama said...

Liz, that's awesome that you found a way to engage them. I haven't picked up the Twilight books, but I'm a bit confused about them - are they all "I'm a hot young sexy vampire who is going to kill you?" because I'm surprised parents are letting their girls read/watch this type of stuff. It seems creepy. Can you help me understand?

Also funny (and sad) about what you said about cougary moms. hmph.

LutherLiz said...

Missy, the Vampires (Edward in particular) are "vegetarians" and only eat animals. :)