Words by Gianna Sibal
Let’s face it: in this day and age, society still paints fangirls as the “crazy” types—there’s nothing less, nothing more to it—you can’t be older than a teenager, you can’t stan something or someone without wanting to be Y/N, and you can’t be seen as anything else other than the screaming women drooling and fantasizing over abs and muscles. And, let’s be real: fangirls are always, always ridiculed.
They are ridiculed for liking something even as admirable as worldwide sensation BTS, and they are ridiculed for liking something just because. Doesn’t matter what or who it is—the Twilight Saga included.
Stephenie Meyer’s hit series sold millions of copies worldwide before it came to the big screen. With the positive response from the first Twilight movie, the producers and directors made the decision to create the next. And the next, and the next. I’ll admit, I watched the movies first, and they weren’t the best, but they weren’t that bad, either. After Breaking Dawn Part 2, I decided to give the books a chance, and surprisingly—I liked them.
So while the hype for the series was real and alive amongst the fangirls, I did not understand how and why a lot of people came to hate it—then and even until now. Today, when someone says ‘Twilight,’ people immediately cringe and say, “Ew!”—as if opening up a topic about it, as if liking it is a crime.
As far as novels to movies adaptations go, the series was pretty on point—the author, Stephenie Meyer, was actually involved in the movie-making process from the start, and it shows. It might not be the same way to some other people, there are parts that have been changed or skipped, but the movies, according to the directors, really tried to stay faithful to the books. They say it’s because a lot of fans are expecting so much, and they only want to deliver good results. And personally, I’d say that they did.
Another thing: the cast. I don’t know about you, but I think Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and even Taylor Lautner were perfect choices. Everyone was a perfect choice for their role, actually, and society nowadays thinks it’s cool to hate on Kristen Stewart for her ‘poker face’, ‘emotionless,’ and ‘very bad’ acting in Twilight, but glorify her for the upcoming Charlie’s Angels movie just because she’s blonde and hot in it.
In my opinion, it wasn’t Stewart’s acting that was the problem—she was playing a role, and she played that role down to a T. It wasn’t Kristen Stewart who was a little dull, it was actually her character, Bella Swan—even in the books. Still, I can see how people think it’s okay to say trash about her because of it, or maybe because of her personal relationship with Pattinson, or maybe something else—but it doesn’t mean we should discredit her. In Breaking Dawn Part 2, she needed to shoot a scene tackling a mountain lion for her first hunt as a vampire. Behind the scenes, she shot it with a pillow—and she looked pretty damn hungry, too. That’s awesome acting.
Also, the hard work and dedication put into the technicalities and stunts of the film was really admirable—from the effects of the vampires’ running and jumping, the animation of the wolves, Bella’s thin face and body when she was pregnant with Renesmee—okay, maybe the baby’s CGI wasn’t that great, but everything else really showed me how much work was put into the films. The vampires had to do intense exercises and stunts, the actors had to look at dummies when shooting a scene with the wolves, and they had to rebuild the Cullens’ entire house from scratch due to unfortunate circumstances—they couldn’t shoot nor film at the actual Cullen house from the first movie. There was also a doll created that looks exactly like Bella and looks human to shoot the scene before she gives birth. Watch behind the scenes clips of the films and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
I’m not saying other films put in as much as hard work and dedication, too, but again—let’s not discredit the franchise’s work.
And, this I’ll admit: the plot isn’t groundbreaking, but it was appealing to a lot of audiences and it was something that was enjoyable. Fans were eagerly awaiting the next film, buying merchandise, asking each other if they were Team Edward or Team Jacob—until other people had to make it a point to hate on it because fans, especially fangirls, liked it. And maybe it’s also because of the whole love triangle thing, or Jacob actually ending up with Renesmee in the end (which is…kind of weird, yes), or the sparkling skin, but come on. Did—does it really deserve the hate?
I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to dislike it. You are. But to react in such a negative way, even disgusted at the mention of ‘Bella,’ or ‘Edward,’ or ‘Eclipse,’ you are contributing to shaping the franchise as something that it never was—terrible. Awful. Incredibly cringey and disgusting.
Some even jump on the bandwagon only because it’s known as something you automatically hate—and I absolutely resent that. Why should other people’s opinions matter on something that you haven’t even tried to watch or to read yourself?
Preferences are personal matters, and no one should ridicule anyone for something that they like or enjoy. Sometimes, I’m afraid to say that I liked the books and films from fear of judgment. Still, when it comes up, I put on my brave face and speak up: No, the Twilight Saga wasn’t really as bad as people made it to be.
In fact, I think that the fight scene in Breaking Dawn Part 2 between the Cullens and the Volturi was a cinematic masterpiece. Everyone, everyone was so shocked and thrilled with it—having read the books afterward, I was completely at the edge of my seat with my hand on my mouth—I thought Carlisle, Jasper, Seth, and Leah were gone for a moment! I sagged against my chair in relief when I realized it was just a vision, but even now, when watching that scene—I get chills.
Plus, the ending credits make me cry. Sue me.
A lot of the saga’s hate comes from the bandwagon, only a little percentage of it comes from actual critiques and not hating it just because. So if you haven’t tried to read or watch the books yourself, you should. Maybe you’ll agree with me, too.
Do you like or hate the Twilight Saga? Why? Let us know!