Biting worries on Edward Cullen
There’s a six-foot tall cardboard cut-out of Edward Cullen in my younger sister’s bedroom.
It wobbles when she hugs it. She wraps her arms around his shoulders, and one of her hands scrapes his unfinished back. My mom smiles at me from behind the flashing camera, and I turn away.
“Vampires are in now,” my sister informs me. I have to wonder when wizards became “out.” There was a time, six years ago or more, when the two of us would sit as siblings in front of a “Harry Potter” movie. The magic, the creatures— I drank it all in.
“Look at that spell!” I’d exclaim.
“Look at Ron Weasely,” she’d reply. I guess that should have been my first clue. Appreciation on two levels can widen a movie’s appeal, but the hotness factor soon outweighs all else. My friends would soon follow suit.
“Man, I love ‘Wingardium Leviosa,’” I’d tell them.
“I know what you mean,” my friends would reply. “Hermione is so frickin’ hot.” It wasn’t until the fourth movie that I understood what they meant.
But even though my friends could recognize general attractiveness before I could, my younger sister outpaced us by years. When we were freshmen, and my sister was in fourth grade, we were just beginning to Google-image-search Britney Spears on our cell phones, and she already had plans to marry Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day. Yes, Robert Pattinson is younger than Armstrong, so at least she has her eye on someone more in-her-range nowadays, but the movies he stars in are far…sexier than anything Green Day will ever put out.
That’s because Pattinson isn’t just Pattinson; he’s Edward, a sickly-pale vampire with greasy hair and an instinctual urge to suck out all that blood wasting away in your veins. He wants to love, but he can’t. He doesn’t want to fight, but he must. So what does that make him? An animal, inhuman, not worth our attention. And yet, he is constantly in our view. But why?
“He’s hot,” my sister says.
Oh that’s right. Screw everything I just said, because he’s hot, and that’s a true-fact. Edward is the alluring vampire with a six-pack, and his sunken gaze will steal your heart, right after he’s done eating it. And that’s all you need to know about Edward to understand what comes next.
Students at Wash. U. framed their childhood around “Harry Potter,” tales of familial love, of an evil that tests and strengthens friendships and, as always, of “Wingardium Leviosa.” We revered the texts, for they were good to us, and we haven’t forgotten them.
And what does my sister’s age group get from their “Twilight”?
“He’s hot,” my sister reminds me.
They get an experience they’ll quickly forget. Mark your calendar, the new sex-symbol approaches, ready to fill that gap that will empty unceremoniously when Pattinson turns (approximately) 25. The new fling could be a teenage centaur, or maybe even a provocative cell-biologist.
He will be whoever the movie industry decides to dangle as teenage bait, and then it’s “Move aside, Edward; hello, luscious plumber.” So I guess I can’t blame my younger sister for the situation she’s in. It’s the industry’s doing, isn’t it? And as I read “The Prisoner of Azkaban” for the fourth time, I just feel bad that she can’t get out of the cycle.
My sister places a fedora atop Edward’s windblown hair, which frames his pasty face. I turn away, laughing.
“He doesn’t like the sun,” she explains. “Mom, take another picture. Mom! Give me the camera!”