Shailene Woodley, 22, recently shared some very strong opinions on “Twilight” and the romance it puts forth. Woodley dissed “Twilight” in an interview with Teen Vogue saying, “Twilight,’ I’m sorry, is about a very unhealthy, toxic relationship. She falls in love with this guy and the second he leaves her, her life is over and she’s going to kill herself! What message are we sending to young people? That is not going to help this world evolve.”
This isn’t the first time that the storyline of “Twilight” has been criticized. Famous authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice have offered their fair share of criticism over sparkly vampires and that Meyer “lacked good writing skills.” Despite the criticism, the series sold over one hundred million books. And may we remember it is a work of fiction? Sure, young adults can be influenced just as much by fiction as anything else but how much of an influence can storylines such as these possess? Whether people think the storyline of “Twilight” was good or bad, there are still other pieces of media that depict the same exact things.
There are many more works of fiction, both books and shows/movies that portray “unhealthy” relationships. Woodley herself used to play the character of Amy Juergens in ABC Family’s show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Her character, a high school student, becomes a teen mother by becoming pregnant at band camp. The series, which didn’t exactly portray a “healthy” romance itself, was sexually charged and just continued spiraling out the drama through its almost five-year run. Despite showing some of the realities of teen parents, the series eventually turned in to something where it seems it would only be discussing “toxic relationships.” The show definitely was not sending very good messages to young people at many times through the seasons—the very thing that Woodley used her rising fame to criticize “Twilight” for not representing.
Twilight comes with a pretty big fan base and people expressed their opinions about her comments over Twitter.
I used to throw shade at Shailene Woodley ('cause Secret Life…), but she actually seems great. http://t.co/AkagOaWkh4 (h/t @anh62950)
— Jenna Duggan-Lykes (@jennalykes) March 12, 2014
@shailenewoodley: really sad to hear you have chosen to diss Twilight and Twi fans, especially after we've supported you but that's over now
— Rain (@alleycat44) March 11, 2014
The upcoming film “Divergent,” starring Woodley, is based off of the fiction-book series by Veronica Roth. Was Woodley smart to use the buzz currently surrounding the movie to say that or was it a bad move dissing “Twilight”?
Surely, you can find underlying tones in any fictional storyline and readers will interpret it how they will. Not everyone views one storyline in the same way. A fiction story can be about a certain topic but it’s up to the reader to decide how they interpret it.