People Are Sharing "Twilight" Memes And Memories As Part Of The "'Twilight' Renaissance"
"We’re really just trying to enjoy ourselves, because we were too ashamed to do that the first time around."
Back in 2008, the first Twilight film was released and fueled a cultural zeitgeist.
At the time, the film's fandom became infamous: the crowds of mostly young women who flocked to midnight screenings and stood in line overnight to meet the stars of the franchise, including Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart; the tension between Team Edward and Team Jacob; and the trailer reaction videos.
"Everyone I knew either really loved it or really hated it. It seemed there wasn’t much in between," Priscilla Zuni, a 23-year-old from Texas told BuzzFeed News.
The franchise came to be reviled, so much so that some men at Comic-Con events in late 2000s would protest the film, stating, "Twilight ruined Comic-Con." This left many of those enjoying the franchise to view it as a guilty pleasure.
"Most of the attention the series got was being known as a silly tween heartthrob thing, overall," she said.
Now, 10 years later, the Twihards/Twilighters/Fanpires mainly on Tumblr are reevaluating the series through the "Twilight renaissance." Some fans are sharing memes.
Especially the idea that Bella, and pretty much all of the franchise, is now openly gay.
And that Rosalie was massively mistreated by the films.
Some have even created new Tumblr accounts purely dedicated to the renaissance.
But also fans are also seriously reevaluating problematic or flawed parts of the fandom.
"Things that haven't aged well: general racism towards Native American people and the basic destruction of a native story, making Jacob Black 'imprint' on a literal infant," said Jen, a 23-year-old from Australia who asked for her surname to be withheld.
"Things that have aged well: the teenaged awkwardness that seems to affect even vampires; the entire first movie; the line 'the wasting of finite resources is everyone's business'; the fact that Kristen Stewart is hella gay now."
Jen said that she was part of the fandom, doing midnight releases and new books before she "got over it." Ten years on, she and others with ties to the franchise are enjoying reflecting and reevaluating.
"In no world are Edward or Jacob good choices for boyfriends (between the low-key stalking and emotional manipulation) but it's still a fun story. Also do not ever turn into a vampire just for a boy. It's not worth it, no matter how sparkly he is."
Joanna Murphy, a 21-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, who got into the fandom in 2007, agrees.
"I think that the fandom now is definitely very different then it was before. The people I know are older and have a better understanding of the problems the series has," she said. "We recognize there are flaws and we aren’t trying to pretend they aren’t there."
It's not just fans who are reevaluating the series; Catherine Hardwicke, director of the first film, recently told the Daily Beast that she wanted the films to be more diverse.
"And I was like oh my god, I want the vampires, I want them all— Alice, I wanted her to be Japanese! I had all these ideas," said Hardwicke. "And she [Stephenie Meyer, the books' author] just could not accept the Cullens to be more diverse, because she had really seen them in her mind. She knew who each character was representing in a way, a personal friend or a relative or something.”
But despite the issues, many of the young women who are part of the renaissance are really just embracing being able to openly enjoy Twilight.
"We’re really just trying to enjoy ourselves," said Murphy, "because we were too ashamed to do that the first time around."