Twilight Culture Has Changed Our Teens for the Better

Kristen Stewart Robert PattinsonSo, you think you know teens? Have you ever sat in a crowded theater on the day one of the Twilight saga movies comes to town? I was stuck with one of my besties and a room full of camp kids when New Moon Eclipse hit the big screen. And when the first tweenager screamed "slut" at Kristen Stewart for cuddling with Taylor Lautner (apparently she was Team Edward all the way), I realized just how seriously these teenagers take this whole Twi-mania.

Are you there God? It's me, Jeanne. If you could make sure my daughter never screams "slut" at a fictional character for trying to get warm, I'd be ever so grateful! I say this as a card carrying member of the Twilight Moms club. I love me some Twilight (OK, not really, but if they're offering ...). It just took me awhile to realize just how BIG it was ... not that that's a bad thing.

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Whether your kids have read Twilight, seen the movies, or totally avoided both, Stephenie Meyer has changed the culture of the American adolescent. Don't believe me? Let's check out the evidence, shall we:

Let's just go for the obvious right away. The lexicon. Everything is "Team" this and "Team" that nowadays, isn't it? In a confusing amalgam of pop culture references, I even saw a kid at the mall recently with a "Team Harry" (as in Potter) button on her backpack. Teenagers are prouder than ever to support a cause, but there's something extra nice about feeling like you're part of a group while doing it, don't you think?

And while we're on the subject of said teams, we can't forget the stars who embody them. Our grannies threw on their bobby socks and batted their baby blues at Frank Sinatra. Our fathers were all aflutter for Farrah Fawcett. And it was all about the Coreys for us '80s kids. But Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and Kristen Stewart have cornered the market on lust for the Internet generation -- or should that be the Twilight generation? Justin Bieber, did you hear that?

And after that very shallow admission, let's follow it up with one that makes my heart sing as a parent. There were four books in the Twilight saga, and every single one of them was read cover to cover by millions of teenagers. Even Breaking Dawn, at 768 pages. They tore through that like a toddler doing toilet paper races in the toilet while Mom has her back turned. In an exact antithesis to everything that characterized my miserable bookish high school existence, today's teen is cooler for having read and memorized Twilight. I'm more than a little OK with that change!

How has the Twilight effect shown up in your household? 

 

Image via Summit Entertainment

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