I was talking with a friend on Friday, a very conservative woman who homeschools her children. I asked her if her junior high daughter had expressed any interest in the Twilight books or upcoming movie.
She said, “What’s Twilight?”
I gave her the 5 second definition: “It’s the popular book series about a teenage girl falling in love with a vampire. The books have sold millions and it’s being released as a movie next week (with Midnight showings already sold out). Every teenage girl in the country is going crazy over it.” Even the movie’s soundtrack is hot.
She said, “I don’t think (my daughter) even knows about it. I know she hasn’t read it.”
I suggested that she ask her daughter.
She called her daughter over. “Have you heard of this Twilight?”
Her daughter paused for a second, glanced over at me, then back at her mother. “Yeah. I read a chapter over at Carly’s house.”
Trust me. Your kids have heard of Twilight, some have read Twilight, and most of them want to see the movie releasing a week from Friday. The question is… should they be reading Twilight? And is this movie okay?
Don’t get me wrong. If your daughter read a few chapters of one of these books over at her friend’s house, it’s not like she was playing Grand Theft Auto (something parents of girls usually don’t have to worry about). But I think parents should become familiar with exactly how sensual these books are. The books have been deemed “clean” by numerous moms groups because they don’t contain any sex. But is that line you want to use? (No sex… it must be fine then.)
What are the subtle messages of Twilight?
David (our ministry’s director of content development) and I spend a ton of time last week researching Twilight and looking in to all of this hype. We found that many Christians were concerned about the vampire element. Most of the world, however, thinks that this is the next best thing since Harry Potter. David and I had totally different concerns: the main character’s emotional vulnerability and the graphic sensuality.
This week, our YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW article (the article on our front page in that big magnifying glass) provides our complete take on the books and the film, addressing these issues. I’m not gonna condemn any parent who lets their daughters read the books. I just am a big advocate of them investigating a little bit about the series and having conversations with their kids about it. Parents need to be the one to make that decision. Our article will provide parents with most of the research you need (we link numerous other articles). We even touch on the differences you might find in the first book and the film. After all, Twilight has no sex. But what would you do if you found your daughter in her underwear kissing a guy in the bedroom?