06.23.10

Battle of the Twilight Heartthrobs

As Twi-hards line up for the Hollywood premiere of the upcoming installment Eclipse, two extreme fans sink their teeth into the ultimate debate Bella Swan faces in the film—should she settle down with the brooding vampire, Edward Cullen or the loveable werewolf, Jacob Black?

Team Edward: Bella Swan's Eternal Ice Ice Baby
By  The RobNipulations Blog Staff Writers

—Edward is a vampire, thus, cooler—literally and figuratively. Seriously, he's like a walking cooler at picnics. That macaroni salad's never going bad.

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Kimberley French

Team Jacob: He's From the Right Century and He's Got the Right Stuff
By  Nancy Reagin

—At the age of 109, Edward is definitely too old for Bella. Jacob's from the same generation, which makes all the difference. When Edward was born, American women didn't have the right to vote, distributing any information about birth control (how to get it or how to use it) was illegal, and most banks wouldn't allow a married woman to have her own bank account without her husband's permission. So when it comes to relations between the sexes, Edward is definitely very last-century.

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Trailer

Video screenshot

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'Anatomy of a Murder' or Anatomy of the Case for (un)Dead Sexy Edward Cullen ()

Team Edward: Bella Swan's Eternal Ice Ice Baby
By The RobNipulations Blog Staff Writers

—Edward is a vampire, thus, cooler—literally and figuratively. Seriously, he's like a walking cooler at picnics. That macaroni salad's never going bad.

—Edward doesn't need to eat. Bella can pig out whenever there's a carton of Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. Hell, she can even use his palm as a bowl if she doesn't feel like doing dishes.

—Edward's vampirey-ness means his hair never grows, making haircuts unnecessary. Perpetually perfect sex hair? Yes, please (and thank you).

—Edward doesn't need to sleep. No loud snoring to keep Bella awake. Instead, he just gently hums at her and watches her sleep. Once you get over how creepy that is, you have to admit, it is rather precious and adorable.

—Edward is 109 years old. Two words: AARP discounts!

—Edward can read minds. That salesperson at the car dealership won't ever be able to rip them off on a new car purchase, which means no money down and zero percent interest.

—As a vampire, Edward is on the exclusive list for every blood-sucking celebrity hang-out: yacht soirees thrown by Count Chocula, summers at Count Von Count's Transylvanian villa, annual Halloween party hosted by Grandpa Munster.

—Edward sparkles in the sunlight. What girl can resist all that sparkle and dazzle? Jacob, on the other hand, just sheds and pants a lot when the sun's out.

—Edward is gentlemanly and resists Bella's advances for the sake of her virtue and propriety. While this is a little stuffy and boring...it is preferable to getting your leg humped constantly by a dog (i.e. Jacob).

—Edward has years of experience and a vampire's speed and agility to boot. (If you know what I mean and I think you do.)

—Unlike every other woman in America, during moments of intimacy with Edward, there's no need for Bella to fantasize about Robert Pattinson.

—Jacob is a furnace on legs. The year-round central AC bills are astronomical, not to mention the impact on the environment. He leaves a giant carbon paw-print on the planet.

—Jacob eats non-stop. And he's lacking in table manners, to say the least. No amount of OxyClean is going to get those moose carcass stains out of a carpet.

—Have you ever smelled dog breath? 'Nuff said.

—Unlike Edward's perma-sexy hair, Jacob needs brush-outs in the summer and weekly claw-trimming.

—Jacob destroys his clothes every time he shape-shifts into a werewolf. There are some cost considerations here. Bella isn't made out of money. We're in a recession. Her paycheck isn't nearly going to cover replacing hundreds of pairs of perfectly molded, low-slung, faded-wash bootleg jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch (because all werewolves are very style-conscious when it comes to denim).

—Bella has repeatedly informed Jacob of her allergy to pet dander. Every time she mentions it, he comes after her with a bottle of Zyrtec like some kind of crazed pharmacy tech, determined to medicate her.

—When Jacob kissed her, Bella reacted like Lucy from Peanuts whenever Snoopy kissed her: "Ew, I've been kissed by a dog! Dog germs! Yuck!" So it's readily apparent that the feeling is not mutual.

—If Bella marries Jacob, sooner or later she is bound to get sick of fielding calls from the Humane Society about her "stray husband" digging up the neighbor's rose bushes and chasing cars down the street.

—As a werewolf, Jacob's mate is predestined by imprinting. And he does imprint. On a six-month-old baby. He's just wooing Bella to get out of babysitting and changing diapers, obviously.

—Speaking of which, Jacob has a six-month-old fiancée. He doesn't need Bella, he needs a knock on his door from Chris Hansen.

RobNipulations is a daily blog run by four women with an unusual fixation on Photoshopping Robert Pattinson into various humorous poses and writing snarky captions to go with them.

book-cover---twilight-history
Twilight and History by Nancy Reagin. Wiley. 288 p. $12.21 ()

Team Jacob: He's From the Right Century and He's Got the Right Stuff
By Nancy Reagin

—At the age of 109, Edward is definitely too old for Bella. Jacob's from the same generation, which makes all the difference. When Edward was born, American women didn't have the right to vote, distributing any information about birth control (how to get it or how to use it) was illegal, and most banks wouldn't allow a married woman to have her own bank account without her husband's permission. So when it comes to relations between the sexes, Edward is definitely very last-century.

—And we know that once turned, vampires in the Twilight Saga are "frozen in time," which explains why Edward's attitudes toward women are pretty hard for modern humans to accept. What kind of man thinks he can break into a woman's bedroom and watch her sleep, night after night? Or physically stop her from leaving when she wants to go, as Edward does in Twilight? Dude, not sexy. He acts more like a father than a boyfriend.

—Jacob comes from the same time and culture as Bella; as a result, he treats her as an equal, and with kindness. He argues with her sometimes and they often disagree, but he never tells Bella that he'll make her do what he thinks is best for her (as Edward frequently does).

—Bella feels comfortable around Jacob, while she always feels inferior to Edward and constantly tells herself that she's unworthy of him.

—Jacob heals Bella in New Moon, helping her to recover emotionally when she came near to dying from depression and abandonment—a wound that Edward had inflicted.

—Bella's just happier with Jacob. She sees Jacob as a source of warmth and light. Edward, on the other hand, is a brooding, self-absorbed Byronic hero with ice-cold hands. Who wants to be held by that at night?

—Bella is safer with Jacob. He's not fighting the urge to kill her every second he's with her, as Edward must. True, Jacob has to watch his temper so he doesn't hurt her when he shape-shifts into wolf form, but he'll soon outgrow that phase. When Bella's with Edward, she's threatened regularly by other vampires. If Bella stays with him, she'll always have to be looking over her shoulder.

—If Bella marries Edward and becomes a vampire, her life will become very limited. She'll have to move from place to place every few years, never putting down roots. And she won't be able to visit or live in sunny places at all since vampires cannot be exposed to light. Who would want to only see a cloudy sky every day, for the rest of eternity?

—And most importantly: being with Edward would freeze Bella's growth as a person. With the fabulously wealthy and socially superior Edward, Bella will never have to work a day in her life; she won't go through adult experiences like completing her education, having a career, and learning to support herself. And Edward would expect to have a huge say in any decisions Bella makes about her future, since his attitudes toward women are from 1901. With Edward, she'll be a Disney princess: forever young, forever rich, forever beautiful, and forever under Edward's thumb.

—Jacob, on the other hand, will grow with Bella: he'd expect her to help support herself. She'll change and develop, rather than freezing in place. With Jacob, Bella can become fully adult: a mature woman who can grow, overcome, and triumph. Life would be incredibly different if maturity reached its peak at 18—who would want to be that age forever?

Nancy Reagin is a professor of history and gender studies at Pace University in New York. She's the editor of a new book, Twilight and History, now available from Wiley & Sons.

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