Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Demography of a Twilight Fan

From Amanda Bell with

Critics of the Twilight Series suggest (sometimes often) that there is only one type of fan of the series: that which consists of young, teenage girls. However, the demography of a Twilight fan might be slightly more complex and vast than critics of the series and its popularity would like to admit.

Take the so-called "Twilight Moms" out there. Plenty of women (married, mothers, or career women) love the series. Finding the powerful love story and precious (yet, at times, subtle) intricacies of the storyline and plot to be compelling and very pleasant to admit to imagination, Twilight Moms are able to overlook the fact that the setting for many of their favorite scenes takes place in a high school cafeteria, and that we meet Bella Swan as she undergoes a bit of teenage angst and adolescent alienation. The charm and wit of Edward Cullen and Jacob Black, for Twilight Moms, takes precedent over the youthful dispositions of Jacob Black or appearance of Edward Cullen. They allow themselves to, quite simply, become submerged into the sea of emotions that the narrator Bella Swan takes us through in the series.
Or the Twilight men, for example; yes, there are actually many male fans of the Twilight series. Sure, they may have been encouraged to read the books by their sisters, girl friends, or perhaps their Twilight Moms at the outset, but men are no categorical exception to the fan-dom of Twilight. Sporting t-shirts such as those that say "I'm her Edward" or "Team Bella" and the like, these men have been seen standing in the long lines awaiting the premieres and opening nights for Twilight, or waiting for an autograph from a Twilight cast member or Stephenie Meyer, or contributing fiercely to fan-sites and blogs about the series. Twilight men, quite frankly, can at times be even bigger fans than women.

Of course, there are the so-called "Twilight Teens" - girls, if you will, between the ages of as low as 8 or 9 and up to 19 years old. Teen fans love the characters not only for their encapsulating dialogue and flow, the heart-racing circumstances and adventures of Bella Swan, the Cullens, and the La Push family, but they also identify with the struggles of the age-groups involved in the series, particularly those of Bella Swan in her struggle to make a place for herself in the confusion of the world. Women, generally, as well as these teens profess that they find a piece of themselves in the mental wanderings of Bella Swan, as thread through the spindle by Stephenie Meyer, with intense and passionate thoughts, words, and actions. Yet, even the teens are not categorical. While there are those who are very loquacious of their love of Twilight, there are also a good many who would not be compelled to shout at the sidelines of the premiers as well (but we love 'em all).
Of course, also, there are those who are none of the above. Twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, married, un-married, etc. Men, women, Caucasian, African-American, Muslim, Hispanic, Asian, purple, polka-dotted; you name it.

While the Teen demographic might be the most obviously prevalent of the out-going Twilight fans, they are certainly not alone. While critics might suggest that there is only one type of fan of the series, I beg to differ. The fan-base of the Twilight series is quite expansive and diverse.


katmdbrown said...

well said! I myself am a twilight mom, who has recruited several other fans out there, including one who is a working professional and also happens to be a grandmother!! This is not a mere vampire story. This is a love story on the most basic core level: the complete unconditional love Bella feels for Edward.

princesswimmer24 said...

I agree as well. I am a twilight aunt and I have recruited other 30-somethings who enjoyed this love story.

Anonymous said...

I must agree as well. I am a mom and enjoyed the books as much as any "teen twilighter" out there. I saw the movie twice and am getting the DVD for my birthday. This series appeals to all ages so Summit would be smart not to polarize marketing to just the teen demographic.

Jamie said...

I agree. I am a 20-something married mother, who has recruited a man and a 40-something grandmother!