(Okay, so I'm writing this post partly in response to this article, and this one - the first of which you may have to read in order to make sense of my post.)
Everyone has this crazy need to put everybody else into little boxes, and make assumptions about the people they are based on the box they are put in. Boys. Girls. Children. Adults. Etc.
And I hate this.
People also feel the desire to divide people into types, too. Which I don't get at all. Sure, there are people who share traits with other people. Sure, people conform to different groups. But the world's too complicated for people to be so neatly pigeon-holed. And, frankly, speaking as someone who has been pigeon-holed in pigeon-holes her entire life, it does not feel good. Do you ever like people assuming things about you? Why do you do it to other people, then?
Everyone likes to say things decisively like: Fictional teenage boys will forever be better than real teenage boys because real teenage boys suck. And thus Edward Cullen is the model to which all real people should be compared.
I like real life. It drives me insane and at the same time it's wonderful and I want to capture it in the things I write though I fear I'll never even get close. Awkward conversations remind me of the fact that I'm not the only person who is awkward in this world. People get all self-conscious when they start rambling because they think you're getting bored with them, but I never do. I find everyone absolutely fascinating, because everyone is so unique.
Everyone wants different things in their friends and whoever they go out with. It is definitely not a one-size-fits-all sort of thing because all people are individuals. Everyone's idea of perfect is something entirely different, even if on the surface they seem pretty similar (when young people tell you about their 'type', traits like people who are nice and thoughtful tend to come up a lot, but everyone's idea of nice and thoughtful are different).
If Edward Cullen did exist in reality, sure, maybe some girls would want to go out with him. But the Edward Cullen phenomenon isn't even really about Edward Cullen, I don't think. It's about being immersed in that story, getting so caught up in it that you forget about almost everything else. I remember being fourteen and reading New Moon shortly after it came out and sitting behind the door in the bathroom, hiding. I couldn't stop reading. And sure, afterwards I thought about how it lacked literary merit and blah blah blah. But I enjoyed it when I was reading it. I don't think what people really like is Edward Cullen himself, rather they like the idea of being so intensely wanted by someone. Everyone wants to be needed by someone else. This is not a trait teenage girls exclusively have. This is a trait people have.
People can be kind and wonderful and thoughtful and sensitive and intelligent and passionate and hopeful and brave and every other trait in existence.
I kind of wish everyone could get over the whole teenage girls are like this, the elderly are like this, you must be like this.
Honestly, why can't people be individuals, hey? Why can't you treat everyone you meet with an equal amount of respect?
So I can't say teenage boys are like this because teenage boys are human beings and as you know because you are a human being yourself (I assume) that everyone is an individual (and you're going to disagree with me and I'm going to say, no, I'm right, and that's one thing that we all have in common. We all think we're right and everyone else is wrong. Not just teenagers).
Just a bit of advice for everyone who lives their lives in their head like I do: Stop for a bit, and get off the internet. Go out. Meet real people. You'll find they're not half bad. Stop thinking so much about every tiny thing and live your life. It's the only one you've got right now. You can do an essay breaking down all the way Edward Cullen is greater than Steph Bowe (none! I am far superior! I am far sparklier in sunlight!) in your next life (if you believe in that).
I apologise if anything is illogical or offensive (inevitably, regardless of what I say or how tactfully I approach things, I will offend someone. I'm sorry). I know that no matter what I say on the internet, someone will accuse me of not being professional enough or being too professional. Irrespective of what I do, people are going to perceive me the way they want to.
I would very much appreciate your opinion on Edward Cullen vs. Real Teenage Boys Who, You Know, Have A Pulse.