Monday, February 2, 2009

A Shirt By Any Other Name...

If the Twilight series and I had a Facebook relationship, it'd be listed as, "It's complicated."

I have studiously avoided bringing this series up here on the blog for two reasons. One is that I dread the heated debates that so often accompany the topic of these books. I have a lot of poor misguided friends. And I'm not going to say which ones on which side of the debate I mean ;) The other reason is that any time I talk about my thoughts on the books, I come across sounding like a deranged hypocrite.

But there is one aspect of the books that I think we can all safely agree on.

Stephanie Meyer apparently has a thing for "blouses." In honor of Groundhog Day, let me ask, "Am I right or am I right or am I right?" As I read the Twilight series, poor Bella was encountering blouses left and right. Observing other people's blouses, choosing blouses, wearing blouses, packing blouses. Lots and lots of blouses. Not tops, not shirts, not polos. Blouses. Am I the only one that was annoyed by this?

Now maybe I'm way off base here, but I get the feeling that teenage girls in this day and age DO NOT WEAR "BLOUSES." Blouses make me think of middle-aged women working office jobs. Silk things with built in scarves and a tacky holiday bauble pinned to the front. I would probably die before I would actually describe ANYTHING in my wardrobe as a "blouse." I suppose you could contend that this was merely the word Stephanie Meyer chose to differentiate between say a regular top and a button-up one. Except based on the description of Bella's character, I don't exactly see her in a lot of starched button-downs.

My proof lies in online shopping. Browsing online retailers, it's pretty hard to find one that advertises a "blouses" category. I think you'd even be hard pressed to find an individual item described as a "blouse." Maybe the online retailers Stephanie frequents use that signifier a lot, but if they do, I'm guessing I don't shop there for a good reason. I get the feeling that the term "blouse" is not very, shall we say, "fashion forward."

Is this sort of like a regional language difference, or is Stephanie actually concealing from us the secret fact that Bella is really a middle-aged woman? Or maybe so backward that she buys all her clothes from the lamest thrift store known to man?

So who cares if teenage girls are reading about a girl whose blood-drinking boyfriend sleeps in her bed? Or if teenage girls are being taught to have no self-control and to rely on their boyfriends, of all people, to maintain boundaries? Or if teenage girls are reading about a total disregard for birth control in a potentially life-threatening situation? Or if they're reading about people being dismembered and burned? These are petty compared to the real problem here. A veritable plague on our society. The over-abundance of blouses.

Do YOU own any "blouses"?


Janssen said...

Oh my heavens. . .SO true. This is real cause for concern.

Second only to this issue is the time where Edward takes off his sweater in the first book when they go to the meadow and has a SLEEVELESS white button-down shirt. Um, do they even MAKE such things for guys? I mean, really? No guy I've EVER met would ever wear something like that. And even if they would, where would they buy such a thing?

Sherry said...

I have some blouses. My mom snagged them for me from my great aunt's wardrobe after she died.

Kelly M said...

You've got me laughing out loud in the middle of a Monday- thanks!

Now I'm curious about where you stand on the books. . . oh well.

Leann said...

I didn't really get bugged by it while reading... however, I did think it was odd that Bella would wear a blouse. If I were Stephanie Meyer, I would have said descriptive words such as: V-neck tee, long sleeve tee, and perhaps an occassional sweater.

Noelle said...

You totally hit that one right on the head. :) I definitely noticed it in reading them but never to the point that it bothered me. The only thing I can picture when I think of blouse is shoulder pads. Sad.

Ralphie said...

I would love to go back through the books and count how many times it says "grimaced".
I started doing just that every time I read it.

However, I am a hopelessly devoted fan. “And when G read those words, she grimaced.”

Melanie said...

haha, you're always good for a laugh...and yes, she wore WAY too many blouses! I noticed too! I could only read the books once because I had so many vampire dreams while I was reading them, but I'm sure that I would notice many more things that would bug me (besides Bella) in a second, closer reading.

Wait, I can't remember, did you get dragged into seeing the movie? I got lucky...dodged TWO bullets! My MIL and lil sis! Suckers!(not in the vampire way)

Reed and Liz said...

you are hilarious. i own zero blouses :)

i want a count of the number of times edward's voice is described as "velvety." i think at leas 200 times.

Corinda said...

No blouses here. But, I do remember a friend from college referring to what I would call a shirt as a blouse--she was from California, but since that's where you're from, it must have just been family lingo.

janel said...

I followed Kelly M's recommendation and came here and have been laughing like crazy about (and reading out loud to my husband) this great and important analysis of Twilight. We agree completely about the movie math, too! Thanks for the laughs!

Danielle said...

And I followed Janel's advice and came here. So true about the blouse! I read a book recently I really liked except for the fact that the spunky main character kept talking about the "slacks" she was wearing.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. G is hilarious in all her writing, and speaks the truth at the same time. I do love clever jokes like these.

I happened to notice these blouse descriptions as well, but I got rather annoyed by all the other repetition, and it all seemed melodramatic. I eventually stopped reading the first book, because the whole idea of the series just turned me off.

In my opinion, the main ideas in these books are ridiculous. But if your into that sort of thing, read away!:) Reading books is purely for enjoyment and knowledge.