A New Kind of Heartthrob


With the growing popularity of franchises such as Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, the romantic and sexual tastes of women all over the world are being seriously questioned and evaluated… After all, is a handsome face and heavy wallet enough to make up for a psychotic, tyrannical side?  This may not be the question to ask, however, with vulnerability and weaknesses in relationships perhaps playing the greatest roles in all the allure.

Edward Cullen and Christian Grey, fiction’s latest hotties, have taken bookshelves and women’s hormones by storm. Not only are they fine, wealthy, and sensual, but also protective and devoted to their women. Essentially, they’re a dream. A woman can only fantasize about a Christian Grey pursuing her restlessly. The idea of a handsome man willing and wanting to take care of your every need is alluring, powerful, and when it comes right down to it, sexy. The fact that both men are enticed by less than ordinary women is also comforting. No Victoria’s Secret angels here, folks. But what’s really beguiling is the scandalous and disturbing secrets the men keep: the suppression of their darkest desires. Women of this age hunger for something more than a steamy romance, wanting a dark side to their heroes and the always temptation that their heroines represent.

In both Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, the heroines hold something of great attraction and lure to their romantic interests. For Bella and Edward, it’s her blood and his constant hunger. For Ana and Christian, it’s his sexual penchants and insatiable desire to control her. Both women hold a constant reminder of their paramours’ weaknesses: their only weaknesses. It’s the idea that these strong, unbreakable men struggle with these women, constantly attempting to thwart their yearnings. They break down. This sense of vulnerability and struggle in their love lives and all for the sake of the women they love is perhaps the most alluring aspects of these fictional characters. It doesn’t hurt that the hungers and weaknesses are sexy and suggestive in nature. Women crave these susceptibilities and the tension they create.

Though both characters are obviously controlling and domineering in character, their intentions are well placed. This is not to say that Edward and Bella’s or Christian and Ana’s relationships are totally healthy, because they certainly aren’t. Stalking and totally dependency is not all that sexy. However, the openness and devotion shown in the relationships seems to make women look past the supervising tendencies of these fictional men. Bella and Ana seem to hold their own, anyway, often pissing off their too worried lovers. The fact of the matter is that the taste of women in both their literary obsessions and nature of romance is evolving. A darker past, constant temptation, and certain vulnerability seem to be what’s selling, creating a new type of heart throb for women all over the world to yearn for.

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