How Twilight was Pivotal in Shaping Pop Culture


Delaney Taylor

The cover of the “Twilight” book one.

In the mid 2000s, a woman named Stephenie Meyer went to bed, burned out with exhaustion from being a stay-at-home mom, just like every ordinary night before. Except this time when she fell asleep, she dreamed something strange. In her dream was a sparkly boy and an ordinary girl laying in a sunny meadow, and in her mind, it was a vampire and a human in love conversing with one another. Meyer, who had never been a writer before, immediately became inspired and wrote down the dream, which spilled into what we now know as Twilight.

Twilight, the supernatural teen romance to which I can guarantee you have heard of before, is set in the town that always rains of Forks, Washington. It follows Bella Swan, an ordinary human girl, falling into a love triangle involving a vampire and a werewolf. 

Once published, it almost instantly became a bestseller, selling over 100 million copies worldwide today. Three more main books were added to the roster, along with five movies and other additional books added later. This huge success made sure that Twilight was everywhere; on TV shows, references, commercials, perfumes, and other merchandise. The franchise easily became a household name and a global phenomenon, no matter if you liked the series or not.

 The success of Twilight sparked a huge wave of other novels similar to the supernatural romance featured in the story, in a hope to garner recognition and success from the Twilight fans or ‘Twihards’ as the cult-like fanbase called themselves. Mainly in the late 2000s and early 2010s, supernatural romance novels started popping up everywhere, as where before Twilight, there were far and few.

Romances starring vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, ghosts, etc. Any supernatural creature you can conjure in your mind and there is a good chance a romance was written about it. Even shows such as The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf probably wouldn’t have been created without the shockwave that Twilight left. Even though all of these supernatural romances were hoping to become the next global hit like its predecessor, only a few of them became popular enough to remember.

Not only did Twilight kickstart the popularity of the supernatural romance genre, it also helped to popularize the young adult genre, more commonly referred to as YA. YA is marketed towards teen audiences, which typically means that the book has mature content, but not to the point where it’s explicit.

With the release of Twilight being considered YA, other novels sprung up in YA, to follow in the same footsteps of having a fantastical teen romance with a love triangle. Series such as The Mortal Instruments, or Shadow and Bone were popularized due to having a similar romance to that of Twilight. This also led to the popularity of the dystopia genre, such as The Hunger Games, or Divergent

While the Twilight hype is long over, some of its remnants are still being held in effect. Supernatural romances have diminished in popularity as time has gone on, since most people are sick of the same formula being used over and over. Even though YA has held out a bit better, it’s had to adapt to become more realistic instead of being more fantastical, due to consumers being bored of the repetition.

But there is no doubt that Twilight has left its mark on the world, including pop culture, helping to shape our generation and childhood into what we will remember for years to come.