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Christine Hilario, A&E Writer

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Does anyone remember the Twilight series, the pop culture phenomenon that swept the entire world? The movies grossed hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide; the series basically started the young adult book genre and inspired fan fiction popular enough to be adapted into a movie trilogy (Fifty Shades of Gray, anyone?).

However, with all this popularity came a downside. It was very easy to make fun of the Twilight series with its broody, sparkly vampires and its bland protagonist. That derision spread to Twilight’s fan base as well, which was mostly made up of teenage girls and their moms. Now, I’m not saying the Twilight series was a literary or cinematic masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but did it honestly deserve all the hate? I mean, series like Transformers and Fast and Furious are just as bad, if not worse than Twilight and they weren’t made fun of nearly as much. So what made Twilight the main target for criticism?

The answer lies in its fan base: teenage girls.

So many things that are popular among teenage girls are made fun of and are seen as less intelligent. One Direction, Starbucks lattes, Hydro Flasks, scrunchies—you name it.

I am not entirely guiltless in this situation. When I was in middle school, I had a bad case of the “I’m not like other girls” syndrome where I thought I was so cool for listening to Panic! At the Disco instead of One Direction and for reading Harry Potter instead of Twilight. I actively disliked something just because other girls liked it. And for what?

Here’s the deal: just because a teenage girl carries around a Hydro Flask and only listens to Top 40s pop doesn’t mean she’s insipid or basic. You don’t see hordes of people on the Internet judging teenage boys for only wearing Adidas slides and neon basketball shorts on the same level people judge VSCO girls.

When people make fun of teenage girls for their interests, it can cause them to be ashamed of the things they enjoy or it can cause them to change themselves because they don’t want to be seen as regular.

Even if you don’t like something, that doesn’t mean you have the right to ruin it for others. Let people enjoy things and to the teenage girls who might be reading this: being a fan of popular things doesn’t make you shallow or common. Don’t let anything stop you from liking the things you like.

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