Wednesday, July 1, 2009


taylor at a dodger game monday from radaronline and how he's becoming a hunk from the examiner:
How Twilight's Taylor Lautner became a teen sex symbol for both girls and women

The new "Team Jacob" book cover for the New Moon trade paperback coming out September 15th was recently released, and with it came a flurry of gasps. The cover features Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan being embraced by Taylor Lautner, who plays the young werewolf Jacob Black. Lautner is shirtless, and his work in the gym is obvious. Across the internet, teens are expressing their undying love for the actor, which is not unusual. What is unusual is the way many adult women are swooning over young Lautner. At only 17, Lautner has become a sort of one-of-a-kind teen sex symbol for female Twilight fans of all ages.

It is not difficult to list teen starlets who are considered sexy by men of all ages. Think underwear-clad Britney Spears on the cover of Rolling Stones, dripping wet Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair, or Hayden Panettiere in her cheerleader outfit on Heroes. All over the internet, "countdown clocks" tick away until underaged actresses turn 18. 14 year old models are presented as fantasies for men three times their age. Girls are sexualized at younger and younger ages, and no one seems to bat an eye. It is just considered normal for teen girls to look like sexy adults.

The same is not true for teen boys. Perhaps because boys don't mature physically as soon as girls, it is harder to turn teen boys into pseudo-adults. On television, teen boys are usually played by men in their twenties, rather than the other way around. There are plenty of young stars, like the Jonas Brothers, who are followed by legions of teen fangirls, but part of their appeal is that they do NOT look like grown men. They are desirable precisely because they do not seem adult, making them safe for young girls just growing into their sexuality. While teen girls are routinely turned into fantasies for adult men on purpose, the opposite is just not true of teen boys.

But Twilight is different. The fanbase for Twilight was created long before the movies were even imagined, and those fans span generations of girls and women. Devotion to characters like Jacob Black and Edward Cullen formed with no ideas about who would play them in the movies. The actors in the movie had a rabid fan base in the beginning simply because of the characters they play. While most moms only care about the Jonas Brothers in order to get concert tickets for their daughters, adult women enjoy the Twilight books for themselves, and many women already felt a strong connection with Jacob Black; Taylor Lautner was the beneficiary of that devotion.
When Lautner bulked up physically for his more significant role in New Moon, the second movie, that fan devotion turned into a kind of lust, one that left many women disconcerted. On discussion boards for adults like and, women expressed their mixed feelings about the newly sexy Lautner. Said commenter DancingQueen on, "Lord have mercy for I have SINNED! That is one hot kid right there!" 4ever17 agreed: "I Am SO going to hell He's younger than my baby boy for cryin' out loud!!" Their feelings are echoed in forums across the web.

Lautner's co-star, Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen, has a far more rabid fan base, but Pattinson is in his early twenties, and few women feel bad lusting after him. The only other comparable phenomenon that had both teen and adult fans lusting after the lead is the movie Titanic in 1997, but star Leonardo DiCaprio was also in his early twenties at the time. This leaves Lautner in the unique position as a teen sex symbol for women of all ages. Go Team Jacob (I think...)!

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