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Swimfan(2002) shows that stalking is not romantic

Camillia has BA in University Studies with a minor in English. Has enjoyed writing reviews since her sci fi/fantasy class in high school.

swimfan2002-shows-that-stalking-is-not-romantic

Romanticizing stalking behaviors

The movie that started the trend of romantizing stalking behavior is Twilight(2008) with Edward stalking Bella. He watches her sleep and keeps track of her movements. This can be considered abusive and controlling behavior. We also see this in the Twilight fan fic and bestseller 50 Shades of Grey(2015) were the billionaire Christian Grey stalks Ana by dropping in at her job uninvited and sending her unwarranted gifts. Stalking is not a romantic gesture even if the stalker is attractive, a vampire, or filthy rich. Before Twilight was published, Swimfan(2002) hit theaters with the realistic theme that stalking behaviors are not romantic but downright creepy. Something that is unnerving about this trope is that the recipient thinks it is endearing and sweet. In reality, stalking behaviors can result in the victim getting hurt.



swimfan2002-shows-that-stalking-is-not-romantic

Signs of a stalker

In Swimfan(2002), Ben is the star of his high school swim team. He has everything going for him with a great girlfriend and a chance to go to his favorite college. When Ben has a chance encounter with the new classmate Madison, it is obvious they are attracted to each other. After they have a fling, Madison begins berating Ben with messages and calls. She shows up uninvited to the party with Ben's girlfriend and shows up at Ben's house for his mother's birthday. Madison gives Ben unwarranted gifts and tells him that when she has sex with this other guy she is thinking of Ben. Even though Ben tells Madison that he is not interested, she keeps trying to seduce him again.

swimfan2002-shows-that-stalking-is-not-romantic

The seducing trap

A stalker can be attractive to their victim. They can even trap the victim into thinking they are fun and seduce their victim into doing something they will likely regret. It is possible that stalkers in media may be shown to be unattractive and gross. But as shown in Twilight, 50 shades, and other rom coms, a stalker can be attractive, wealthy, funny, and smart. Madison in Swimfan(2002) is talented and beautiful. She traps Ben by seducing him and having sex with him. Madison manipulates Ben into telling her he loves her during sex. She traps him and has the power to ruin Ben's life.

swimfan2002-shows-that-stalking-is-not-romantic

Ruining a life

Madison uses her power over Ben to ruin his life. She does dangerous things such as switching meds at the hospital which causes a older man to have cardiac arrest. Madison tells Ben's girlfriend about there fling and Ben is kicked off the team because drugs were found in his urine.If Ben liked Madison's stalking it is possible their relationship would be abusive and that she would try to control what he does. This controlling behavior happens when the stalker becomes the "true love" of the victim. We see this in Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey.

swimfan2002-shows-that-stalking-is-not-romantic

In conclusion

Swimfan(2002) is a good example of how stalking can esculate into something dangerous. It is important to seek help if someone is stalking you. You can text or call 1-855-4-VICTIM. Please call 911 if you are in immediate danger.


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