All celebrities face the scrutiny of unwanted observers ogling their most intimate relationships with an suspicious eye, but it's hard to deny that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart face more fanatical surveillance than most.
Although their 'fairy tale' romance — born from the heady teenage passions of Twilight — ended years ago, the pair's individual love lives and personal relationships haven't ceased to be a topic of public fascination. But why, out of all of the other actors out there, were RPatz and KStew the ones who fell foul of this constant invasion of privacy?
Let's investigate why the relationships of this former couple are never destined to be truly their own and what it is about Rob and Kristen that make them perfect tabloid fodder.
#RobertPattinson and #KristenStewart might be people in their own right, but since the fateful day they signed their #Twilight contracts, they have taken on another identity that is much more important to many of their fans. That of #EdwardCullen and #BellaSwan, the star-crossed lovers who love happily-ever-afters and then some (because, you know, they're immortal.)
This heady tale of raging teenage hormones whipped up with vampire lore that is probably more realistic than it's depiction of romance captivated a young adult audience, and it looks like teenagers for years to come will continue to sink their teeth into the love story.
Rob and Kirsten representing these deeply beloved, emotive book characters caused the boundaries of fantasy and reality to become blurred for many fans — even before #Robsten was a thing — but when the pair actually got together things hit fever pitch.
When Fantasy Merges With Reality
When Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart became a real couple in a real relationship, the teenage dreams of many fans came true. Seeing the leading lovers of Twilight stepping out of the cinema screen into reality seemed to signify to many that the exciting tale of vampiric love and devotion was a real possibility. In short, there is no denying that Twilight spawned intense, creative feelings and strong attachments to the characters that have rubbed off on Rob and Kristen's real lives. Especially thanks to scenes like the one below:
In the press, Rob and Kristen's real names were interchangeable with those of their characters and this shift in Stewart and Pattinson's identity was readily played upon by the press. The idea of Bella and Edward being together in real life generated a lot more hype than framing the pair as two young actors who simply fell in love on set.
Although referring to actors as their character names might seem harmless, in the case of Rob and Kristen, it seems to have made their love lives prime tabloid fodder. A trend that doesn't seem to have changed much since the last Twilight movie in the series flew onto the silver screen four years ago in 2012.
The Burden Of Representation
They might not have asked for it explicitly, but both Rob and Kristen are laden with the burden of representing Bella and Edward for the rest of their lives.
Whenever fans pen a Twilight fan fiction or unpick the intricacies of Stephenie Meyer's story through fan theories, they will almost certainly be imagining both Rob and Kristen's faces.
Being so closely aligned with the characters in arguably the biggest teen romance story for decades is undoubtably the reason why numerous Robsten accounts exist on every platform from Tumblr to Twitter, desperate to keep the illusion that the couple are somehow still together alive. All this despite the fact that RPatz and KStew have been separated for over three years.
Obviously, this is an extreme faction, but the fact that there are "truthers" out there who genuinely believe that Rob and Kristen are secretly married and have a child can't be helpful for the development of both Pattinson and Stewart's post-Twilight love lives.
Obsession Leads To Conspiracy
After representing such totems of romance, Rob and Kristen's love lives continue to be seen as fair game, and perhaps more importantly, a plentiful click generator.
Websites such as Hollywood Life seem to have totally built themselves on the shaky foundations of Robsten relationship rumors thanks to the fervent fan-following both actor's have gathered.
No matter who Rob or Kristen are romantically involved with, it seems like they are media fair game for two reasons:
- Fans feel like they are going out with the wrong person and only Robsten is valid
- Fans feel somehow entitled to access to their love lives thanks to the attachment they formed with their Twilight characters.
The first point especially has led to some troubling racist or homophobic comments bubbling up on images featuring FKA Twigs, Alicia Cargile or Soko from those who do not see these partners as "worthy."
The latter, often fuelled by pure curiosity, means that many articles about Rob and Kristen's love lives will always generate a decent level of buzz, which means they continue to be written despite Twilight coming to an end. In the absence of vampires, people continue to crave a good love story, and Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart continue to provide that, whether they want to or not.