Twilight by Stephanie Meyers?
Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber?
Blue Bloods by Melissa de La Cruz?
Heard of these titles? These are just an example of the rise of the vampire genre in recent literature and film. Popular among the youth, these books presents unique young characters catering to different types of teenagers. Unlike traditional vampire stories where vampires are blood-sucking epitome of evil, these new modern vampires are young teenagers discovering their self-identity and going through all the awkwardness and problems of a typical teenager boy or girl. Oh, plus dealing with immortality and dealing with inter species relationships. Of course.
As teenagers go through physical and emotional changes, they have to deal with new feelings and desires they have never felt before. They are often confused, full of anxiety, constantly focused on how they measure to those around them and always self-conscious as they try to form their own sense of self-identity. Unfortunately, outside of family influence, most of their identity gets formed through the peer pressures of school and the unrelenting media. The media fills their minds with images of what is cool, what is normal, and what is not. It helps mold their self-perception as they compare themselves with what they see on screen or read in books because that is what they perceive reality to be.
Each of these vampire stories cater to a different type of teenager. Twilight is catered to a wider audience and all awkward teenage girls and boys. Vampire Kisses is focused on the insecure teenager discovering herself. Blue Bloods cater to the fashion, shopping type. Regardless, the issues of peer pressure, discovering love, the anxieties of adolescent life is something the youth are drawn towards.
If you are interested in a small summary of each of these series and info on the main teenage character check out this article on vampire influences on self identification.
- Have you read any of these books?
- What is your take on the teenager characters?
- Are they good examples or bad examples?
- How do you think it is influencing the teenagers of today?
As with all media, the influx of a specific idea or belief in our culture begins to normalize it for those being exposed. Such is the case with these vampire books, they take problems that it is assumed teenagers are having and infuse them into flashy fictional characters. What is sad is that teenagers look to these books as examples of how to live their lives.
In Twilight, Bella Swan is described as a “plain” girl who falls in love with Edward, a vampire. Here a distinction is made between what is plain and what is cool. Teenagers begin analyzing themselves in this lens and begin to want to change who they are. In the book, Edward is described as almost perfect: he is respectful and protective. However, this fictional character creates lofty expectations for young girls and what they want out of relationships. If every teenage girl is looking for the “Edward Cullen” within their boyfriend, they will be sorely disappointed. It is books like these that continue to tell youth that they are incomplete without a boyfriend or girlfriend.
i agree the kids look up to these book only to be disapointed they show nearly perfect charecters that no one can look up to in reality. the actors are all junkies and not a good influence