Vampires have made a media revival in recent years with popular television shows, films and novels including True blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries and Twilight and heap more. Additionally, the dominant fan-base for the modern vampire genre has shifted to teenagers. They can’t get enough of the stuff. However, the resurgence of the well-liked vampire genre raises questions about the cultural implications on their primary audience.
So what is it about teenagers and vampires?
The positioning of vampires in modern media shows them trying to integrate themselves into society – resisting their blood thirst to kill and generally just trying to fit in at Forks High or Merlotte’s Bar and Grill. Within these fictitious yet relatable settings, the vampire’s hunger for true love prevails along with their desire as a minority to be accepted in their community. In this light, it is notable that the primary motivations for the vampire antagonists form parallels with teenager’s desires for romance and to be accepted for themselves.
The highly sexually charged narratives also focus on vampires enforcing self-control in order to resist their intense and instinctive blood lust to kill (which would ultimately end in devastation). Could this not be a metaphor for teenagers to resist their firsthand sexual desires in order to avoid catastrophe? Or in Twilight’s case, until after your Mormon wedding…
A research paper titled, ‘The Resurgence of Vampires and Vampires in Fan Discourse in Contemporary Popular Culture’ tells, “Despite the characters’ love and desire for their mortal beloved, their protracted struggle to suppress the desire and resist the temptation of bloodlust to protect their partners from harm is implicitly encouraging teenagers who are experiencing their first stirrings of desires, to employ self-control on dangerous sexual and aggressive impulses”.
Another present similarity between vampires and their teenage fans is the longing to break away from their disguise or protective shell to be accepted, fit in amoungst their peers whilst maintaining their own identity within society.
It is all just a self recognising, coming of age, sexy blood bath really.
Anyway, here is Buffy kicking Edward’s stone cold but.
Buffy vs Edward: Twiilight Remix (original version)
Video sourced from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZwM3GvaTRM