I'm currently in the middle of watching Vampire Diaries for the first time and I'm enjoying the show so far. The reactions from my female friends and coworkers are generally positive; a guy point-of-view on the show is always welcome. However, a trend I've noticed is that most vampires are now compared to the Stephanie Meyer brand of vampire: the sparkle-y vegetarian virgin known Edward Cullen.
There are three names that always come into play when vampires are brought up: Lestat, Edward Cullen, and Damon Salvatore. (Lestat being Anne Rice's vampire in Interview With the Vampire.) It's from these three names that I noticed a trend:
- Edward Cullen is considered the weakest kind of vampire but the most romantic.
- Lestat is considered a more traditional vampire.
- Damon Salvatore is f*cking crazy. A good crazy, though.
The trend is also generational. I noticed the older women in my office tend to bring up Bram Stoker's Dracula or The Lost Boys. These are generally considered to be good vampire movies, but the more realistic of the two is Bram Stoker's version, not the one with Vampire Kiefer Sutherland.
My personal favorite vampire is Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The bad guy turned good guy turned bad guy given a soul kind of vampire. But even bringing up Spike brings us back to the comparison to Edward Cullen.
So why the f*ck is Edward Cullen the comparison point for all vampires? Why is he the golden standard that all other vampires must now be held up to? I realized the answer while talking to a friend about Angel.
If you're a boy: chances are you're comparing vampires to Edward Cullen because you don't consider him a good vampire (or a vampire at all, as I'm finding out).
If you're a girl: you're comparing vampires to Edward Cullen based off of the romance factor (you might even consider him to be a terrible vampire).
So it's not that the comparison is a positive one, it's actually negative. Edward Cullen isn't being held up as the Perfect Vampire Standard by most of the population: he's being compared to all other vampires because he's considered the worst vampire.
The next time you're in a conversation about vampires take note of the fact that Edward Cullen is brought into the fold in a negative light, and that he's compared to both traditional vampires and the new age vampires. The comparison is not used on Lestat or Damon or Spike. The conversation will always focus around the Cullens and Twilight. Fascinating, right?
And those are my thoughts for this week's why the f*ck friday. Feel free to dispute me or berate me below. I enjoy hearing the bookish and nerdy thoughts of others.
Note: I'm not trying to bash Twilight. And I do not consider Edward Cullen the worst vampire (that honor goes to the character Sex Machine in From Dusk Till Dawn).