Thursday, November 05, 2009

if you think sparkling skin is cheesy...

I totally agree!!! But then I found myself challenged by a well written analysis of the sparkly-skin thing, and the evolving nature of the vampire myth (and really, all myths).

Oh wait, I'm talking about Twilight again for those who are thinking this is Very Random.

But it does make me re-evaluate why I thought that was such a silly part of the story, that the non-humans (vampires) should *sparkle.* Even that word sounds so DUMB, right? Glitter, sparkle? As the author of the above blog post suggests, maybe that's because those words makes us think of little girls and all the crap that's been marketed to them, and it seems utterly incompatible with what's supposed to be a fantasy-driven, strong, makes-my-bosom-heave male character. In that sense, having Edward sparkle is maybe a little revolutionary.

[sidebar: So, maybe we should own the sparkle!!! Hell, I wore enough of that stuff as a teen. Even in college, I was known to throw it on now and then. I went to an eye appt and the student dr called in his senior supervisor to look at a square in my eye. The dr looked, pushed aside the eye-inspector thing, raised and eyebrow and said, "Wear glitter often?" Busted.]

But let's keep it real, other aspects of that character are right in line with the slightly obsessive romantic tendencies of some seventeen year olds, both male and female. Meyer doesn't save her characters from sexist pitfalls-- Edward makes a lot of decisions for Bella, does a lot of "saving," is confounded when there's an aspect of her he can't know/overpower/control (he can't read her thoughts, though he can everyone else's).

The other point this author makes is that the vampire myth is, in fact, allowed to change and evolve, as all myths do. S/he points out that the original vampire myth didin't have their skin burning in sunlight; that was introduced later, apparently. That's an important reminder-- stories and myths are continually changing. What urban legend stays the same, even when passed around by email? People change details and add embellishments, and that's part of the mechanism of story telling.

The sparkly skin distracted me a lot, and I totally appreciate this analysis of WHY that might be.