Teens Go Gaga Over Vampires: Its Causes and Effects Abstract This article will identify and discuss the reasons why teenagers are obsessed with vampires and what effects does it have on them. Study shows that this obsession has a great impact on both the teenager as an individual and to the people who surround her. The researcher studied and investigated the topic by finding different articles, essays, data and surveys from different sources in the Internet, as well as reading some vampire novels herself.
The survey conducted by the researcher was among teenagers aged 14 to 16 who are Filipinos. All the research done about what cause this obsession came to one particular conclusion. Teens are obsessed and are addicted with vampires because they happen to fall in love with the vampire’s characteristics, some value the vampire’s physical appearance, while others take notice of the vampire’s romantic actions. This obsession has a lot of effects to our society today, both positive and negative.
Teens Go Gaga Over Vampires: Its Causes and Effects Vampire, the word itself says it all. Even though the term vampires was not made known to people before the 18th century, most people agree that vampires originated long ago during the prehistoric times in many different cultures that are related to vampires (Betonio, 2011). Many choose to believe that vampires are just myths that only exists in people’s minds and imagination.
Many also believe in the existence of vampires in our world, that they are not just myths and stories, but are real. People even classified vampires according to their kind. According to Agnes Embile Jimenez (2008), there is the Danag, which is a Filipino vampire known originally as a harmless vampire who helps the humans in their livelihood until one day when the Danag sucked all the blood out from a woman whose finger was wounded.
There is the Romanian Varacolaci, who is described as a powerful undead being who has the ability to morph into a beautiful human. There is the very fast vampire from Slovakia who is called as the Nelapsi. Last but not the least, there is the Italian vampire, the Stregonibenefici, who is said to belong to the good side and is an enemy to all other vampires who do not side with the good.
Some additional kinds of vampires from Sarah Todd (2008) are the Lilith, a Hebrew demon, who drinks the blood of a baby; the African vampire, the Adze, who drinks coconut milk, palm oil and blood and who appears as a firefly but turns human-like once captured; the Impundulu or the Lightning Bird, who is a giant bird who has the ability to turn into a handsome man to lure women whose blood they will consume; the Asanboam who lives in trees and flies down whenever they see a possible prey; the Ramanga who were originally human but evolved eventually due to the nail parings they eat and the sucking of their master’s lost blood; Jiang Shi, the Chinese vampire, who is made when the soul dead cannot escape its body; and the Caribbean vampire Loogaroo, a female vampire. In literature, the first major work about vampires is the short German poem, The Vampire, which was written by Heinrich August Ossenfelde in 1748. The first example of a vampire who has no choice to be one and loathes himself is Varney from the epic book, Varney the Vampire, which was written by James Malcolm Rymer in 1845. Carmilla, written by Sheridan le Fanu in 1872, was the first book with an erotic vampire. The story was about a heroine seduced by a female vampire whose blood was later drunk by the vampire. In 1897, the famous Dracula by Bram Stoker was published.
Bram Stoker mixed death, blood, and sex with medieval vampire myths and vampire stories that are present during his days. After almost half of a century, Richard Mattheson wrote the book I am Legend where the story revolves around a post-apocalyptic age where vampirism is a disease. This was often called as the first modern vampire novel. In 1975, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King was introduced to the world. King made the 20th century Maine as the setting of the story. After a year, the most famous Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice changed the whole concept of vampires. Vampire Chronicles featured vampires who are romantic and are the opposite of how they were first introduced (Laming, n. . ). In the year 2005, Stephenie Meyer published the phenomenal Twilight, the first book to the epic series that gave birth to billions of vampire-addicted teens and tweens in the 21st century. It all started when Meyer dreamt of a scene in 2003 wherein a handsome young vampire was talking to an ordinary human girl. After having this dream, she decided to make a story out of it. After many sleepless nights and countless instances where she wanted to give up, she still continued on working. And all that work finally paid off when that dream finally became Twilight. Twilight is about a story of two individuals who fell in love with each other.
The difference it makes from other love stories is that Twilight is a love story between a human and a vampire, specifically Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. Bella Swan was just an ordinary girl, but to Edward Cullen, she was the most exquisite thing he has ever seen in his 104 years of existence. He treated her better than how he treated anyone else, even himself. He loved her like there is nothing else to love. He made her his reason for living. All these were perfectly described in the book. As someone who was able to read about their love story, who would not fall in love with this mythical being. Edward Cullen was the reason why teenage girls are obsessed with vampires today. Edward Cullen was the cause for this century’s cult-like vampire fans.
This obsession has great effects to the lives of those teenagers who are addicted to these vampires. Because vampires in novels, movies and television show nowadays tend to have better qualities than humans that attract teens, specifically girls, causing them to be obsessed and to be addicted to the vampires. Teenage girls say that they like these vampires because of their characteristics. Discussion Vampires is novels, movies and television are already given a brand new image by authors these days which is based on the 19th century European Vampires (Rhoads, 2007). These authors do not describe them as how vampires were originally introduced.
The word vampire itself is also associated with the word vamp, which means a woman who uses her charms or wiles to seduce and exploit men as a noun, and to practice seductive wiles on as a verb (Merriam-Webster, 1999). Instead of giving them a horrifying image, they gave them an image that everyone would want for themselves. Before the year 2000, most people still refer to vampires as monsters who seduce their prey who drain their prey’s blood afterwards even though the image of vampires in literature started to change as early as the 19th century. They also describe vampires as creatures who are scared of any kind of light because light may hurt them and may make them vanish into nothing. This description also came to the theory that vampires only attack during night, sleep in coffins and live in very dark places.
Physically, they were described as creatures who have fangs as their teeth, powder-white skin and who wears black robes, which make them look like they are black and white. It is also said that vampires are cold-skinned because they are already considered as lifeless beings who continue to live despite the fact they do not have blood flowing inside of them. In 2005, when Twilight was published, vampires were described differently altogether. In almost all books published after 2005, proceeding Twilight, vampires are described as “beautiful people”. Vampires are described as more human-like, without fangs for their teeth, and even vary in skin color. They do not die nor do they age.
Though they still drink blood, because this is what makes them a vampire, authors like Stephenie Meyer described her main characters, the Cullens to be exact, as “vegetarian vampires” or vampires who do not drink human blood but drinks animal blood as a substitute. While Twilight features vegetarian vampires, Blue Bloods still have vampires who drink human blood, but in a different manner. Even though they drink human blood, they do not drain the humans, they just drink a bit of the human’s blood to sustain their lives; they are prohibited to drink all the blood a human has. They even have a name for this event, “Caerimonia Oscular” or more popularly known as the “sacred kiss”.
The humans from whom they drink blood are called their “human familiars”, and once they drink from a human, that human will be physically attached to the vampire. In other words, that human will fall in love with the vampire who drank from them. Most of these characteristics are found in almost all vampires today, some are even found in novels that involve fallen angels. Some of these famous vampires are Schuyler van Alen and Jack Force from the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz, Zoey from P. C. Cast’s House of Night Series, Elena Gilbert from Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith and of course, Edward Cullen from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.
Besides the characteristics of these vampires, they make a great impact to the people who surround them. Another factor that attracts teenagers to them is how they treat those that they love and care for, and how those they love feel about them as well. Presently, many authors continue to write love stories about vampires, even though they were thought as heartless monsters who do not have the ability to love before. In books, vampires love differently from humans, which is why humans fall in love with them. Vampires treat the one that they love like he or she is the last being in the whole world. They will do anything for the one that they love, even though it is the hardest thing that they will ever do.
They would want to die if they found out that the one that they love is now dead. They will want everything that is the best for the person they love. They will respond very quickly and would want to answer “yes” all the time. They will sacrifice anything just to keep the one they love safe from danger. Most importantly, they will never look at or be interested in someone else other than the person that they love; they will always remain faithful and would love unconditionally. Though the way that a vampire loves is incomparable, no one should belittle how a human loves the vampire who loves him or her as well. Since they are just humans, they sometimes get confused about who they really love.
But even so, they will still realize that the one that they truly love is the vampire who loves them. They become obsessed about their vampire “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”. They want to spend every minute with the one that they love. They become attached to these vampires. Some would even agree to let the vampire drink their blood. Of course, they would also want to die for the safety of the person that they love. Since humans in novels, books, movies and television shows are already obsessed and addicted to these vampires, teenage girls who gets a chance to read these books or watch these shows and movies also get obsessed with the vampires featured in each.
They say that they like these vampires because of their supernatural abilities, their physical appearance, which they describe as “hot”, their immortality, the forbidden love that the vampire and human has, and the butterflies that these vampires send to their stomachs. The attitude that humans in novels and movies have toward these vampires is still acceptable since they exist in the same world. The unhealthy thing for these teenage girls is that they become obsessed with these vampires even though they already know that they are just fictional characters and that they do not exist in real life. Because of everything about these vampires, teenagers become addicted to them.
Some even say or admit that they have already fallen in love with these vampires. As they are addicted to these vampires, most do not even have the slightest idea of what effects this obsession has on them. Some say that it affects them positively, but they fail to admit that those positive effects cannot be compared to the negative effects it has on them. Some positive effects or benefits this obsession can cause them to love reading books. If they loved reading the first book, they will continue on reading the following books in the series; and if they already read the whole series, they will continue to read other series that have the same qualities they loved in the first series that they read.
Reading these novels will help them broaden their vocabulary and enhance their skills in English. It will also develop their patience and concentration. With benefits, there will always be side effects. The negative effects that this obsession has on teens are greater than the benefits it has. Firstly, because of their addiction, they forget to prioritize. They do not set their priorities straight and tend to give importance to those things that do not really need importance then forgetting about the things that really matter. They also forget about the real issues in their lives. They get stuck up on this “vampire world” of theirs. They never think of anything else besides these vampires.
There are also those who think that it is good to be obsessed with your boyfriend or girlfriend just like what Twilight tells them (McCarthy, 2009). Some also become insecure of themselves because of the way the vampires are described. They also never get contented of what they have and would wait for a better one, a perfect one, just like how the vampires are stated in books. As Wyck Godfrey (n. d. ), director of Twilight, accidentally said, “There’s a huge amount of danger in this movie [Twilight]. There’s also just the excitement of a teenager doing things that are verboten. These are things that people connect to. And not just girls; I think that guys will discover it’s dangerous, there’s action, there’s a thriller element to it, and then, ultimately, that it’s cool to be a vampire. Another negative effect this obsession has on teens is that they bite, cut and suck blood from themselves. Though this is far from being true, it really does happen. This problem was even included in an article from consumer reports entitled “10 Troubling Teen Trends” by Dr. Orly Avitzur(n. d. ). These are just some of the common effects of this addiction to the teenagers as individuals, and most of them do not even realize it. But this obsession does not only affect these teenagers, but also all the people who surround him or her. If they do not realize what effects this obsession has on them, how more can they realize the effects it has to their society, community or family.
Parents, siblings, other family members, teachers, classmates, friends and others admit that they are also affected by obsession that teenagers have on vampires. Parents say that their children who get addicted to theses vampires bring nothing but trouble to them, especially to Christian families. First, because of this obsession, teenagers waste their time reading these nonsense books and watching these nonsense movies, leaving no amount of time for them to study or do their home works or projects. Before reading these books, they would buy them, and when these books are adapted into movies, they will surely watch them, wasting a lot of money.
Some parents also admit that their children tend to follow these vampires. To Christian families, it has greater effects since the Bible stated that those who drinks blood and claims to be vampires are committing a sin against God (Goodwyn, n. d. ). You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meat of strangles animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. Acts 15:29 (Zondervan, 1983) Siblings and friends are also influenced by this obsession. If the teenager who is obsessed with vampires is older than his or her siblings, the younger siblings would follow the older sibling and would end up addicted to vampires as well.
The same principle goes with the individual’s friends; they also follow what their friend does. There are also individuals who get addicted to vampires as well because of wanting to fit in. Some individuals who do not know anything about these vampires moreover are fascinated by them, say that they are bothered by the obsession teenagers have on these supernatural beings. They say that they do not like going to malls whenever a new vampire movie comes out, like Twilight, because the mall gets too crowded. Consumers, like the teenagers, take these productions positively because they do not know what they are in for. Because the consumers continuously accept these offers, producers keep on producing them.
The only positive outcome of this obsession is to the producers. This obsession is the source of their income. Due to this obsession, they get huge amounts of profits in producing vampire-affiliated shows, books, films or even products that feature the pictures of these vampires. Almost all are aware of the continuing growth of the population of teenagers who are addicted or obsessed with this kind of literature. Some may benefit from it but most just suffer from it. Some say that this obsession is almost like a mental illness wherein everyone, from children to adults, rich or poor, is a candidate. The teenager’s obsession on vampires is becoming a severe case in our society today.
They even have terms like OCD, which stands for Obsessive Cullen Disorder or OVD, which means Obsessive Vampire Disorder If drug addiction, alcoholism, casino addiction and cigarette smoking can be cured through therapy in rehabilitation centers, vampire obsession most certainly can be cured. It’s all in the matter of the mind. If you are obsessed with something, you can’t help but spending almost all of your time doing things related to your obsession. You should start taking small steps towards your goal. Try to do some other stuff that does not have anything to do with vampires. Think of other things or do things which will occupy your mind so that you will forget about the vampires first.
Slowly do these things until you know that you are already “cured” from your disorder (Patrick, n. d. ). Parents and other people who surround the individual should also show their support. They should also be with the individual every step of the way. This will help in boosting the individual’s confidence that he or she can do it. Parents and friends should also comfort the individual whenever he or she is having a breakdown. If it can be cured, then it surely can be prevented. If you realize or happen to observe that you are beginning to have a different view, a better one, about these vampires, you might be starting to become obsessed or addicted to them. You should stop as early as you realize this.
If you continue on reading books about them or watching movies where they are portrayed, you will get addicted to them in no time. Once you become addicted, it will take a long process before you will be able to totally get rid of your addiction. Preventing this addiction will also need your concentration. You should concentrate about your goal. You should stop yourself from anything that tempts you to read those books or watch those films and shows again. Of course, just like in curing this addiction, parents should always be there for the individual and should be very supportive. Parents should say that they are proud that their child knows how to stop his or her self. The obsession teens have on these ictional vampires found in literature has a lot of different effects both to them and to the society. Even though some may benefit from this obsession, those benefits cannot be compared to the numerous negative effects it has to the individual and to his or her surroundings, especially to the individual’s parents, siblings and friends. It is encouraged that teenagers should start dealing with their obsession as it may lead to a condition which is much more worse than what they have now. People who are surrounding the individual should know how to give their support and encouragement, especially parents. References Avitzur, O. (n. d. ). 10 troubling teen trends.
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