Monday, October 26, 2009

The Vampire as Metrosexual

We're back from our hiatus with another entry from Mary Hallab, who's new book, Vampire God, is out now. Today Mary looks at what makes vampires so sexy these days—is it just because they're dead? Or is it because they're dead and they all seem to dress so well and have ridiculously over-moussed hair? We'll let Mary explain:

Is Edward, from Twilight, sexier because he is dead? Well, yes. Anyone can be charming and good looking, but what counts is being a vampire. Just being handsome is not enough, especially with that silly hairdo. Early folklore vampires, of course, were not looking to be sexy, and anyway, everyone in the neighborhood could recognize them when they appeared, usually bloated and smelly, and just as unpopular as they had been in life. Moreover, no vampire folklore has these village deviants living forever (just till their flesh decayed). Forever came with Romanticism and the literary vampires who had Satan on their side or who were pretty evil anyway. (And we all know how the wicked live forever.) Polidori made his vampire from Byron so he had to be supernaturally irresistible (as Byron supposedly was, to Polidori’s annoyance and that of a lot of other men down to the present). With Byron’s wicked charm and stunning good looks to draw on, most subsequent literary vampires lived longer and got sexier and better dressed. Well, except for poor Varney the Vampire in the nineteenth century; he was a more “realistic” vampire, ugly and stinky though properly dressed. He never could seem to get the girls. But then, they did not know he was an immortal (like a Greek god); he just did not have the pizzazz, and finally he gave up and immolated himself. When a guy gets to be a god, he just gets more desirable (and so do the gals, apparently, and bustier). If properly managed, immortality has all sorts of side benefits. Envy. Didn’t the Greeks envy their gods? Didn’t they feel awed and joyful to attract their good favor (most of the time when it was not fatal)? Didn’t it offer them some interesting opportunities? Didn’t it raise them and make them special? Isn’t this after all what Edward is doing for poor Bella Swan (and all the female audience)? Isn’t this what even Bela Lugosi did? Or Lestat? Isn’t this sexy?

Tune in for more later this week. Go back and read parts one and two as well.