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Smitten to be bitten

Why do teenagers love Edward Cullen, the seductive and mysterious vampire?

india Updated: Jan 01, 2010 18:47 IST
Jayeeta Mazumder

Vampires are no more the shrivelled, pale white, ugly, bony creatures. They are attractive, desirable, and sought-after. At least, the fan following for Edward Cullen suggests so. Thanks to Stephenie Meyer’s detailing of vampires’ unexplored side that is supposed to evoke pathos as well as passion, girls are now going gaga over the otherwise abhorred things of the dark.

Ask any teenaged girl how she feels about the fictitious Edward and you’ll probably get the same answer. Aahana, 17, says, “I fell in love with him from the moment I began picturing him while reading the book. Of course, the fact that Robert Pattinson did full justice to the character in the film, and looked as ravishingly beautiful, took my love to a different level altogether. And no, I’m not scared by vampire stories now. I’d rather be bitten!”

“Meyer so beautifully justifies their existence and dilemmas that I would, perhaps, sympathise with their plight. You almost follow Edward like a scent yourself, as you read the books. He’s the ultimate seduction epitomised,” gushes a 19-year-old Jahnvi.

But how exactly does this seduction crush the violent proposition of being bitten? “You know you want to be like a Bella if you’re around an Edward. He’s so gorgeous! Where is the danger when you’re around him? A lot of us daydream about having vampire boyfriends,” giggles Ishita, 18, an avid reader of vampire books.

Dangerously irresistible
But why would girls fall for something as dangerous as vampires? Dr Anjali Chhabria, psychiatrist, explains, “The vampire in earlier movies were more about pain, violence and death. But with the new focus of the character, as shown in Twilight, the craze for vampires is understandable. It focuses more on eternal love and lovemaking rather than the vampires wanting sex. As girls believe otherwise that most boys only look for sex. The character of Edward not wanting to have sex is really different. The fact that relationships can develop and grow without a couple being physically involved is just amazingly fascinating.”

She adds, “Girls seem to love the fact that the man is putting the brakes on sexual activity. The vampire is also concerned with liberation and trying to overcome his or her evil ways, another theme that attracts youth. And most of all, the unknown has, and will always continue to fascinate us.”

Adrenaline rush
Chhabria agrees that vampires have a pull the way ‘bad boys’ do. “What appeals to women is the fact that he lives by his own rules, wears nice clothes, and is hated by millions.”

“The risk is what may actually be connected with seduction. So many times, we have heard of couples who enjoy making love in a prohibited environment like public toilets, flight rest rooms and open beaches, to name a few. It all involves an
adrenaline rush, which increases sexual urges,” adds Chhabria.

But does this sort of infatuation wear off? “Just as it is okay for a child to believe in fairy tales, it is okay if young adults are fascinated by vampires. But with age and time, they will be able to differentiate between fantasy and reality,” concludes Chhabria.

Why girls love ‘bad’ boys
* It’s never boring with them. They are unpredictable and exciting.
* They are strong, aggressive and self-assured. Girls feel safe with them.
* They are charming, smooth-talkers and passionate.
* They don’t come across as needy or desperate.
* It’s unbelievable that they can be with you when you know other girls desire them too.