Mermaids Are the New Vampires – for Girls and Women
Sick of vampires? Been Twilighted beyond sense? Well, it looks like blood suckers are passé for a lot of female readers — they’ve been replaced by, of all things, mermaids!
According a couple of recent articles (and a mockumentary on Animal Planet, no less) we're seeing a new fascination with the legendary maids of the sea, particularly amongst women and YA fiction. Hell, according to an interview with USA Today last year, even Twilight supremo Stephenie Meyer is writing a book about ‘em.
According to Brenda Peterson, author of The Drowning World series, she doesn’t really understand the fascination with all that blood and “why a woman would want her life's blood drained away to spend her eternal life with a dead man”.
Mermaids practice more feminine power than most vampires. Like many female wild animals, mermaids choose their own mates. So mermaids are action heroes in their own rights; they are not just acted upon by dashing male vampires who recreate women in their undead image… Unlike the tragic, self-destructive Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Anderson's classic tale, our 21st century mermaids can live between sea and earth with style and pleasure. And unlike the vampire stories in which death or war are the main themes, mermaid myths focus most on romance and struggling to fit in – or not. For girls and women, adapting to our ever-changing roles and societal expectations, our focus on relationships is like shape-shifting. We are always in moral and romantic dilemmas, such as: How much do we change ourselves to be loved? In a global village, can we love The Other/The Outsider/The Forbidden?
And a quick search for ‘mermaids’ on Amazon brought up thousands of books about the mystical creatures — admittedly, for all ages, although there were hundreds listed in Romance and Teens, so it’s hard to dispute the fact.
So, are mermaids the NEXT BIG THING? I’d bet a lot of traditional publishers think so. We’re more than likely to see a number of new releases in the coming months based on the legends. Wanna bet what the next Twilight series is?
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