On Friday I always like to do something a little random that maybe strays a way from the bookish beaten path and lets me express some of my other interests. So going along with my post the other day on The Hunger Games love quadrangle I thought I would show you guys a narrative nonfiction piece I did a while back on the cliches of YA media. Enjoy!
If YA contemporary authors are seriously writing from life experiences then I need to hop on that bandwagon. Think of how exciting it’ll be when four months after my sixteenth birthday, right when I think I’m doomed to my ho hum existence forever, a motorcycle riding, football playing, insightful, witty, piano playing prodigy moves into the house next door.
Of course he’s going to be gorgeous, how could he not be, with his piercing blue eyed stare, which is not too dark but not light enough that he’s mistaken for a cataracted nursing home patient when squinting across the rolling hills of California. Oh and don’t even get me started on his hair, it’s that perfect shade of blonde, not “I’m an albino!” but a wheat color that when the sun hits it just right it captures the sheer golden beauty of it. It also has the just right amount of waviness to it. Good thing too, wouldn’t want his otherwise perfect features being marred by Napoleon Dynamite’s hair. He’s so tall and with his manly broad shoulders, that the heroine’s sure to be crying onto two hundred pages into the book, she know he’s the one. Never mind the fact he’s also a moody, secretive jerk whom, might I add, has made it very clear he wants nothing to do with her even if she might be getting mixed signals from the glares he keeps sending her way as he looks down upon her from his perfect eyelashes.
LOL! We all know I’m joking, right? We all know this girl looks like a Swedish swimsuit model that even Tyra Banks would have a hard time finding fault with. She’s also adorkably clutzy, has no trouble coming up with one-liners that could land her on the Jimmy Kimmel show, quotes obscure “films” as she puts it, and has a heart of gold. Uh oh, guess what? Not only does this girl get Hottie #1, her lifelong best friend Hottie 2.0 is also pining for her, armed only with his geeky good looks and some emo, angst, love poetry to proclaim his undying love for her. By the sound of things enough boys are after her for a love octagon but there’s not enough tropes in the world for that. Oh the twisted web she weaves.
That’s not a story though, so the girl has to be a stalker and find out the horrible secrets that give aforementioned boy edge. Oh, but eventually they won’t be able to ignore their passionate love for each other and they’ll become an item much to the girl’s surprise because she’s so, you know, ugly.
Boy’s! So confusing am I right? Now that we’ve established the format, let me give you the hard-cold, honest, truth about how this story has led me to make many a heartbreaking discoveries. First off , I’m sure that at some point boys eventually become interesting people. From what I’ve seen though, sixteen is not that magical age. They get emotional over games happening hundreds of miles away, involving people they will never meet nor be emotionally invested in, that will be forgotten two days later. Contrary to popular belief I have never gotten that carried away over a pair of shoes, not even when they ran out of the Fergalicious five inch wedges in my size (and trust me, I really need that five inch boost). Second of all, I would never encourage dating a piano prodigy. Two words, symphony dates. I hate classical music, I hate the way it has no words, I hate the way you have to pretend to be “swept away by the sounds”, a boy who likes that is for a very special girl and you have to assume that that girl isn’t you. Also, two thumbs up for anyone brave enough to get on the motorcycle he is sure to drive, (is a Ford Fusion just not good enough anymore?). Considering I’m not always playing with a full deck anyways, a brain cell shattering motorcycle accident is the last thing I need in my life. As far as looks go, am I the only one who realizes most boys eyelashes are not long nor dark? They’re like short little stubs that by color alone look like belong on an albino. Really, they must suffer from CEPD (Compulsive Eyelash Pulling Disorder), a medically recognized condition I just coined. I give these girls credit though, it takes a lot of guts to keep following a strange boy into the wilderness after he’s repeatedly shot you down. I, first off, would’ve gotten lost a long time ago and have been taken in as the adopted daughter of a tribe/pack of wolves. Secondly, if anyone even says something to me in an annoyed tone of voice I’m off in the corner trying to brush my fragile ego back to life. So credit where credit is due, obviously there’s a reason I’ve never had a vampire affair of the heart. Hottie #1 has just had such a hard life it’s understandable why he’s “vulnerable” (he has five personalities and they’re all horrible in my opinion). Oh, but love conquers all!
Now to the leading lady, would it be so hard for them to make her look like a sea donkey for once? That would be refreshing because I’m sure most people have a lot more in common with a spunky, kind, sea donkey than they do with a pretentious (yes, I’m semi-aware that everything I’m saying is pretentious, cynical, and a little off putting but I swear it was an intentional representation of the declination of American society) perfect swimsuit model, which, by the way, they don’t even need in Sweden because, burr. Honestly it’s a little insulting. Also, to the untrained eye it might seem like I’m an ultra liberal, modern young woman with my head firmly out of the clouds. Deep down though I think we all have a part of us that wants all this to be true. Twilight is not a multi million dollar money maker because women have a weird stalking fetish, nor are male body sparkles considered attractive in most instances (trust me on this one, that market was dead before it even began). And that’s okay. You gotta admit though, it’s hard not to raise one cynical eye to all this, while I wink with the other.