August 30, 2012

You Get The Picture: Don’t be so quick to join the bandwagon

By Magen McCrarey
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — For those of you who have graduated from the Twilight Saga and have begun flipping madly through the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey, I believe you must look closer than the black print for your objective in reading such literature.

I am guilty of reading the long drawn-out saga about reclusive vampires and a teenager searching for love in a dangerous place.  While reading this vampire-romance novel, I was a bored, naive teenager, and quite entertained to be honest.  I was already a fan of dark and mysterious vampire films and wished to live in the Pacific Northwest, which is where the story takes place.

Although, by the time I reached the third book, I realized something — the lead female character, Bella, is very insecure.  Not to mention, the lead male character is 104 years old and swoons over the naive 17-year-old.  I became annoyed but finished out the book because of my commitment to the series.

My objective in reading was to fulfill my summer boredom and discover what all the hype was about.  After finding out, I wasn’t impressed and saddened that I wasted my time on such degrading literature for teenagers, especially females.  Stephanie Meyer tried to depict Bella as a stubborn and strong heroine, but failed to instill any family values in the literature for readers — even though the main character ends up becoming a mother herself.

Meyer was the beginning of the hype for female romance literature that snowballed into what many are reading now by E.L. James.  The erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, is once again set in the Pacific Northwest and is dark to say the least.  This piece of work, I have not read — nor will I ever — but have only scanned over bits and pieces.  Apparently, 40 million women worldwide already have read the book, in addition to the friends they have shared it with, I am sure.

What exactly is intriguing about a submissive college girl that gets everyone so worked up?  From friends, I’ve heard that it is a great love story, although, they do feel a little ashamed about the sexual content they have to thumb through to discover the “real” love story.  My word of advice — if you are ashamed of something you are reading, you have the option to put it down.

Public libraries have even removed copies of the book from their shelves because of its content but, due to public demand, they had to put them back.  The fan-base demographic for the book is composed largely of married women, college-age women and even teenage girls.  

Maybe there is not enough good literature out there to choose from that offers a moral attitude, or maybe females feel empowered by a racy, private relationship.  If that empowers women, then perhaps we should take a closer look at why 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.  Where do our morals lie as a country, or individually?

If you’re reading for the sake of boredom, take a better look at the literary choices you make before you dive in.  If you’re reading for an escape into a sexually immoral relationship, take a look at your own objective in doing so.  The lead character’s name in this new series is Christian, but there’s nothing Christian about it — it’s all grey.