Kate Beckinsale and Worlds of Darkness – Vampire Verisimilitude

Fair warning: I can’t believe I’m still dwelling on this.

It has become apparent to me that you cannot be taken seriously as a female Vampire in book lit (or anywhere else) unless you dress like a Victorian corpse who died of consumption…or maybe a pierced tattooed thug in heavy eye makeup with ankh jewelry and quasi-street rubber/leather New Religion goth clothing.

Or — you know — you happen to look like Kate Beckinsale.

KateBeckinsaleVampiresDon’t get me wrong: I like her, too. She’s gorgeous in a timeless way, looks bad-ass whenever she wants, and you WANT to believe in the character she’s playing. Yet at the same time, she’s a walking undead cliché: perfect dark hair, pale skin, the ethereal blue supernatural contacts, the custom-leather corset (accentuating whatever you have to work with) and, well, just all of it.

* bangs head on desk *

Here’s the problem: NONE of this makes any sense. Who makes up all this stuff? “LadyVamps R Us?” Maybe Blade has an excuse (“He makes the weapons; I use ’em.”) but where’s the sweat shop of old gypsies stamping leather for the Underworld Vampire lords and death dealers?

Xombie NephthysHere’s the truth: anyone can be a Vampire (assuming you survive the transformation), so Vampires can look like anyone; “True Blood” got this right. We should WANT to look like “anyone.” We need real living human blood to sustain us — blood that can’t have been outside of a body for more than an hour — so a source must be kept close by, and willing donors are always preferred to unthinkably trying to maintain a fully stocked dungeon. Never mind that the whole undead Cleopatra look attracts the worst donors: mortals who just want to become immortal.

Tattoos and piercings? Oops…Vampires HEAL. That’s right; subdermal ink and flesh holes go away. I have to re-pierce my ears every single time I want to wear a pair; the holes close as soon the posts come out and are outright ejected whenever I rest.

Back to Underworld: who builds all their little underground blood bank safe-houses with the fully stocked weapons cabinets? Who keeps those places sterile and so spotlessly CLEAN? Ghouled slaves? Island Fortress Cleaning Services?

Dracula never had to put up with this kind of disrespect. Then again, he was originally EVIL.

So the next time you’re watching a supernatural television show or horror movie where “the too-cool Vampire girl” walks on-screen (and it’s ALWAYS a girl because, according to writers, no self-respecting lady Vampire would ever want to look like a mature woman) just remember: real Vampires can and do look like anyone. Just because you rise from the dead doesn’t mean a mysterious crate arrives from France full of dark makeup, clothing, and smoke machines to celebrate becoming a creature of the night.

Nor do you rise knowing expert martial arts fighting skills — but that’s a rant for another night.

Keep each other safe.

~ Janiss

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