It’s time to talk about a fantasy trope that I absolutely hate – immortal men falling in love with teenage girls.
Yeah, I’m pointing at you, my beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I understand the trope from the point of view of marketing to teenage girls. What girl doesn’t want to feel like she is the special one? After so many years/centuries of longing, she is the only one who he can truly love. Because, of course, she is Not Like Other Girls. But what do the guys get out of it?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, there is the idea that men only really want young female bodies. Whatever. But what else is the appeal? What frame of reference would you have for discussion? She’s talking about when she got her first cell phone as a kid and he talks about his first time seeing electricity? She’s just discovering the true ways that people interact with each other and he remembers finding that out back in 1482. It’s all old news to him.
I work with people who are all about 25 years younger than me. The other day they were talking about a cover of a song done by Miley Cyrus. My soul was ripped out of my body and stomped on when I realized that they were talking about a cover of a cover of a cover of Bryan Adams’ Heaven, which is one of the fundamental texts of my 1980s teen years. They weren’t familiar with it. If 25 years makes for a lack of common references, imagine what 250 years would do.
The power dynamic is all off too. He would likely have more money, way more life experience, more connections. Teenage girls don’t know much of anything about real life yet.
I love paranormal romance and urban fantasy with romantic elements but I’d love to see more same-age relationships.