Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New Kind of Diva

I’ve noticed in the many YA books I skim through, there’s
the same sort of mean girl character who visits every one of them—no matter the genre. You know, the head cheerleader, built like a Victoria Secret Android, who lives to make the likeable girl-next-door’s life a living hell, just because her Ex starts sniffing at her?

Cliches can be fun, when done in a campy sort of way, but when overdone, they’re just plain one-dimensional and boring, only because we’re tired of seeing the same character play the same part. Why not give the understudy a chance at being a new kind of diva?

So, I started thinking how would an author fashion the new diva and make her more palatable for today’s reader who’s bored of Evil Barbie trying to take over high school. Then, as synchronicity would have it, I read the same Yahoo article I’m sure all of you have been reading ad nauseum, by now. The one about Beyonce and Jay-Z taking over the hospital to have their baby event.
"Her baby Diva couldn't come into this world inhaling cheap hospital air, could she?"
I was glued to the melodrama and BAM…the bells and whistles went off in my head. Beyoncee is loveable, gorgeous and uber talented. Everyone, including Obama, is enamored of her. And yet, here she is on her maternity day, showing up with her militia of bodyguards, demanding all cell phones be banned and covering up security camera lenses on HER wing! And let's not forget the million dollar suite she reserved. Her baby Diva couldn't come into this world inhaling cheap hospital air, could she?

A new dad, visiting his premature baby in the intensive care unit was stopped three times because Beyonce’s peeps were walking through the corridor. So here we have the good girl gone bad. But, what’s really interesting is, she’s not REALLY bad. She’s just a little polluted by the uncontrollable machine that is Hollywood.

What’s interesting is I’m certain Jay-Z and Beyonce don’t believe they acted inappropriately, or perhaps they didn’t see any alternative to dealing with the potentially lethal intrusiveness of paparazzi. From their point of view, they’re just reacting to the unmanageable zoo that has become their lives. But from our perspective, we see their behavior as quintessential diva.

I don't know about you, but I'd really love to see a YA author explore such diva-layered complexities. Or…perhaps I'll one day take a page out of my own blog and create her, myself!


Rebecca Royce said...

I was thinking about this Beyonce Jay-Z thing today too. I bet you could create that Diva. You write so beautifully.

Rebecca Royce said...

So glad to have you with us, BTW

Kimber An said...

Oh, yeah, I love the mean girl cliche.

I poke fun at her in my stories. Here's some lines between the heroine, Ophelia, a geek and her fashionista twin sister from the next book, 'Blood, Dark and Sweet'

Bianca: "Oh, dog, Maya was right. There really are Katelyns in every damn school in the country! Haven't you found that cloning facility and nuked it yet?"

Ophelia: "Working on it."

The really freaky thing is studying anthropology and understanding the biology and pyschology of it all, and how a troup of baboons is so much like high school.

There really is a Katelyn (an adolescent alpha female wannabe) in every school in the country and it's all a part of girls working out the social hierarchery for the first real time in their lives.

They're not always blond though! Remember Cordelia in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer?' She was a brunette.

I'm not really interested in delving into the dynamic much, except as comic relief. But, anyone else who wants to, just make sure you do your homework! There's a lot more to teenage drama than meets the eye. Be sure to do it justice or the readers will find you out!

TraceyLPacelli said...

[Haven't you found that cloning facility and nuked it yet?"]

@Kimber An: Classic--lol

@Rebecca Thanks for the warm welcome! Happy to be among such talent...:)