The Strange Popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey has broken records, made British author E.L. James an almost “overnight” success millionaire and it’s first two instalments have been adapted into equally successful films.

How is Fifty Shades of Grey Popular? JK Rowling QuoteHowever, it’s perplexing to most people how this has happened. The book and movies have an equal amount of horrific reviews and controversy. The writing of the book alone is laughable. The dialogue is cringe-worthy and the amount of typos is a disgrace to publishing.

The relationship which is the main plot point of the story is widely criticised for its abusive nature and the real BDSM community has condemned the inaccurate portrayal of their lifestyle. It has been called dangerous as a representation of the Dominant-Submissive relationship and has caused worldwide protest. Even the films stars don’t seem 100% comfortable with the whole situation they are now in.

But, I think the most obvious reason this work of fiction should not be at all popular is the fact that it is a Twilight Fan-Fiction!

As I wrote last week (Link Here) I was a hardcore Twilight Fan in the heights of its fandom and I have no probable with fan-fiction as a way to show your appreciation for a certain; book, movie, tv show etc. However, I have to say that to publish a fan-fiction I feel is very unethical especially on the part of the author of said fan-fiction.

It’s incredibly obvious that Fifty Shades of Grey is a Twilight hybrid of sorts, even in the film adaptation. Stephanie Meyer although not the best writer should be very upset that this woman has made money by taking her work, changing the names and then throwing some sloppy sex scenes in the mix. That’s just lazy and insulting.

So why is it so popular?

Could it be that sex sells? The amount of unnecessary sex in non-erotic movies is definitely evidence in support of this statement but considering the somehow unsexy weirdness of this erotic novel;  “I found some baby oil. Let me rub it on your behind.” “Christian squirts baby oil onto his hand and then rubs my behind with careful tenderness — from makeup remover to soothing balm for a spanked ass, who would have thought it was such a versatile liquid.” 

I really doubt that’s all it was.

The obvious connection with Twilight could be a factor. The first book was released a year before the last Twilight movie and there was a large group of “Twilight Moms” who would have been a built-in audience for this more adult book.

Or was it the insanity of the fact that this was even a published book that led to an accidental success of a disaster of a book. A joke gone too far perhaps? 

However, the best reason I can conjure up is the classic formula that was ripped from Twilight and many other books. The Mary Sue chapter meets an extraordinary but flawed man that worships her. Th internalised misogyny that is beat into women within popular society draws women into this blank female character that needs a man to be the person she needs to be.

Fifty Shades of Grey capitalised on a ready made formula m mixed in a cauldron of rotten society with a splash of poorly written sex scenes and writing that has Mary Shelley spinning in her grave.

E.L.James took a popular narrative and added the thrill of a dark side of sex that most of her readers would never dare to go near even in her very bad representation of the lifestyle.

My conclusion, if you want to get into erotica shop around, don some research and stay the fuck away from glorified sellout published fan-fiction if you want accurate depictions of sex and relationships.

Thanks for reading




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