Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Textual Poaching through T-Shirts

I am going to be honest; I am not quite familiar with the current phenomenon of the Twilight movies. However, I am not blind to the amount of cultural products that were generated by this series. One thing that comes to mind is the whole “Team Edward” (the vampire) and “Team Jacob” (the werewolf) t-shirts. This reminds me of textual poaching as defined by Michel de Certeau, where “viewers of popular culture can ‘inhabit’ that text by negotiating meanings through it and creating new cultural products in response to it, making it their own” (76). Despite the frenzy created by Robert Patterson, each individual viewer can choice to identify with either the vampire or the werewolf. In doing so, they want to response to others that dislike their “team”—whether vampire or werewolf—and so they where these t-shirts, which are quite personal items. They make this fictional text their own by responding and declaring to the world which “team” they are on.

If I remember correctly, these t-shirts were first made popular by Perezhilton.com. These t-shirts were generated out of the Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie fallout. By wearing these t-shirts, viewers can response to the controversy as they take a personal stance for either team. That was a few years ago, but I think Perez is still selling these t-shirts with team names for other controversial stories in celebrity gossip.

T-Shirt for the Jon & Kate (for the show Jon & Kate Plus 8) controversy:

From the Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez controversy, where Miley Cyrus made fun of Selen Gomez on Youtube:


  1. This is definitely a genius idea... I remember all the way back when there used to be "Team Kristen" and "Team LC" shirts from the MTV show Laguna Beach! Deff a great way to advertise for the shows and bring in revenue!

  2. These are great ways to publicize these shows and their feuds. And it's kind of funny how now everything can be turned into a popularity contest.