Bella Swan from Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ series has to be the character who has earned the right to my utmost hatred. From the beginning, when 12 year old Alif first read Twilight, I’ve hated her. Not because she embodies every value I hate in the world, but because she acts like she doesn’t. When she first encounters Edward, Bella tries to convince herself that she doesn’t need a man, and that it’s okay to be a single independent woman, and then goes against that and ‘falls in love’ with Edward Cullen.
I have a burning hatred for the entire Twilight series in general—and the film adaptations. To quote Holden Caulfield “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t mention them to me.”
Okay, I’m going to ignore the fact that Twilight Breaking Dawn Part I is basically a two hour long pro-life vs. pro-choice debate with everyone telling Bella to abort her baby and her refusing because she wants it to live. In my honest opinion (and keep in mind that I am pro-choice 100%) there was a 99% that giving birth to the baby was going to kill her (and we all know what a tragedy that would have been!)—but this girl decides to keep the baby. There was also a defining moment in the film, where the vampire-to-be inhabiting Bella’s womb is referred to as a “Fetus,” and she responds with “It’s a baby.” If I recall correctly, I paid my money so I could poke fun at every little thing and most likely get escorted out of the theatre, I did not pay money to watch a debate on abortion. If I wanted that I could have easily just walked into my school and shouted ‘Abortion! Yay or Nay?’ down the hall. (Well, so much for ignoring it).
But that’s not all I hate about the Twilight series. The twilight series depicts Bella as this divine, beacon of hope which the heavens hath bestowed upon the mellow town of Forks, and it shows her struggling between two worlds: will she choose her boyfriend over her friends? Will she choose Edward over Jacob? Will she choose vampires over the werewolves? Will she choose the Cullens over her family? Well, fear not! You have four travesty-filled bricks wonderful novels to find out! (And I won’t even begin to speak of the Mormon faith Stephenie Meyers weaved into her writing and threw in the face of helpless youngsters).
The Twilight franchise teaches kids that you need a man in your life to be happy. And everyone knows that’s perpetuated enough throughout the world. We don’t need any more ‘Women, you need a man to be happy!’ nonsense propagating. This message is most prominent in New Moon, wherein Bella dives into a ‘depression’ after Edward and his family leaves Forks. She doesn’t do anything except mope and stare out a window for a few months, and completely goes off the map. She then begins putting herself in harm’s way just to see her boyfriend’s disembodied spirit (still don’t know what the fuck was up with that) and then she literally jumps off a cliff because she wants to see her boyfriend. What a great role model for young girls everywhere! I bet you just can’t wait ‘til the day when your daughter comes up to you and says ‘Daddy, daddy! I just finished the Twilight series and now I want a boyfriend! And if you don’t let me have one I’m going to jump off a cliff! P.S. Can I be a vampire when I grow up?’ Yeah. Bet you’re really looking forward to that day.
Let’s not forget the fact that, after falling head-over-heels for Edward, Bella soon starts neglecting her peers—especially her friends—and her family, and does nothing except think about Edward. And when he leaves, you’d think that Bella would start reconciling with her friends (who are actually shown somewhat caring for her), but no. Instead she latches onto Jacob Black. And even he gets tired of her very quickly.
Twilight in general has to be one of my most hated franchises of all time. It depicts/promotes misogyny, reinforces patriarchal views, perpetuates the notion that women can’t be happy if they don’t have a man, it shows that men always know best—and the list goes on, but there isn’t enough space on the internet for that.
If I’m being honest, there is only one reason I continued to bother with the entire series: Jessica Stanley.