Alif Shahed

Why I Hate Bella Swan and the Twilight Franchise

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).

bella swan

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.

11 thoughts on “Why I Hate Bella Swan and the Twilight Franchise

  1. Brilliant piece of writing! I agree with you totally on this, I had to study Twilight in my first module on my media production course and I hate it even more now…previously I was indifferent and watched the films for what they were; a bit of fun, now…ergh!
    I hadn’t thought about the abortion debate in the recent film but now you mention it, it is pretty prevalent! The whole thing kind of perpetuates this idea that not only do girls/women NEED a man and nothing else, and should shut off all their other relationships and commitments to focus on him, but they also have some kind of duty to have a baby no matter whether you want to or not, or whether it’ll harm you in the process. Bella is everything a modern young adult woman should NOT be! And it is quite a damaging ideology to inflict on young girls.
    I thought Bella was just a one dimensional, useless girl from the start…she literally lives to please men; she moved to Forks to be with her dad so he wasn’t alone even though she hated the place to begin with, she near kills herself to get Edward back because of course a girl isn’t complete without a man in her life, she’s constantly struggling to think up ways to keep her dad, Jacob AND Edward happy all at the same time and she nearly killed herself giving birth because she’s a woman and that’s her duty *rolls eyes*
    Great post! Sorry for the long comment haha agree totally with what you say 🙂

  2. Well, obviously your opinion isn’t much different than the general ones, so here’s a new one: kids don’t always emulate what they see and hear. And when they do, they usually realize it’s silly or outlandish. You’d have to be truly insane to jump off a cliff for a person!

    I think girls and women like the idea of being taken care of, as well as having independence. Men like this, too. Having someone to dote on them, having attention from women or respect from fellow men. It’s in human nature, and animal nature in general, to want love and affection, it’s even kinky to have negative attention sometimes. You have to remember basic human nature; we want love, we want love more than we want to get it, usually. Twilight isn’t reality-based, most females know and understand this.

    Bella is just a vehicle to get the attention she’s previously lacked; with Edward she gets an attentive family, with Jacob she gets a best friend and even more family orientation, she gets a baby, a comfortable, fantastic lifestyle, she gets love and acceptance. Is it perfect? Well, no, depression, gruesome bloodsuckers, manipulative boyfriends and bone-breaking pregnancies tell me she was willing to endure to get what she wanted.

    While Breaking Dawn is no one’s idea of a satisfying conclusion, the rest of the books aren’t anything that isn’t a repeat or redefining theme or aspect. Choice is key. Bella *chooses* her fate. Edward doesn’t want this fate for her, Jacob doesn’t want it, her father wouldn’t want it if he knew. Only some people are willing to see it her way, accept and/or tolerate her decision and I think only Alice and Aro want Bella to be a vampire.

    Only Rosalie and Bella want the Renesmee (Edward and Bella’s daughter) to be born, at least initially. How’s that for a support system?

  3. I just lost it when she just kissed Jacob in eclipse. DAMN IT WOMAN, YOU ARE ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED. I personally really like Robert Pattinson which is one of the main reasons i am currently watching all of them, But come on!! Bella is just annoying and Edward is too good for her. And Jacob is just a arrogant little boy who just needs to understand that you can’t make out with a girl who is engaged.
    The morals of the movie are in no way good, and even though i’m a sucker for ANY kind of romance, this series is honestly quite aggravating .

  4. I think that Twilight is an amazing series of books and films that tells a complicated love story between Edward and Bella that is wonderful to watch and is extremely addictive, the unconditional love the characters have for each other is so well described in the books and watching the films makes my heart melt and I think all the cast play their roles amazingly, the natural chemistry was obvious throughout the films, I had never watched a romance movie and to this day twilight is the only romance movie I have watched and it genuinely the only one I can sit all the way through and still cry every time I watch the end of Breaking Dawn part 2. I would love to be in a relationship like the one Edward and Bella have. I don’t see how anyone could not like these films or these books, I totally love Bella as a character and I don’t see that there is anything wrong with how she is portrayed I could absolutely see parts of myself in Bella and I think many girls can relate to Bella and many boys can relate to Jacob which makes the characters so lovable and believable, I of course am team vampire but I am also team Bella and team Kristen and it is totally unfair that she gets hate from ‘fans’ or people who watch the films for the way she plays Bella, I couldn’t imagine anyone else as Bella but I personally love Kristen’s work and have watched many of her films since twilight but it still feels kinda strange to see her as a character other than Bella even though all her films since twilight have been awesome, if you dont like twilight why the hell watch the films and then basically talk bad about the films and their characters, I was looking through pictures for a twilight fanfiction and I clicked go to website by accident and this is how I came to be on this site but I cant believe you lot would talk bad about much loved characters and cast members when people who are genuine fans of the books, films, characters and cast are obsessed with the whole twilight franchise and then when you read this you will probably rant at me for what I have said, if you dont want backlash from genuine fans of stuff like this dont make your awful, horrible and offensive comments public

    • Agree totally. The feminists jump on the “pro-life” aspect of the story, but completely ignore the rest. Far from being a weak character, Bella has many strengths. Edward was ready to end his life when he thought Bella was dead, and it was Bella who risked herself to save him. In Breaking Dawn part 2 she uses her abilities to shield all of the other vampires. She is not some silly helpless female. All this anti twilight nonsense is just looking for faults where there are none.

  5. why are you saying those mean stuff about bella she is a human she have feeling too like everyone else ok so don’t don’t

  6. You know a franchise is particularly bad when you like the tertiary characters more than the main or secondary characters. Jasper, Rosalie, Leah, and a few others seemed to have more going on than Bella and we get mere flashes of their issues.

    I will say that while I have never been a teenage girl (I am male) in love, I will say that much of the Twilight franchise borders on mental illness: New Moon particularly. We have Bella being in love so much that four months pass and she is basically a zombie. She knew him for what a year and spends 1/3 (possibly more) of that time just wasting away. On top of this she has delusions that she can hear Edward and makes dangerous decisions to hear his voice. This seems to be a form of Psychosis.

    That’s just New Moon what we’re talking about her is BD part I. There’s so many things wrong with Bella. The Pro-life/Pro-choice just barely scratches the surface. But even the staunchest pro-lifer would agree to abort the baby if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. The story could have went a different way with Edward forcing Bella to have an abortion, which would make sense for Edward to do as he is very controlling and manipulative. However, it is nice that Bella is given some minuscule amount of agency. However, because the author is Mormon she probably wouldn’t have her protagonist as someone who wants an abortion. In fact, much of what we know about Bella is Mormonish. She waits til marriage for sex, she dresses like a pilgrim (not that its necessarily a bad thing), is like a tree in the wind (easily swayed). However, Meyer does have Bella cheat on Edward with Jacob (small kiss in Eclipse), which I’m sure is against the Mormon code of Ethics. Point is Bella is written in a way that is demure, easily swayed, wishy washy.

    I’ll admit when I read Twilight (Book 1) when I was 15 it was entertaining, but I was 15 and so is most of her fanbase.

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