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Why Bella Swan Is the Worst Role Model

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After I saw "Eclipse" over the weekend, it hit me: Bella Swan, the "Twilight" character Kristen Stewart plays, is perhaps the lamest girl in the world.


OK, I know "Twilight's" a fantasy -- and trust me, as the mom of a Twihard, I definitely get it. It's fun and romantic and what's not to like about two gorgeous (often shirtless) gents fighting over one girl?! Yes, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" was by far the best of the three movies. No, I have not read the books. But speaking solely as a moviegoer, I have to ask: What's the deal with Bella?

In this third "Twilight" installment, Bella is graduating from high school (did she ever go to class?!) and gearing up to make the most important decision of her life. No, she's not deciding what college to go to. No, she's not deciding what career to pursue. And no, she's not deciding what to pack for dorm life. Instead, she is deciding whether or not to become a vampire for eternity, so she can be with the only person (thing?) she adores: her beloved Edward.


Bella's monologue toward the end of the movie will help explain why she sucks:

"This wasn't a choice between you and Jacob -- it was a choice between who I should be and who I am. I've always felt out of step, like, literally stumbling through my life. I've never felt normal, because I'm not normal. I don't want to be. I've had to face death, and loss, and pain in your world, but I've also never felt stronger -- like, more real; more myself -- because it's my world, too. It's where I belong."

Hey Bella, if you don't feel "normal," why don't you try a sport? Or join a club? Or, I dunno, try making friends with people who don't sparkle in the daylight? How can you be in love with a male vampire you've only talked about two things with (i.e., your love for each other and the dangers you both face)? I would love to hear Bella and Edward talk about their favorite reality-TV show, or the band they like, or ... hell, even Monday Night Football.


Instead, Bella spends her time hanging out with creepy "people" wearing only dark and gloomy colors, and it really bothers me that she could care less about her father. She likes to test the line of whether or not Edward will suck her blood by making out with him and now, in "Eclipse," trying to make love, despite the risk of spawning a vampire baby.

Since Bella's a girl who has no ambitions and no interests, it's really sad that she's the heroine girls around the world are beyond jealous of. Sure, she is pretty, and her long, auburn hair is beautiful. But I don't like it that my daughter wants a boyfriend "like Bella's." I don't want my daughter to be anything like Bella.

next: Dear Alicia Keys: You're Pregnant -- Please Sit Down!
92 comments so far | Post a comment now
MJ July 8, 2010, 8:45 AM

ha! i love this article, my husband and i were talking about this, when i was growing up buffy was the thing, now there, is a great role model, also in love with a vampire, but killed him in order to save the world, and never entertained the thought of becoming one herself, lol.
i have read the books, there is no ”depth” to them, they are a moral story about not having sex before marriage and putting your man first and foremost.

Yashira July 8, 2010, 9:32 AM

Oh Please; There are worse things on daily TV than this movie.

Pamala July 8, 2010, 9:32 AM

People here think reading the books will give a better view of Bella to the author of this article. Excuse me as I clean up my screen since I spit water all over it with how hysterical that notion is. She’s the worst role model ever and the books make her look even more needy and stupid. My God the girl depends on Edward and Jacob for her happiness. How is that something anyone would want for their daughter?

Carla July 8, 2010, 9:32 AM

OMG! Please, read the books! I can honestly say that this books are a love story that has the peculiar theme of vampires and werewolves around it. Bella may not be the smartest or prettiest girl, but she sure knows who she is and what she wants. Maybe is not what an average girl would want but such is life…we all have different choices to make and decide. The books explain clearly why she is the way she is and how Edward’s love has develop in her such an assurance of belonging. The movies can’t never do justice to what the books truly are, so posting these kind of post for everybody to read are totally unfounded.

Emma July 8, 2010, 11:13 AM

SUSAN….what a perfect response! There have been some great responses on here and of course the typical judgmental ones as well. THOSE come from the people that see the books as vampires vs werewolves….instead as seeing them as a love story between two guys and a girl. There is no use even trying to impart anything to those people; they won’t listen or change their opinions.

Shellie July 8, 2010, 12:00 PM

Your really reading too much into this. It’s not real it’s not like it’s a news story happening in real life. It’s a movie based on a book.
I highly doubt looking at “Bella’s” role model skills is even close to what girl’s do now adays IN THE REAL WORLD. It’s not even a real story so for you to like even question “DID BELLA EVEN GO TO CLASS” is stupid.
Vampires don’t exsist.
Werewolfs don’t exsist
That’s enough to tell you it’s just a story so shut up and stop being a drama queen about I DONT WANT MY DAUGHTER TO BE LIKE BELLA

Your daughter will never be like her.

Don’t be so dumb.

Laura July 8, 2010, 3:12 PM

I imagine it escaped your notice that at the beginning scene of your movie Bella is studying Robert Frost and she pushes off Edward’s snuggling saying she has an English final to pass.

It’s very obvious in the scene that Bella has with her mom in Florida that she is thinking about what it might mean to no longer see her parents.

You seem to have a selctive agenda and only see what you want.It’s a fantasy movie. Give kids some credit they may want an ideal of a boyfriend who treats them with respect, has an actual conversation and not only wants to get laid. They can tell the differnce between fantasy and reality pretty well. If teens were as dumb as you seem to think they are by your logic the streets would be littered with bodies from Grand Theft Auto and College Applications would be drastically down with teen marriage and babies at an all time high.

Ali July 8, 2010, 4:13 PM

Oh you’re just gonna love Breaking Dawn then LOL!

anonymous July 8, 2010, 4:38 PM

For those of you whom don’t think kids take these movies seriously:

Read the MomLogic article about teenagers biting one another
Take count of all the teens in the mall who now assume slouching is attractive (thanks for that bit of ugly, Kristen Stewart).

If this is a love story, than count me out of ever wanting to be in love. I prefer connecting with a person over obsessing about them.

AnnabelleCullen July 8, 2010, 10:18 PM

Okay, well obviously you don’t understand the way love works. She loves Edward, that’s why she doesn’t get different friends. So if you are writing this because YOU don’t like Bella, why don’t you think of those who do? Just keep it to yourself next time before you go on and say why so many teens’ idol is “the worst role model”.

Dianne July 8, 2010, 10:48 PM

Since you have only seen the movies I guess I can see why you feel the way you do however these movies are based on books & unfortunately there is only so much time they can spend on the character’s feelings on school,sports, father & what she is giving up. Unless you read the books, which I’m sure your twihard has, you really can’t judge. Btw don’t forget it is a fictional character we are talking about.

youwish July 9, 2010, 4:06 AM

Haha, I love Bella! For crying out loud she lives in forks and not because she wants to. Its clear (in the books anyway) there isn’t much to do there no wonder she is obsessed with vampires. fortunately for me I know how to tell real life from fiction and understand that everyone is different and although Bella may not be able to talk to snakes or solve a simple math equation I still like her. I guess I’m one of the few that fell in love in h.s. and stayed together so, I can relate to true love. I’d recommended these books but if after trying to read them you just aren’t interested…stop!! Its that simple

anonymous July 9, 2010, 7:27 AM

Stop hating on Bella!!! She’s fake, so don’t make fun of her or will all run on here to defend her! Even though we all keep pointing out how fictional she is!!!!

Come on, people. You’re defending a character from a crappy novel like she’s your OMG-BFF!!!

Laura July 9, 2010, 9:45 AM

I read the books and I watched the first movie. And I can say that I would never ever want to be like Bella Swan. And I wouldn’t want to be friends with anyone like her either. She’d get on my nerves and I’d want her to get a life!

She’s pathetic as a character and the only reason I kept reading the books was because the other females were much more interesting like Alice.

While I agree this is a fantasy world and I enjoy reading about vampires and werewolves because its fun, I don’t think the movies are all that good.

The books were a bit better until the author decided to focus the entire story on who will bella choose and how wonderful that bella gets pregnant. And then all about how beautiful bella is that she is now a vampire. The most sparkly vampire of them all.

It just became fanfiction. And it felt like Stephanie Myer was writing out her own fantasies through her stories. Which isn’t a problem until you realize she is writing to people my age. I don’t think getting pregnant at 17 or 18 is the greatest move in the world and I don’t think its more important than getting a career. But maybe Stephanie Myer thinks girls should have babies young and their goal is to find the perfect man.

And that’s the message you get from her books.

And while I don’t look to books for role models I do think alot of girls like my younger sister are very influenced by these books. And also by movies and tv shows. Just look at Hannah Montana influence.

But I’m sure people will disagree and that’s fine. But don’t start by calling me pathetic or jealous.

Because I am far from jealous of the one dimensional character of Bella Swan.

bella is fake but not fun July 9, 2010, 11:44 AM

I agree Bella is fictional.

But you would think they could spend like 10 minutes of the movie or in the books to make her interesting. All she does is mope around thinking about a guy. Which guy she loves more. And how great it is to have the guys baby.

I think its messed up to make it seem like all teenage girls are only interested in guys. Like the only thing I think about are guys and how much they love me and how much I love them. I do think about guys but that’s not all.

I think teens are much smarter than this and much more interesting.

So I agree with this article and I blame the creator of Twilight and the movie writers for making it seem like we are nothing more than empty shells like Bella.

Anonymous July 9, 2010, 12:36 PM

oh please! relax!! in a years time your kid is going to forget about twilight and move on to the next fad. I would think the parent of a pre-teen or teen would know that.
your annoying

ha July 9, 2010, 12:57 PM


people defending the movies because they like it and think its fun. I get it. We all get it.

But the way fads are, I do think parents should be worried.

“In a years time your kid is going to forget about twilight”

Its going on 4 years now since the book came out and since there is one more movie that is going to be split in two that’s two more years. So no, they aren’t going to get over it so easily.

And anyone who actually reads real news and not just Twilight and romance novels knows how kids everyday behave like the fads they are into and get to the extreme. To the point of biting each other, getting pregnant because Britney Spears sister did, going emo because its cool to look depressed.

It may not be everyone but there are plenty. So yeah, people should be worried about Bella being portrayed a role model by our entertainment industry.

There’s a reason companies market to teens. Because we do go out and buy expensive clothes, drink certain drinks, buy certain toys because some star or some popular character said so or is shown using it.

So until that day when we stop going nuts over a stupid vampire movie and go on every board declaring its the best thing ever, attack naysayers, buy all their merchandise and dvds and go see the bad movie more than once and wait in line for almost a day just to see the movie.

then we can relax and say get over it. But based on how people react to someone’s opinion that isn’t “look how great twilight is”

It sure as heck isn’t gonna end soon

Vivian July 9, 2010, 5:48 PM

You people are crazy. It is a book, a Juvenile fiction, a FANTASY. Purely for entertainment value, nothing more! Get over it. If you are a parent do what a responsible parent would do- assess the movie and discuss it with your child. If you feel the need to point out morality and societal issues, do so. That is your job! NOT MOVIE PRODUCERS. If you need help- I suggest It will help you delineate the good, the bad and the ugly when discussing movies with your children.

I agree 100% with Susan’s comment. She is the sanest and most logical voice of reason here. Please lighten up.

miss suzy lee July 9, 2010, 11:09 PM

just my opinion but it’s occured to me that Bella is a product of Ms. Meyer’s Mormonism. Even the “normal” (read: not fundamentalist or polygamous) Mormons are taught that obedience is a highly desireable trait. Men work and make the big decisions, women raise the children and “lift up the men” through their actions. It’s not surprising that Bella has so much “tunnel vision” when it comes to Edward. Really when you think about it, vampire stories have always portrayed women in a bit of an unflattering light…helpless damsels in distress like Bella or Sookie Stackhouse are a dime a dozen. The bloodsucking is often a highly sexualized process and many times the female is, shall we say, hypnotized (as in the beautiful young sleeping maiden in dracula) into the relationship. Twilight is just those fantasies with a Mormon veneer.

Anonymous July 10, 2010, 11:07 AM

The books don’t have more depth. I’ve read them, I’ve never seen the films. Here are the sorts of things your children are reading about:

- One scene with Jacob has him insisting it’s truly him Bella wants. Bella tells him it isn’t true. He insists it is. This goes on until, despite her saying she doesn’t want him to, he shoves her against a wall and kisses her. In an attempt to escape, Bella punches him. This causes her to break her hand/wrist (can’t remember which). When she gets home, her COP father (I think he’s actually the police chief) LAUGHS at her for both resisting Jacob and hurting herself in the process. It’s left to Edward to take her to hospital.

- Bella does indeed have a child. This child is a miracle child. She doesn’t cry, poo her nappies, or bite nipples at feeding time. Nope, she grows up so quickly that within the space of a month or so she is fully cognitive and talking. Lucky Bella, no baby crying for a seemingly indecipherable reason for her.

I could go on, but I won’t. A book that has a policeman laughing at the attmepted rape of his daughter is a book that deserves absolutely no respect. Or perhaps Meyer is like Whoopi Goldberg and thinks that rape rape can’t happen between friends. Let’s hope she never gets called to do time on a jury.

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