Bella Swan (Twilight)

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Bella Swan (Twilight)
Bella Swan.jpg
"You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster!?"
Gender: Female
Type: Overly Dependent Obsessor
Age: 17-18
Species: Human / Vampire
Portrayed by: Kristen Stewart
Status: Alive
Media of Origin: Twilight


Isabella "Bella" Marie Cullen (née Swan), was born to Charlie Swan and Renée Dwyer on September 13, 1987, and is the main protagonist of the Twilight Saga. In Twilight, she is a 17-year-old girl who transfers schools from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington to live with her father Charlie, where she meets and falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen. In Breaking Dawn, she marries Edward on August 13, 2006 and becomes a member of the Olympic coven. She is transformed into a vampire by Edward after nearly dying giving birth to their daughter, Renesmee Cullen, a human/vampire hybrid. Bella is the daughter-in-law of Edward, Sr. and Elizabeth Masen, as well as the adoptive daughter-in-law of Carlisle and Esme Cullen. She is the adoptive sister-in-law of Alice and Emmett Cullen, and of Jasper and Rosalie Hale.

As a human, Bella possessed a natural immunity to the mental powers of vampires. After her transformation into a vampire, she develops it into the ability to project a mental shield that protects others from the psychic powers of other vampires. Her Life and Death counterpart is Beau Swan.

Why She Sucks

  1. Her horrible personality and character traits completely strain her purpose as a character for the Twilight series. Which is supposed to represent the everyday teenage girl. 
    • Because of all her actions as described below, she comes off more like a villain than the "relatable everyday teenage girl" as intended, which makes her even more unlikable in the first place.
  2. She is so immature, selfish, male depending, pretentious, uncaring, manipulative, self-centered, idiotic, and incredibly whiny. She is also super-naïve and is super-dependent on Edward without logic or reasoning.
  3. Speaking of male depending, she gives the bad message to teenage girls that "you only need a man to have happiness", which is absolutely not true.
  4. Her chemistry with Edward is incredibly bland; Edward is an abusive partner, while Bella only fell in love with Edward all because of his looks and not for what he is.
    • Also, Bella still loves him despite how Edward abuses her and poorly treats her throughout their relationship.
    • Initially in "Twilight", her relationship with Edward is cute and normal and somewhat tolerable for the most part, but beginning with "New Moon" her relationship with Edward has become an unhealthy obsession.
    • In "Eclipse", she’s determined to stay with Edward no matter what, which makes her relationship with Edward rather toxic.
    • On the day that Edward returns to her after completely breaking her heart, instead of waiting to see if he was serious so she could ease her trust into him again, she immediately agrees to marry him on a whim.
  5. She has little to no character development. Instead, she got worse and worse as the Twilight saga went on, such as her increasing obsession of Edward and distancing her ties from her family and friends in favor of Edward.
  6. Her life revolves entirely around her love interest Edward, hence making her a bland, flat character for the most part, since she doesn't have any other personality or interests outside of obsessing over Edward. This is most notable in "New Moon" when she practically gave up on everything after she and Edward broke up.
    • Before she met Edward, Bella seemed interested in literature, particularly William Shakespeare's plays. She was intelligent in biology, and she loved her rustic truck. However, as the Twilight saga progressed, Bella lost her hobbies and ambitions, and doesn’t even pursue a career, all for the sake of being together with her love interest Edward. She only wants to become a vampire, which is selling herself short since she had so much potential as a character when viewers were first introduced to her.
    • Once she starts dating Edward, she outright ignores, forgets and abandons everyone else in her mortal life, including her own family and friends, and their general existence as if Edward is the only thing that matters in her life, especially in "New Moon".
  7. She is a spoiled brat who acts like her life has problems despite that she is shown to have a nice life.
    • A good example of this is in "New Moon", where she threw an actual hissy fit when she got presents for her birthday, all because she "didn't want any (presents)."
  8. She never shows any concern for anyone besides herself. Not even her family (especially her father Charlie) and friends (especially Jacob).
  9. In "New Moon", she, because she's heartbroken over her break-up with Edward, deliberately puts herself in harm's way such as throwing herself off a motorcycle and throwing herself into the sea to drown in order to get close to Edward because she could hear him that way, causing a concerned Jacob to come to the rescue each time.
    • What makes it even worse is that all of Bella's aforementioned acts of self-harm in "New Moon" just to reconnect with Edward were all treated as typical teenage girl problems, as opposed to signs of mental illness/suicidal tendencies as in real life.
  10. The love triangle between Edward and Jacob over her in "Eclipse" is all Bella's own fault, as she created that love triangle for no reason, as all these started because despite that she claimed that Jacob was her best friend, she used him for emotional support when Edward broke up with her in "New Moon", such as making Jacob kiss her. In short, she created that love triangle by toying around with Jacob despite that her heart always belonged to Edward.
  11. She can be considered a Mary Sue in some way, as she immediately gains the attention of all the guys around her (including Edward) because of her physical beauty and nothing else.
    • Speaking of her being a Mary Sue, she loses all of her flaws such as her clumsiness and becomes overpowered once she becomes a vampire later on in the the Twilight saga.
    • She basically gets everything she wants, including being with her love interest Edward forever, all without even trying.
  12. She frequently refers to her father Charlie by his actual name instead of as her father, which is incredibly rude and disrespectful to him, even in Western culture standards.
    • Worse, she does this to her father very frequently throughout the entire Twilight saga to the point that it gets annoying and irritating.
  13. By the end of the Twilight saga, she basically gets pregnant at age 18, doesn't bother to pursue any forms of tertiary study and employment whatsoever AT ALL, straight-up marries Edward right out of high school and therefore become his maid for the rest of her life, which gives a bad message to teenage girls because in real life when a girl as young as 18 years old does all these it doesn't end well unlike how the Twilight saga portrays it as; instead it ends up in regret, depression, fighting, break-ups/divorces, misery, troubled child, amongst various teen marital problems.
    • The very fact that Edward is from a wealthy family doesn't help either, as she also sends a bad message to teenage girls that "you don't need to get a job when you have a wealthy romantic partner", which is absolutely not true, since it basically teaches teenage girls to be lazy, uneducated, unemployed and jobless once they are married to wealthy romantic partners once they grow up into young adult women and therefore even take advantage of their romantic partner's wealthy amounts of money like parasites as the result.
  14. Overall, her character basically represents a self-insert of her creator/author Stephanie Meyer.
  15. Kristen Stewart did a terrible job portraying Bella due to her wooden and lifeless acting to the point where she looks like a robot, as Kristen has almost no emotion and has been known to constantly stutter her lines, and consequently she even admitted she regretted playing as her.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Despite her poor portrayal, it can be argued that she's still pretty cute and attractive.
    • Heck, Kristen Stewart even looks like how creator/author Stephanie Meyer envisioned this Bella Swan character, despite Kristen Stewart's poor performance as the character.
  2. She is willing to sacrifice herself to save the people she loved. This was the case for Edward, for her mother, and also for close friends like Jacob.
    • However, she did often stick up for Jacob, even to Edward, and tried to be on all of her friends’ side whenever she could.
    • She does care of her father Charlie at several occasions, such as how she worries that her involvement with so many supernatural beings will cause him harm.
  3. When she isn’t preoccupied to others around her, she was a good listener and offered good advice, though this trait rarely ever occurs throughout the Twilight saga.

Reception

Bella Swan has received a generally negative reception from critics and viewers, with most criticism being targeted at her awful behavior for a protagonist such as her extremely selfish, whiny, idiotic and manipulative personality, her constant need to be rescued, as well as the fact that she, despite being the main character of the Twilight saga with a good amount of screen time, has absolutely zero purpose in life or any form of character or personality whatsoever aside from obsessing over her love interest Edward Cullen for no discernible reason whatsoever other than mainly his good looks (especially considering how Edward, who isn't any better than Bella, often treats her poorly throughout the franchise), so much to the point that she's even willing to stupidly throw her entire life away and abandon everyone else in her life just to be with him. Many viewers often unfavorably compared Bella to many other popular fictional literary female protagonists such as Hermionne Granger from the Harry Potter series, Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games series, and to some extent, even the Disney Princesses created before her, specifically Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989).

Publishers Weekly states that, after her transformation into a vampire, "it's almost impossible to identify with her" in Breaking Dawn. Lilah Lohr of the Chicago Tribune compares Bella's character to the story of the Quileute wolves and describes it as "less satisfying." During sed on magic, Kirkus Reviews stated that "Bella's appeal is based on magic rather than character", but that her and Edward's "portrayal of dangerous lovers hits the spot." In the review of New Moon, Kirkus Reviews said that Bella's personality was "flat and obsessive." Laura Miller of salon.com said, in regards to Edward and Bella, "neither of them has much personality to speak of."

Entertainment Weekly's Jennifer Reese, in her review of Breaking Dawn noted, in regard to Bella, "You may wish she had loftier goals and a mind of her own, but these are fairy tales, and as a steadfast lover in the Disney princess mold, Bella has a certain saccharine appeal", and that during Bella's pregnancy "she is not only hard to identify with but positively horrifying, especially while guzzling human blood to nourish the infant."

Washington Post journalist Elizabeth Hand noted how Bella was often described as breakable and that "Edward's habit of constantly pulling her onto his lap or having her ride on his back further emphasize her childlike qualities", continuing to write that "the overall effect is a weird infantilization that has repellent overtones to an adult reader and hardly seems like an admirable model to foist upon our daughters (or sons)."

Gina Dalfonzo, in an article posted on the National Review website, calls Bella "self-deprecating" before her transformation into a vampire, and afterwards she is "insufferably vain." Dalfonzo also states that Bella gets what she wants and discovers her worth "by giving up her identity and throwing away nearly everything in life that matters."

Some fan critics argue that Bella is a "Mary Sue" due to the striking resemblance between Stephenie Meyer's and Bella's physical traits and personality characteristics, suggesting that Twilight may have been an expression of Meyer's personal fantasy. Bella also does not have any acknowledged flaws in the novels, besides her clumsiness, which is generally agreed to be depicted as endearing and cute. The fact that she is also an exception to many established rules, such as Edward's inability to read her mind, and her exceptional control over her thirst, which no other character in the novels have, is also indicative as another "Mary Sue" trait—the fact that she attains and learns skills significantly faster than what is thought to be normal.

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