A lot of things have been said about Bella Swan and the Twilight series. The franchise, while extremely popular, has also received a lot of criticism for being harmful to teens and sexist. While there are some valid critiques of the series, there are also some that have been unfair and unnecessarily critical toward the teen girls who loved the series.
Many people feel that Bella was a weak and helpless protagonist, and while in many ways she was, there are also ways that she was surprisingly strong.
10 Weak: She Was Really Clumsy
One thing that got restarting while reading the books was how clumsy Bella was.
While some people are naturally less coordinated than others, the extent to which she was always getting hurt made her seem almost incapable of taking care of herself and always in dangerous situations where she needed help from stronger people, usually men.
9 Strong: She Actually Stood Up For Herself More Than People Think
In many ways, Bella has a more passive personality who likes to keep those around her happy at the expense of herself. However, she would stick up for herself.
When Jacob or Edward would cross lines or say things that upset her, she would usually let them know. She wasn’t completely a doormat, and there were times where she got angry and upset.
8 Weak: There Were So Many Times She Was A Damsel In Distress
One reason many people were frustrated by Bella was that she was often in need of rescuing. The gender dynamics between her and the men who were into her wet quite extreme, and it felt very old-fashioned.
Bella got herself into many situations where either Edward or Jacob needed to save her. She couldn’t even go to a bookstore without needing to be rescued.
7 Strong: While Passive, She Could Also Be Really Stubborn
While it’s true that Bella wasn’t a particularly strong person when it comes to her personality, she could also be pretty stubborn. If she wanted something, she would make it happen and wouldn’t’ back down from it.
Even with Edward, she was adamant that she wanted to be a vampire, and she was never going to be swayed from this goal no matter what he said to her.
6 Weak: She Was Codependent
One of the most unhealthy aspects of the series is how codependent Bella’s relationship with Edward was. After falling in love with him, her entire identity seemed to be wrapped up in him and their relationship.
She lost herself in that relationship, and she didn’t seem independent at all. The way she reacted when Edward left her was so extreme it showed how imbalanced that relationship was.
5 Strong: Vampires Special Powers Didn’t Impact Her
One mystery of the series that never completely makes sense is how the special powers that some of the vampires have don’t impact her. Any vampire that had psychic abilities couldn’t use them on Bella.
This made her unique and powerful in a way that the other humans weren’t. This was definitely an indicator that there was something special about her.
4 Weak: Her Goals Were Entirely Wrapped Up In Edward
Wanting to be married to someone and have a future together can be a great thing, but it’s possible to want these things and still have other goals. It’s healthy in a relationship to have desires and wishes outside of the other person.
The way that Bella was willing to give up all other possible goals and only cared about being with Edward was sad and unhealthy.
3 Strong: When She Wanted Something, She Was Determined To Get It
Bella might not have had a lot of goals beyond wanting to be a vampire and live with Edward forever, but she was pretty intent on this and determined about it.
She could also be determined about things like keeping her relationships with both Edward and Jacob and about protecting her family. In these ways, she was not the pushover many people think.
2 Weak: She Didn’t Have Much Of A Personality
While Bella might have moments in the Twilight series where she shows her individuality and unique personality, she often seems like a bit of a blank slate.
Her interests are pretty generic such as liking to read, and there isn’t much that is unique about her. While the series tries to make her seem special, she really is just a very plain and ordinary person.
1 Strong: After Becoming A Vampire, She Was One Of The Strongest Of Them All
While it might not make complete sense, none of the vampire special powers really do. Bella becomes a very strong vampire, and it’s not just because she’s a newborn.
She has the ability of a psychic power that allows her to shield herself and others from harm. This is because she is such a caring and protective person, and this special ability puts her on the same level as the other strong vampires from the series.