The Twilight series has been seeing a revival in interest lately, as those who read it as youths are now growing up and becoming nostalgic adults.
This Twilight renaissance is one of the most exciting pop culture moments of the year, because it showcases that there should be no such thing as a “guilty pleasure.” If you enjoy something, just enjoy it! Twilight is no different and, for the people who have read the books and watched the movies, there’s something to be said for shamelessly enjoying your life. They know what it is to be truly shameless, and they learned it all from watching Bella Swan.
Spending Any Time with Edward
Bella’s first act, and one of her most shameless, is the fact that she spends time with Edward Cullen at all. He makes it incredibly clear to her throughout the entirety of Twilight that Bella is in danger every moment she is with him. He’s open up with her about his mind-reading abilities, he tells her all about his vampirism, and he confesses to her that her blood is the sweetest he’s ever smelled and that he wants it. He literally admits this, to her face, that he wants to eat her, and she shamelessly falls in love with him anyways.
Fishing for Information from Jacob
Throughout the beginning of Twilight, Bella is trying to uncover who, exactly, Edward is — or, as it comes to be known, what, exactly, Edward is. She does bewildered amounts of research, explores many different chaotic options, and asks people around town about Edward and his family, the Cullens. One of the people she asks is her childhood friend, Jacob Black, who will only become more and more important to the story as the books continue. However, in this moment, she flat-out asks Jacob what’s up with the Cullens; in return, Jacob, also shamelessly, tells her all the vampire legends he knows.
Hunting with Jacob and Renesmee
Not to leap too far ahead on the fair audience, but there are four total books in the Twilight series, and Bella’s pretty shameless in each and every one of them. Though Twilight kicks off the series, Breaking Dawn ends it; Bella has grown quite a bit as the story comes to a close, but that doesn’t mean she’s decided to stop doing literally whatever she wants. Just when it seems like Bella is going to get her happy ending and have everything she wanted, she’s hunting with Jacob and Renesmee when they’re spotted by an acquaintance — a fellow vampire, who thinks Bella’s daughter Renesmee is an immortal child. This kickstarts the entire last part of the book.
Punching Jacob in the Face
Jacob Black, known werewolf, and Bella Swan don’t always get along. In fact, they just may fight more often than Bella and Edward do, since Jacob and Bella are often at odds. They’re best friends, but Jacob’s love for Bella (and, as seen in Eclipse, sometimes even the love Bella has for Jacob) often causes difficulties between them. In the third book in the Twilight series, Eclipse, Jacob decides to assert himself and make a move against Bella’s wishes, kissing her against her will. Bella shoves Jacob off of herself and punches him in the face, breaking her own hand because he is, again, a werewolf. Though this was a shameless act, Bella should never feel shame for it; Jacob totally deserved this.
Going to Italy to Save Edward
The second book in the Twilight series, New Moon, is often listed as many fans’ least favorite book in the Twilight series. This is usually because it has significantly less of Edward and the rest of the Cullen family than the other books do, but also because Bella has such a hard time throughout the book, it’s easy to feel bad for her. Her story makes it a hard read. However, at the very end of the book, when Alice tells Bella there’s a way she can save Edward, Bella says she’ll do it. Even though the way to save him is immediately leaving for Italy even though she’s a high school student.
Running Away to See Jacob
Running away to Italy to save Edward wasn’t the first time that Bella shamelessly ran away somewhere to cause mischief (this happens in literally every book), but one of the most shameless moments of escapism comes in Eclipse. Jacob and Bella aren’t supposed to be seeing each other, but Bella actually runs away so she can go and see Jacob. There are a lot of rules around how the werewolves and the vampires can interact, where people can go, who they can go with, et cetera, et cetera. Bella doesn’t care about anything else; she just wants to see her best friend when she’s been forbidden to do so.
The Consequences of Isle Esme
Though this list has already briefly discussed the consequences of Breaking Dawn, it has not yet gotten into the nitty-gritty of it. Bella allows herself to be shamelessly vulnerable and, frankly, put into a great amount of danger when she and Edward travel to Isle Esme for their honeymoon in Breaking Dawn. One moment of Edward losing control could end with Bella dead, and Edward had made that very, very clear throughout the entire series up until that point. In spite of this, Bella boldly not only accepts this, but also accepts the consequences of that choice: her daughter, Renesmee, and her own potential death in childbirth.
Marrying Edward in Breaking Dawn at all is Bella’s third most shameless move in the entirety of the Twilight series. Edward spends a lot of time trying to convince Bella not to become a vampire, but Bella’s pretty dead set on her decision. In order to make a compromise, Edward says he’ll only give Bella his blessing and turn her into a vampire if she marries him first. Something to do with her eternal soul, what happens after they die, so on and so forth. Bella, shamelessly, agrees to this maddening compromise, and this is genuinely what they end up doing. Bonkers.
Approaching the Men Outside the Bar
The second most shameless thing Bella does in the Twilight series comes in New Moon, which ought to come as no surprise after all the hype about it earlier in the article. Bella spends a sizable portion of New Moon as something of an adrenaline junkie, and it all begins with this moment. After a long depressive episode, Bella invites her friend Jessica out to the movies in Port Angeles. While they’re out, Bella sees a group of dangerous men outside a bar; when she approaches them, she finds that she can see and hear Edward in a strange hallucination warning against danger. This starts her shamelessly chasing threatening thrills just so she can get another glimpse of Edward, since he left nothing for her to remember him by when he left.
The Cliff-Diving Incident
The absolute most shameless thing Bella does is dive off a cliff, but let her explain: she was doing it for fun… sort of. This takes place in New Moon, as well, of course — this is another one of her thrill-seeking activities. However, she’s not equipped properly for cliff-diving at all and just straight-up dives into the ocean. Jacob has to save her, but Bella’s happy not being saved: she can see Edward underwater, because of how dangerous the activity is. Because Jacob is the one who saves her, and Alice Cullen’s visions of the future can’t see werewolves, Alice believes Bella is dead, setting into motion the plot for the rest of the book.