Twilight author Stephenie Meyer defends her character Bella Swan from critics who say that the latter is a poor role model. Bella is the central protagonist in the Twilight series, which became a worldwide phenomenon back in the mid-2000s. The book series went on to spawn a live-action adaptation, which launched actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson into stardom
Bella Swan has certainly faced her fair share of critiques for her decisions throughout the films and books. For one, fans have criticized how her personality revolves around her current love interest, as well as her reaction to Edward Cullen’s decision to leave Forks in New Moon and her decision to quite literally drop everything to remain with Edward. However, that’s not to say that Bella hasn’t had her redeeming characteristics, such as her determination and her passion.
Author Stephenie Meyer dropped by The Remember Podcasts, where she has pushed back against Bella Swan’s most outspoken critics. While Meyer says that the relationship that Bella and Edward have is certainly not one that’s usually reflected in an average couple, she also highlights that the circumstances are far from ordinary. Instead, Meyer emphasizes that Edward is a supernatural being and that the Twilight novels were written as fantasy books, rather than a realistic depiction of an everyday romance.
However, Meyer says that Bella’s assertiveness and confidence in pursuing Edward is something she feels that high school girls can embody, albeit not to the extreme that Bella displayed these qualities. Meyer explains that she wants girls to read Twilight and have the understanding that they “can be sure of what [they] want” and be certain enough to go after it. It’s an interesting perspective to evaluate Bella’s character through, especially now that Meyer’s Midnight Sun, which is a rewrite of the first Twilight book from Edward’s point-of-view, has now hit the shelves. As such, it’s clear that Meyer is encouraging critical fans to take a step back, realize that Bella and Edward’s love story is rooted in fantasy, and still be able to appreciate Bella’s quiet inner strength.
Twilight will always remain a controversial series. However, Bella and Edward will also endure as one of the most prominent examples of star-crossed lovers. Although Bella Swan has received quite a bit of heat for being passive and overly-fixated on her vampire lover, Stephenie Meyer wants readers and viewers alike to try and assume a different viewpoint. That being said, maybe it’s time for a re-watch of the films over one decade later.