Bella Swan Makes Me Self-Conscious

I’m reading Twilight for the umpteenth time this week. My only copy of the book is being loaned out and I was having withdrawal pains, so Jeremy sweetly bought me another copy when we were at the the dreaded Wal Mart last week when he was home for a break.

As I am reading it again (I’m on Chapter 3), I’m struck by something I noticed the first few times I read the book. Bella is one responsible girl. She does the shopping for groceries, and actually knows what to buy once she’s there, AND she can cook the groceries into an actual dinner, THEN to top it all off she does her homework when she’s done! Also, in her spare time, she cleans the house.

In comparison, Jeremy and I go to the store on the hunt for groceries and end up spending about 70 bucks on stuff like Spaghettios and Chicken Noodle soup. I can only cook a few actual meals, and buy the time I’m done cooking, I’m just so tired of being in the kitchen I don’t even want to clean up, much less do my schoolwork after, and I never clean the apartment. Literally, it’s a mess right now.

This is one thing that has always bugged me when people try to claim Bella isn’t a good role model for young girls because she “fawns so much over a boy. Is that the message we want to be sending?”. I happen to think Bella really has her shiz together, before and after she meets Edward. She’s very astute and mature, and meeting Edward does not change this about her. You can fall in love with someone and still be yourself, which I don’t think young girls hear enough these days.

This evening, while I was attempting to read the first time biology conversation between Edward and Bella (damn math class, distracting me when I’m trying to read), I noticed something about Bella which ties into my point above. When they are done with their experiement and Edward says to her, “It’s too bad about the snow.”, Bella says, “Not really.” which then led to a discussion of how she really felt about her new home. This is important, I think, because she actually spoke her mind and didn’t lie to him just to go along with what he was saying. I know that Edward was just trying to make small talk with her to try to figure her out, but it would have been a totally different story had Bella lied just to agree and said instead, “Yeah, I really wanted it to snow. I love the snow and the wet!”. That’s not her personality at all, and Edward wouldn’t have gotten to know the “real” her since he can’t read her mind, just like the human guys women try to date all the time. When it comes to dating and meeting new people, everyone needs to be reminded that it’s ok to be yourself.  

Some people probably think I’m reading too much into this, but it’s just little things like that peppered throughout the book that remind me just how smart and different Bella really is. So, in honor of that, I’m actually *GASP* going to clean up the apartment before I go to bed and do my homework a week early (since I usually do it right I have the class it’s due in). I’m going to try to stop procrastinating so much and actually do what I should be doing.

And oh yeah, and look up a few recipies while I’m at it.

-Whitley

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8 Comments

  1. You’re absolutely right, Whit. Bella’s a very responsible girl, and a great role model. Not only does she do homework, she actually gets it done. I did homework when I was in school, but I don’t recall ever being on top of it much less getting it done. And like you said she’s also doing the housework (and bills too!). And having a social life.

    People complain that there is too much mundane description in SMeyer’s writing, all that stuff about how Bella cooks dinner and cleans the kitchen, then goes to her room and does homework. I think that’s all meant to show us that Bella *isn’t* all about her boyfriend. Girls who are all about their boyfriend are either with the BF or yacking about the BF or doodling their names in their notebooks with the BF’s last name attached or on the phone with the BF…to the exclusion of anything responsible like Bella does.

    Yes, you could make an argument, like Charlie does, that Bella needs balance in her life, like going out with girlfriends, but Bella has always had this shortcoming; she doesn’t relate well to humans. So, no, she’s not perfect, but she’s a damn good role model.

    Thanks for writing this. I had an epiphany while reading it. I’d thought of it before, but not quite in these terms. Without realizing it, Bella had always been good at not being a newborn. As a human she was never really a kid. Her mother even referred to her as middle aged. As a vampire she also skipped the childhood stages and went for full-fledged adult.

    • I totally agree with what you said about people complaining about the mundane descriptions. Those were needed for exactly that purpose.

      Also, you are right about Bella. She is very grown up in many ways, and I love how that was incorporated in all the books and then later in her vampire life.

  2. Yeah! What she said! 😉

  3. Edward is completely good for Bella. He made sure she did not miss prom when she didn’t want to go in the first place. How many girls will go to prom now and graduate because Bella did? These books are wonderful for young women. These books teach chasity and its ok to wait. I believe all should read these books and read the moral tone in them.

    • I agree that Edward is perfect for Bella. He is in so many ways. I also liked it that he was trying to make sure she got in as many of life’s milestones as possible before she couldn’t anymore.

      Thanks for your comment!

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more. She’s not the horrible role model that people are making her out to be. Thanks for pointing that out. I think we all know teenage girls (and grown women, like myself…lol) could be obsessing over WAY worse… At least this is a healthy obsession. And it is okay to be yourself. What better message to put out there? I’d never looked at it this way before! So, thanks for sharing!

    • You’re welcome and thank you so much for commenting!

  5. […] even really care about this and doesn’t try to change it. Like I was saying in my post here, I admire Bella for not dumbing herself down and changing her personality in order to make friends. […]


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