Alyssa Woodard

Shoutout to the creator of the lion who fell in love with the lamb — we owe our preteen existence to you, Stephanie Meyer.

The Twilight Saga continues to remain one of the most binge-watched movie series, at least among women. While the movies aren’t emotionally moving or ‘works of art,’ they are unexplainably a sacred part of my preteen existence. From the themes of teenage melodrama and unnecessary plot drama, somehow Twilight made for an addicting series.

However, there was one thing that all watchers loved to hate about the box office record-breaking movie series.

Isabelle “Bella” Marie Swan.

From the unnecessary mouth breathing that made most scenes more than awkward — and slightly irritating — to the selfish love triangle she insisted on engaging in, Bella Swan was the ideal target for all women to love to hate.

From her first appearance on screen, Bella proved to be codependent on the men in her life — some a bit more than others.

Bella was portrayed as 17-year-old girl who, somehow, finds the love of her life in a small town. Oh yeah, and he's a vampire too!

Not only was she unbothered by the fact that he drank blood for sustenance, she was fully willing to center her entire life around him.

She was willing to risk death, broken limbs and even her father's trust to maintain a relationship with a man. Her naive nature made watching all of the unfortunate things happening to her somewhat enjoyable for me.

I know what you're thinking, "Alyssa, she's just a fictional character. Relax."

Well, ominous reader, I refuse to relax. Bella Swan embodies every idea that promotes anti-feminism.

Her unhealthy codependency on her boyfriend and an apparent lack of care for those around her makes her a character that would not be so easily accepted in present-day media.

With the feminist movement on a speedy rise, women everywhere are taking charge of their place in the world. Gone are the days of needing a man to feel validated or be important. Women now are pushing boundaries and breaking barriers that were, at one point, mere dreams.

Sometimes, I like to imagine how the Twilight Saga would have turned out if Bella Swan was as interested in herself as she was her boyfriend. Maybe she'd realize that her relationship was unhealthy and that, to keep the one she loved, she had to change herself.

While this may be based on a fictional universe, it's all about the principle. As a woman, I am simply tired of women portrayed as beings who need a man to have an 'interesting' plot line.

Sure, Twilight was filmed and released over 10 years ago. The impact it has had on pop culture is tremendous, but women must be portrayed in ways that don't make female viewers feel less than and objectified.

While we appreciate the character Bella Swan, it's time for characters like her to be erased from the media.

Alyssa Woodard is a freshman in exploratory studies. She can be reached at alydwood@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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