The Guardian blog posted an article naming the five most pathetic female film characters of all time. And, as is the current trend, the author cited Bella from the Twilight franchise. It’s a cop-out.
I love strong, kick-ass heroines both in book and on screen. I love female characters who are smart and strong. But there’s more to strength than seeking out the bad guy and punching him in the face. Let’s use Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an example here. Buffy is strong both physically and emotionally. She has breakdowns, but she does what’s necessary regardless. She’s not going to bail on her friends. She’s not going to let others destroy the things she loves — or, you know, snack on her.
Willow, even in the very early episodes, though, is one strong woman, too. She’s smart. She can’t fight, but she can research. And she will. Her mental fortitude and will to stay when things get difficult make her a strong character.
Right about now you’re wondering why I’m putting Bella Swan and Willow Rosenberg in the same post. Stick with me.
Bella’s love-before-everything may rub people the wrong way, but the girl doesn’t run when others are in danger except to lure the Big Bad away. She wants to help fight, in whatever way she can. She may have been crushed in New Moon when Edward left, but when it comes to dealing with Volturi and Victoria, she does what she can to protect her family and friends. (Eventually, the baby’s interests override others’ safety and that’s OK.)
Some female characters we give up on because they come across as too stupid to live. Despite what the Guardian’s post says, Bella isn’t that girl.