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Why Doesn't Bella Have Any Friends?

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It's true. I saw Eclipse on opening night. I clearly enjoyed myself--well, duh--though I maintain that any movie that makes the entire audience laugh during what are supposed to be the really serious parts has perhaps not totally succeeded. But I got what I came for. Taylor Lautner's my-jaw-actually-dropped-when-I-saw-them abs. Robert Pattinson's charming-dazzling-winning-all-those-swoony-adjectives smile. (I've got nothing to say about Kristen Stewart here because she is just so awkward that she makes me awkward. Seriously. Except that I think she might be gorgeous. Jury's still out.)

Looking back on the movie though, it occurs to me that there is one pretty large void in Bella's life: Friends. She's so busy being in love with Edward, and loving-but-not-loving Jacob, that she's never carved out any time for making pals. (You might argue that Alice is her friend, and I guess she's the closest thing, but theirs is more of a sisterly relationship, don't you think?)

Bella almost had friends, when she first moved to Forks, but as soon as her man came into the picture, she pretty much dropped them (and never truly liked them anyway). Classmates Jessica and Angela didn't understand her undying love for Edward (which is fair considering how they knew each other all of, like, a week) and she couldn't tell them about his real, um, situation.

A friend of mine often reflects on the unhealthy nature of Bella and Edward's relationship (we do a lot of Twilight analysis, clearly). The codependency, the neediness, the general creepiness of him watching her sleep. In Entertainment Weekly, writer Tina Jordan explains that "as a feminist and a mom" she has some issues with the Twilight series, "namely, their depiction of women and relationships." It seems to me that the biggest problem with women and relationships in these movies (and books) is that most only have the romantic kind. In the most recent installment, the only moment of real friendship during the whole two hours is a fleeting one between Jessica and Angela (two very peripheral characters) at a graduation party.

So why did Stephenie Meyer choose to make her leading lady friendless? Bella moved from Phoenix, where she had a seemingly good life, but we never hear about her BFFs from back home. In Forks, when Edward breaks her heart, she rejects any possibility of getting over it with a girls night, and instead finds solace with the other guy who's head-over-heels for her. Perhaps Meyer made this choice because she wanted Edward to be literally everything to Bella, and if there were friends in the picture, their relationship would be less, well, intense.

But I think there was an opportunity for a worthwhile BFF story there--the real-life issues that arise when you need to keep a secret from your best friend, the friend vs. boyfriend teenage drama, all that good stuff. Giving Bella just one true pal, even someone from her past life in Arizona, could have rounded out her character nicely. And maybe a BFF could have softened her awkward jagged edges. (The Kristen Stewart/Bella Swan awkwardness thing is a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Who's painful-to-watch uncomfortableness around other humans came first??)

Hello, Twihards. Have you ever noticed Bella's lack of BFFs? Why doesn't she have any friends? Think it was a conscious choice by Stephenie Meyer? Would giving her a best friend or two would have hurt or helped the story?

Follow Rachel's awkward and hilarious escapades in her search for a new best friend—and musings on pop culture BFFs like this one—on her blog, MWF Seeking BFF

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