For those of you that don’t know, Bella Swan is the protagonist of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Set in the perpetually rainy town of Forks (which only gets a week of sunshine a year and is somehow not an honorary part of the UK), the plot follows Bella’s involvement with a group of mysterious, sparkly vampires. She falls in love with the most glittery vampire of them all, Edward Cullen, has some run-ins with a bunch of shirtless werewolves, and generally spends most of the series getting into scrapes with various supernatural entities. The books became an instant success, with over one hundred million copies sold worldwide, and spawned a series of movies, T-shirts, action figures and is widely seen as one of the defining crazes of the late 2000s. Bella herself has come in for a lot of criticism, which mainly centres around the question of whether she is a good role model for young girls.
Let’s settle this once and for all and see if she lives up to the hype. Is Bella Swan a strong female character?
… April Fools’.