The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I’ve never given much thought to how I would spend a week living like a fictional character, but living like I’m a book protagonist from the mid-2000s seems like a good way to go.
Recently, I watched every hilariously awful film in the Twilight saga for the first time and was immediately intrigued by Bella Swan, the series’ main character famously known for touching her hair every five seconds. She’s the blueprint for all girls who are “not like the other girls.” She’s a style goddess for Brandy Melville-wearing and Abercrombie-loving TikTok fashionistas across the nation. She’s also an inspiration to everyone who ever matched their Silly Bandz to their hair feathers.
I couldn’t help but wonder: what would it be like to live like this pop culture icon for a week?
I took a fan-made, online quiz called “Are you a perfect Bella Swan?” to see if I was up to the challenge. I scored major points for being brunette, but my slight hesitation at falling irrevocably in love with my 108-year-old classmate who desperately wants to kill me might have knocked me down a few pegs; I refused to let this crushing blow break my spirit. This week would be Bella or bust.
It’s me and my thin headband against the world. Bella studies a lot in the first movie (probably to compensate for her lab partner constantly skipping class). I dig deep into Twilight’s nature-inspired aesthetic and do my homework outside while pumping alternative music through my AirPods. Surely my fellow passersby are thinking, “Who is this quirky and mysterious girl reading a textbook on the grass? Which obscure band is she listening to? Why is she wearing a long-sleeved top in 90-degree weather?” My skinny jeans and I then trek to the dining hall for some ravioli (sans mushrooms) before heading home to fall down a Google rabbit hole; while Bella successfully discovers that Edward is a vampire, I fail to figure out how inflation works.
Tuesday: New Moon
Bella really goes through it in New Moon. Her walking red flag of a boyfriend does an emotional 180 and leaves her—as in, he literally moves out of town without any warning. Rather than running away from her problems, however, Bella wallows in them by staring blankly out her window for three months. I do the same thing after checking my Canvas calendar. I make sure that my hair is styled exactly like hers: hardcore depression is no match for my perfectly swooped curtain bangs. Bella’s neighbor Jacob (who happens to be a clothing-averse werewolf. No biggie.) helps her get back to her ordinary, awkward self. The werewolf population in Tallahassee is pretty low as far as I’m aware, so I befriend normal dogs instead! Some of them are identical to Jacob, minus his denim knee shorts and painfully flexed muscles.
The love triangle is at its most complicated in Eclipse. I’m torn between my own personal Edward and Jacob: should I go for a brownie at the dining hall or a milkshake at Chick-Fil-A? The brownie is the safe choice—convenient, reliable and warmer than the average dessert. The ice-cold milkshake will probably give me a brain freeze, but at least it’s devoid of false hopes and anger issues. But guess what? I don’t have to choose. If Bella can kiss Jacob while being engaged to Edward and not cause World War III, I can totally eat the brownie while being in a loving relationship with the milkshake.
Thursday: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
As much as I’m committed to being like Bella this week, I draw the line at getting married at 18 and giving birth to the world’s first vampire-human hybrid. I do take cues from Bella and Edward’s honeymoon and spend all day in bed—napping. Being the main character is exhausting.
Friday: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
In honor of the underwhelming battle scene in the saga’s final installment, I create a highly complex delusion about a guy I made eye contact with for less than one second that inevitably leads to nothing. I desperately try to convince my friends who witnessed the event that he did look at me, right? It isn’t all just in my head? The thought scares me more than the CGI version of baby Renesmee.
Now that every volume in the series has been accounted for, my week as Bella Swan has sadly come to an end. The good news is that Twilight season is only just beginning! We have all semester long to rewatch the films and master the art of being “not like the other girls.” Who better to learn from than the original herself?