Who’s the Better Role Model – Elena or Bella?

One of entertainment’s many battles is Elena versus Bella – who is prettier, who has a better vampire boyfriend, who is the better role model… and the list goes on and on. But today, we’re going to discuss the latter, who is the better role model? Is it Twilight’s Bella or The Vampire Diaries’ Elena? Personally, I’m voting for Elena, I love her character and absolutely despise Bella, here’s why:

1. Bella is weak and helpless. She’s your classic pathetic damsel in distress. She constantly needs to be rescued by her big strong men, since she is incapable of saving herself. However, Elena is a badass that has no problem fighting for herself. Yes, she also has men protecting her, but in the end she doesn’t need them. Do you remember the last episode? Elena took down an ancient vampire all on her own! I’d like to see Bella attempt that.

2. Bella is a huge pushover. She lets Edward and Jacob boss her around constantly and puts up with Edward’s ridiculous passive aggression. When she does try to stand up for herself, she gets shot right back down and that’s that. Elena on the other hand, well, that girl calls the shots. She tells it how it is and flat out said that they’re going to do things her way. She lets her voice be heard; she doesn’t sulk and shut up.

3. Bella can’t function on her own. When Edward left her she turned into a giant sack of crazy. She flipped the fuck out and turned into a suicidal mess. During Elena and Stefan’s break, she flat out said, “I’m not going to be one of those pathetic girls whose world stops spinning because of some guy.”

4. Bella is a selfish. She constantly puts her father at risk for her own needs. She even abandons him forever so that she can be a vampire. When it comes to Elena, she has made it very clear that her family is the most important thing to her. She was even willing to sacrifice herself to save them. Elena doesn’t beg Stefan to turn her so that they can run away together; instead she focuses on keeping her loved ones safe and even broke it off with Stefan to keep Katherine away from her family.

5. Bella is that type of girl that ditches her friends the second she has a boyfriend. We all know the type, that irritating girl that spends every moment with her boyfriend and blows off her pals. Real friends don’t do that. Elena stays true to her friends, she still hangs out with them, still talks to them, she doesn’t put Stefan first. Elena is a gal that has her priorities in order.

After all of that it’s pretty clear who the better role model is – Elena. Now, Elena is by no means perfect, she has issues of her own, but compared to Bella she kicks all sorts of ass.

What do you guys think? Elena or Bella?

Update: I am not talking about Elena from the books, but Elena from the TV show.

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).


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  4. Sorry but I think this analysis of the two characters is facile. For one thing, the vampires in TWILIGHT are hugely more powerful than those in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES which surely means something in judging either in how they behave around vampires. Second, it misses the fact that Bella herself is the driving force in the novels and it is her decisions that shape the plot (including the fact that she does *not* simply put up with whatever Edward or Jacob do–that is simply inaccurate). Likewise her total breakdown in the second book makes total sense if you begin with the premise that she is a lonely person who falls utterly and totally in love, then loses that love, seemingly forever. When I became a widower, my own behavior was very similar and I understood what she was going through. Honestly, if you’re looking for a role model among the girlfriends of vampires I’d look to Vicky in BLOOD TIES or Natalie in FOREVER KNIGHT. Elena seems cool but she isn’t a vividly drawn character (a generic “spunky heroine” with a layer of sadness on top) while Bella is complex but nearly everything about her story pulls its dramatic punch. They all seem like perfectly good characters for their stories, but when it comes to role models…well I go with the fierce detective or the dedicated scientist over any high school student (except maybe Buffy)l.

    1. I was comparing these two because they are the two big teen characters right now. Yes, I agree that Vicky rocks, but she’s not the obsession of countless teens. I can think of a dozen better role models, but this isn’t about them, this is a battle between the teen queens.

      As for Bella being complex, that’s ridiculous. She’s simple minded and a terrible role model for young girls. Would you want your daughter being raised on the idea that she needs a knight in shining armor to come and rescue her from her boring life? Would you want your daughter to only feel pretty when a boy says she is? That’s what Bella does. Maybe I’m a bit more independent and strong-willed than the average woman, but the whole thing about having a big strong man save me is so not appealing. A woman should speak her mind, she should fight for herself, she shouldn’t be a giant doormat like Bella.

      1. With respect, I think you’re presuming that because Bella is humble that means she is weak. The story does not back that premise up. She is genuinely and totally in love, which makes her vulnerable. I was in my forties when my fiancee died and my emotional breakdown was only a tiny bit less total than hers. But she drives the story. All the major decisions in the books are hers, especially the last.

        I frankly question two other premises. One pertains to why she’s admired–which seems to me centered on her loneliness, her lack of self esteem and the fact she is the beloved of a too-good-to-be-true boy. The former two methinks makes her sympathetic because everyone feels like that. This last is pure wish fullfillment.

        Secondly, it seems to me the vast majority of readers/viewers can and do like both characters rather than modeling themselves totally on either one. Folks may prefer one, but that hardly means they must loathe the other.

        1. I agree that there are good and bad qualities to both of these characters, but Bella is a bit of a pushover and a weakling. Now I’m not saying she is all the time, but generally speaking, yes she is. Elena is on the other end of the scale, she can be a bit too hard-headed sometimes, like sacrificing her life for everyone elses without thinking of another solution first.

          As for when Bella loses Edward in the second book, it’s understandable that she feels the loss and the pain, but for becoming a total zombie and being out of it for 4 months? That is just pathetic, sure time may not lesson the wound but she could at least TRY to get back to a life. If you dont try to get back to your life you will never forget that person, and you will never be happy again. As for Elena she chooses not to let the break up between her and Stefan get her down, which is what most girls need to do when they break up (mostly the over dramatic ones who think it will be the end of the world a.k.a Isabella Swan!).

    2. I have to agree with D.MacDowell Blue. The creatures in Twilight are pretty invincible from a human stand point. You can just spray a plant extract in their face and run or shoot them in the heart with a wooden bullet.

      I think she stands up to Edward and Jacob in her own way. From reading the books I don’t see where she has ever had a boyfriend before which makes me think she would do ALMOST anything to keep him. As far as the part about only feeling pretty when a guy says it is total inaccurate. She doesn’t feel pretty even when he does tell her.

      I don’t think girls should see any fictional person as a role model. If I HAD to choose one or the other I would have to go with TV Elena. Book Elena is vastly different.

      Dark Shogun

  5. Thinking it over I would have to pick Elena. Look I don’t mind Bella being humble. But she for example asked Jacob to kiss her because she was trying to make him feel better. I can’t realy be fond of a girl who tries to kill herself over a guy or allows mind games to be played (like the above). Elena is humble too and doesn’t try to tell guys off. You will never hear her say stop trying to protect me. Or call them male chaveist for example. However, she will not play mind games (unlike Katherine who messed with both brothers). Elena will only be with one of the brothers (it seems like Stefen). She can understand Damion and tries to be his friend. Elena doesn’t want to see any of her friends hurt because of her and would rather die for them. I even admire Stefen more then Edward. He is honest with her, encourages honesty, and seems willing to fight and over come his demons.

  6. Elena for sure. When Stefan tries to push her or change her mind, she keeps herself conscious of what she wants and not what he wants her to do.
    She is loyal to her boyfriend. She has no love interest in her brother and dedicates her heart to Stefan like a mature person should.
    Elena tries to make the best of what she can rather than give up. She gave up her relationship with Stefan with the hope of making a better choice for her and everyone else. Bella, unfortunately, does not try to overcome her feelings and simply resigns herself to loss. The worst part is she doesn’t learn from that experience. Even after her and Edward reunite from their break-up, she is still incapable without him and has not learned to deal.
    Elena has a sense of character in that she accepts responsibility and is determined to help in any way she can. She works with the Salvator brothers, witches, werewolves, Elijah and Katherine in order to protect Mystic Falls from danger. Bella does not seem to contribute to anything and has a minor role in society as she absorbs herself in her love life.
    I understand the theory that Bella is humble, but she has problems that don’t seem to correspond with the apparent attraction guys have for her. She puts herself down and can never even fathom that she might be pretty. She is clingy and possessive of her boyfriend, throwing away her individuality as a person. She doesn’t let anyone else except Edward get to know her and attempts to drive them all away with the assumption that they couldn’t possibly understand her or know her, despite her repetitive thought that she is a totally average person. Last time I checked, guys were not drawn to girls who were completely withdrawn, unlively and wallowing in self-disdain.

    And come on, I don’t think you can ignore that Stephenie Meyer wrote all that stuff about her modesty to make her seem humble and good, so that she was even more alluring to boys because she was so “different” and not “superficial” like ordinary girls. Because heaven forbid that men should like girls who have complete confidence in their self and don’t give a shit about what anyone thinks.

    1. I’m not comfortable with judging a character based on assumptions about the author. The idea that Bella simply agrees with whatever Edward says is simply not true to the story. And what makes her attractive to Edward and Bella is not her looks but her personality, her courage and strong moral sense. Keep in mind also that Bella is indeed a character who grows, becomes a more mature and assertive person. I’m not saying TWILIGHT is a particularly good, but it bothers me to see it or the books denigrated for flaws they do not possess. Elena more clearly fits a stereotype of an “assertive, confident young woman” and maybe that *does* make her a better role model. Maybe. I still vote for Buffy.

  7. When you put it like that, I guess Elena is the better of the two. Though, I can’t make an educated opinion on this one, seeing as I’ve never saw a full episode of the Vampire Diaries before.

  8. I think that Elena is a better role model than Bella. However, thousands of teens are obsessed with Twilight and Edward Cullen, they turn their noses up the minute they hear someone talk about vampire diaries. Believe me, I have a friend like that. Yes, I do like both girls, Elena and Bella. Yes, I love the vampire diaries and Twilight. However, Elena is the best. Bella doesn’t fight for herself, she gives up too easily. Elena fights her way through life, protects the ones she loves, she beats Bella one hundred percent.

  9. WTH Bella is more believable i mean the elena on the show isnt even real shes fake. Elena is supposed to be blonde and blue eyed not a brunette which has obviously derived from Bella. That show is basically twilight/true blood! They should have followed the books and be true to the books then the TVD would be more original and the books were way better!
    The average girl can relate more to Bella than Elena, Elena is rich, beautiful, popular and she gets two hot vamps fighting over her too, how spoilt and not all girls have all those qualitys.
    Bella is normal shes easier to relate to, plus i think an average person should be the heroin for once not a popular cheerleader please same old!
    As for the Damsel in distress of course Elena can stick up to the vamps in her world because shes ‘special’ everyone needs her for some dramatic ritual, also the vamps in her world are so easy to kill there’s so many ways of killing them.
    The twilight vamps are way stronger than the Vampire diaries vamps no human could go up against them how could Bella protect her father, they’d both be killed!
    Plus Stefan is a huge Edward wannabe, and y does Elena pick Stefan ova Damon in what reality would that happen!

    1. first I believe they did a good job not following the book to the letter in tVD. I think in the book the characters are weak and not worked out well. they are shallow and dull while in the serie they grow and aren’t that shallow at all. yes Elena WAS a cheerleader and WAS majorly popular but when her parents died she stopt being the promqueen and started her life again without the shallowness.
      I think Bella is weak because she want’s nothing more than being a vampire and doesn’t even want to wait untill the right time.
      I started off as a Twillight fan but I have the habbit of reading my books more than once and if you read them a second time you just get bored with the complaining and the omg I so stupid and ugly while she is like adored by all the boys in her school and stuff. you say that Elena is spoilt because she’s got two vampires who adore her but in Twillight Bella is adored by her whole school + a vampire and a werewolf so I think it’s more credible that a girl is loved by two than by lets say the whole town !

    2. I love that the VD vampires are more vulnerable than the Twilight ones. Twilight vampires are almost impossible to kill. The fact that vampires are immortal and beautiful doesn’t mean they should have everything, there should always be weaknesses that won’t give vamps the advantage all the time.

  10. seriously, you guys have to meet ROSE HATHAWAY of VAMPIRE ACADEMY.
    she’s the REAL role model hahaaa ;)
    *i wish they’d really make VA into movies!*

    but yeah, between Elena and Bella, i definitely go for ELENA! =)

  11. Bella Swan-Cullen. I have a circle of vampire friends who won’t even watch Vampire Diaries, for one, very inaccurate to what we believe vampires, and lovers should be, for two, Bella is so strong minded, that she makes these invincible vampires side with her because she makes good decisions. I love Bella because she can relate more to other girls out there since she realizes who she is after a long journey of not even loving herself, to finding out she is someone worth loving. Read the Twilight series again, then tell me what you ‘think’.

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