Behind the Cosplay: Bella Swan

“I’d never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d had reason enough in the last few months – but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.” (1)
Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. Little, Brown and Company, 2005.

She’s here! Isabella Swan, a.k.a. Bella, from The Twilight Saga has finally made her official cosplay debut and I am so excited to go on this journey with her!

If you missed Bella’s first in-character cosplay post, click here!

Who is Bella Swan?

Bella Swan is the main character of The Twilight Saga. We are first introduced to her when she moves from Phoenix, AZ to Forks, WA during the middle of her junior year of high school to live with her father. It is in Forks that she meets the dazzling and mysterious Edward Cullen and his family and is introduced into the world of vampires.

Bella feels like she is out of sync with everyone around her. Her personality is on the introverted side and had to take on household responsibilities as a young child even though she lived with her mother, Renée, full time, only seeing Charlie during the summers in Forks and later in California. She is a reader and does well in school. However, she is very clumsy. Her appearance in the books is long dark brown hair that is straight with brown eyes when she is human. (135-144)

Why Bella Swan?

This truly has been a long time coming since 2008!

As for a more define answer to the question, Bella was one of my first young adult main characters I read about. I remember feeling a connection to her while that might have started because she got the boy of almost anyone’s dreams, I have come to love her as more than that as I have matured. I love that she is quiet but also very kind to the people around her and loyal to the people who matter in her life. I love her stubbornness of wanting to be a vampire and knowing her own mind. I am similar to Bella because she also keep her thoughts and feelings to herself. I love that she spends her free time reading and listening to music which is pretty much what I like to do as well. While she is not perfect and I do not always agree with her actions, I still love her as a character.

What is my cosplay version of Bella Swan?

Bella is a character I remember stating since 2008 that I wanted to dress like and would look on the internet for any websites that would tell me what to do. At the time I did not know that there were blogs and social media groups talking and collecting screen accurate clothing that Bella wore in the movies. (While you do not need to have screen accurate clothing to cosplay Bella or any character in the movies or tv shows, this is a preference of mine to an extent.)

Since finding that side of the internet, and other Bella cosplayers, the ideas of my cosplay version of her started to come alive. After attending the virtual event, “Forever Twilight in Forks” Festival, in September 2020, I decided to focus my cosplay to be the book version of Bella so I started re-reading the books to note all of Bella’s book outfits. (And finally finishing the series after 13 years!) I did know that I also wanted to include some of the movie outfits if I was able to find any but I was not making that the main focus at the time.

As time has passed since that first idea, I have changed my plans slightly while also adding new ideas. I knew that I did not want to create a separate social media account for any of my cosplays and I remembered I had my blog which will host all of my cosplay content while my social media will get snippets of it. As for Bella, I want to make it a more even between book version outfits and movie version outfits. I love Bella’s style in both those medias and want to explore both of them. While clothing plays a part, so does hair and make-up. I decided to follow the book hairstyle that Bella has which is straight and long. However at the current moment I do not have the hair length, so I am making do with it for now. (But this gives me a big reason to shoot new Bella content in the future when my hair is the right length. Just have to be patient about it for now!) As for make-up, it is a learning process because I do not normally wear it on a normal day basis. (I pretty much only wear make-up for nice events and cosplay.) For Bella, she does not wear a lot of make-up, if at all in the books, so I am keeping it pretty simple and nothing crazy.

As for the cosplay content, I really love the idea of storytelling through photography. And getting to the point for myself, I have encountered many accounts that are showcasing that element as well which have inspired what I am doing with my content. However, I am always reminding myself to make sure I am doing my own thing and not trying to copy someone else.

My cosplay content for Bella will not always be in order of events from the books and movies even though I am starting out with the beginning of the book in my first couple of posts. (This will probably be a thing for all my characters. Another reason for jumping around the timeline is to give me creative freedom and less pressure.) My cosplay content depends on what I have in my closet which means the timeline will most likely be jumping around. There will be a huge possibility that content in the future will look to repeat itself due to me re-imagining or “upgrading” a character which could include a more accurate outfit or my natural hair is the right length I am looking for. (Gotta keep you lovely people on your toes for what is coming next!)

If you cannot tell by this point, I am very much excited to be bringing Bella Swan to life! I am excited to tell her story and get to know her better. And if you have any questions about my cosplay version of Bella, please do not hesitate to reach out. Also please go and check out all the other Bella cosplayers because there are so many amazing ones out there!

While I see no end date of when I will stop cosplaying Bella Swan, so let’s start with forever!

Lots of Love,
Shannon

Meyer, Stephenie. The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. Atom, 2011.

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