That said, I’m always taken aback a bit when people criticize Kristen Stewart for not smiling enough. Because, really, that alone is a terrible reason not to like someone. I remember something Margaret Atwood, who I love, love, love, once said. She noted that a critic said she was “always glowering.” She responded by taking all of the press photos of her and lining them up. In half of them she was smiling. In half of them she was not. From this she drew the conclusion that if a woman is smiling half the time and not smiling the other half of the time, she is, in fact, glowering.
And this does seem like an unfair criticism. If someone went up to say, Clint Eastwood, a man not known for smiling a whole bunch, and started saying “Why so serious?” they would sound like the fucking Joker. They would sound like a supervillain.
So. You never need to smile to please me, Kristen Stewart.
But I would really appreciate it if you stopped playing roles that play into this adolescent fantasy that you can be super special and “the one” without doing much of anything.
I guess I hate her because of Bella Swan. Jesus Christ, I realize Bella is supposed to be an “everygirl,” but her entire reason for being seems to be “so that she can be rescued.” She does not have a single trait that you could describe in an admirable way. (Namely, “God, that Bella, she has a wit like Voltaire’s!” or “What’s great about Bella is her Hermione Granger-like intellect.”) But it’s cool because she is special. She is so inherently special that Edward, a vampire alive for hundreds of years just loves her. Why? Because she’s special. And because she’s herself. Which is special.
This is not enough. Develop traits, young people reading Twilight. It is weird to say “You are not inherently amazing” but you are not inherently more amazing than anyone else. You become special by working very hard to develop your strengths. This is how you succeed at things. This is how you become someone who is admired and loved. You do not win at life by waiting around, complaining about the rain, and hoping everyone will love you. We get the lives we work at.
If this is confusing, please read every column by Jen Dziura.