Gender-Swapped ‘Twilight’ Will Revive Your Inner Tween

by Dawn Day

Twihards are getting a special 10-year anniversary treat from Stephenie Meyer: a gender-swapped version of the original “Twilight” novel. The “Twilight” series, which has sold more than 150 million copies world wide and caused multiple cases of hyperventilation-level fandom, now stars Beau (boy Bella) and Edythe (girl Edward) in Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined.

Meyer told Good Morning America that she rewrote the genders of the characters to challenge the “damsel in distress” assumptions made about Bella’s character. 

“A question that had come up at a lot of signings and other things was about Bella being a damsel in distress, and that’s always bothered me a little bit, because anyone surrounded by superheroes is going to be in a little bit of distress,” Meyer said. “So I thought, ‘What if we switched it around a little bit and see how a boy does,’ and you know, it’s about the same.”

Placing a man in Bella’s clumsy, awkward, insecure role and a woman in the mysteriously powerful shoes of Edward is a cool way to take such an ultra-popular series and challenge gender norms. As a woman and former Twihard, I am trying to imagine what my 13-year-old-self (and my book club friends) would have thought about Edythe. Instead of identifying with Bella’s insecurities, maybe it would have been more empowering to see Edythe as a supernatural hero, who totally winds up with the love that she wasn’t looking for, but got anyway.

Although, I will say I think that Bella is a brave character throughout the series and winds up being even more of a shaker in the vampire world than Edward ever could have been. She even goes to save him in New Moon, but that’s a different story.


I think moments where Bella could be deemed a “damsel in distress” are rare in the series, but Meyer’s experiment with this gender swap is an awesome opportunity for new young adult readers to choose which version they want to read: the one where the girl is the vampire, or the one where the boy is the vampire. Plus, I can’t forget to mention the third corner to the famous love triangle, Julie. (That’s right #TeamJacob, y’all are now #TeamJulie.)

Meyer told Good Morning America that this will likely be Edythe and Beau’s only appearance, but I can’t help let my imagination wander. 

Is the entire pack of werewolves female, with one brooding misfit male?


How does vampire-woman Edythe get pregnant with the half-human Renesmee?


Would Renesmee be a boy in this version? Could he have a less creepy CGI-looking face?


I digress.

Meyer also said in the interview that a movie version of the gender swap is not likely, which is kind of disappointing. I would really like to see Edythe rescue Beau from getting smashed by a car. 


The double-feature tenth anniversary edition of Twilight, which includes Life and Death, is available today in bookstores and online. 

Photo via Amazon.

GIFs via Giphy, Giphy, GiphyGiphy and Giphy.

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