Am finally forced to create a Hairpin account to comment on Twilight. I did not see it going down this way.
I totally agree about the gothic monstrosity of Meyer's depictions of pregnancy and motherhood, and I am definitely on the same page about the weird single-faceted image of the actualized woman as an athletic, ass-kicking Buffy. STILL, this piece doesn't address my biggest problem with the novels' representation of Bella's desires.
She is desperate to become a vampire so that she never has to age. Which is SO SCREWY AND UNHEALTHY. I'm having a hard time understanding it as a monster-metaphor for any useful or insightful commentary on our societal obsession with youthfulness, largely because - she succeeds! The novels totally accede to her damaging monomanical focus on remaining a teenager forever, and yeah, it means she gets to have a happy nuclear family ending. But it also means she never ever has to confront being a woman beyond the age of 21!
This has always been my bugbear with these books, and I think it's as representationally damaging as any of the usual complaints about conservative ideas of sex and morality or half-vampire demon children.