Not only is Bella too average-looking, she's also too old. Talk about horrors! An eighteenth birthday is an event a girl just wants to ignore. And she might as well be dead as twenty-five. I know, I know, it's just a story. Bella will age because she's human, but Edward (a vampire) and Jacob (a werewolf) won't. But Meyer's choices illustrate (and promote) an attitude of ageism that hits women hardest. Aging women and aging men are not perceived equally in our society. Gray hair on a man is distinguished; gray hair on a woman looks old (Why doesn't she dye her hair?). A man's wrinkles give him character; a woman's wrinkles make her look old (Why doesn't she get a facelift?). He's a good catch--a bachelor with a good job, a big house, a great car, plenty of money, etc.; she's a spinster or a "Cougar"--and either way often the butt of jokes. Sigh.
To be continued . . .
[Oh, I'm about 2/3 through Eclipse now.]