I’m fresh from watching Jumanji: The Next Level and if you can’t tell, I’m a huge Bethany fan. First of all, there are spoilers on this post so, read with caution! While the movie was a non-stop laugh ride, I was disappointed at how less involved Bethany was for the majority of the movie. But, the times that she was on scene, were best moments of the movie. That was entirely subjective. At the very least, they were all significant scenes.
So, to quench my thirst for more of Bethany’s character, I compiled a list! I’m sure you all think these at some point, but here are 5 things that made us love Bethany in the recent Jumanji movies.
She is the BFF you wish you had
Let’s admit it. She’s popular at school. A cheer leader. And she has a lot of Instagram followers! She is modern day Regina George – minus everything bad about Regina George. In fact, she is an angelic version of Regina George. Okay, that’s all about Regina. But you see. Before she even had her character development, she was already likeable.
She accepted her faults and worked on them
Like everybody else, she wasn’t perfect. What makes her different is how open she was to accepting that she was in the wrong! Remember when Martha told her she lives in this bubble of herself? Yes, she acted like the world revolved around her with no care for others. But the fact that she actually listened to Martha, and admitted it, already shows a major character point. We’re all selfish creatures, Bethany wasn’t the only one. She just happened to have everyone’s eyes on her that it’s easy to see her faults. But she wasn’t even bitter about that! Instead, she bloomed into this wonderful woman who put others first and not for the reason of getting something in return. But, simply because she started to care.
She is not an overly sexualised female character
In almost every movie, there’s an overly sexualised female character bound to just show skin and offer fan service. Although Bethany is not lacking in both face and body, her character just has so much more to show that you don’t get to see her just as an object. It’s one of those events that a female character is valued for who she is and how much she’s grown, rather than what she looks like. With all due respect to Martha’s Ruby Roundhouse, and don’t take me wrong (I like Martha), she was impractically clothed for an adventure game.
She has a sob story too
She definitely doesn’t have it all. The first time she truly started to care for someone, she can’t have him. Alex seemed like a really great guy and I think they would’ve been really good together. But alas! Life has lemons for Bethany too. But you know what good romance movies have in common? They have a sad ending. That’s true for Bethany and Alex. It’s bitter-sweet but it’s more reason to love her.
She empowers women
But as much as Alex is a great influence on her, Bethany is not defined by him. Jumanji shaped her into accepting who she is and becoming a better person for herself and for others. She defined herself and took full responsibility of who she is and who she wants to be. What I loved best about her, and we see this in the second movie, is how she knows what she wants and she goes for it! She went touring the world. She’s not just a nature lover, she went to explore cultures and met different people. When her friends were stuck in the game and she was left out, she put her big girl shoes on and went to get help even if it meant opening up old wounds for her.
She teaches us that being a woman is not all about the face and body (that doesn’t mean we hate our face and body). She loves herself and that’s not a bad thing. She learned to love others, which was a process for her and gave her life meaning. She’s not your heartbroken female character who becomes someone else by the end of the movie. She remains who she is, but improved into a better person inside and out through the entire series so far.
She’s not your average woman empowerment figure. She didn’t go through a lot of hardships (but she had some). Ironically, she’s proof that you don’t have to go through a lot of hardship to become a better person. You can just choose to.