For those of you who know me, either personally or over the internet, you’re more than likely aware of my obsession with Bridget Jones. Yes, some may call it chick-lit trash, but I heartily disagree. The wise words of Bridget Jones’s Diary are in fact a slice of priceless feminist literature.
Since its original release in 1996, it’s been argued whether Bridget Jones is in fact feminist, or post-feminist (a reaction considered to move past, or reject some ideas of second-wave feminism). These anti-Bridget marauders consider her to be self-centered, egotistical and more interested in her own life than the plight of contemporary women.
Fair enough, really. Her diary does consist of numerous entries about body-image, socialising and, for the most part, men. It’s easy to see how one would consider Bridget anti-feminist. She readily alters herself to accommodate the men in her life (But Mark likes her just the way she is!).
But seriously, that’s life. Bridget Jones’s Diary isn’t celebrating our selfish habits (like they’re really that bad, anyway), it’s expressing the normality of stressing about our weight, our addictions and the way that others perceive us. The emphasis isn’t on the actions themselves, but on our ability to relate to Bridget’s flaws.
There’s never been more of a need for Bridget than in contemporary society. Perfection is bombarded upon us. Mainstream music, magazines and television idealize a narrow image of women – which for most of us is unattainable. Bridget, in all her clumsy glory, encapsulates the collective flaws of the average woman. And this is something to be celebrated.
Every woman should read this book (men too) – and the sequels, of course. It’s my bible, my go to easy-read, a pick-me-up when I’m feeling down and, I guess you could say, a self-help book of my own. I have this mantra (feel free to borrow it): embrace your inner Bridget.
We’re not Photoshopped models, airbrushed actors or auto-tuned musicians. We’re average women, and that’s okay. This is Bridget, her message to the women of the world: embrace your flaws. They. Are. Okay. More than that, they’re awesome. Flaws make us interesting individuals, they build character, and yes, cause a giggle every now and then. But why do we love Bridget? Because she’s thin? Eloquent? GRACEFUL?
No effing way.
If we are, as some say, in the midst of third-wave, or ‘technological feminism,’ one of the major hurdles is this idea of perfection. We’re expected to look a certain way, act a certain way and in some cases, feel a certain way. Shaming culture is at a peak, body-shaming, mum-shaming, food-shaming. What’s next, criticising the way others shame?
Judgement has become a constant burden, but to worry about people’s perceptions of us only feeds the machine. So how do we fight back? Simple. Embrace your inner Bridget.
Still not at your psychological, emotional or romantic peak? We’re here to help. From here on we’ll be running a monthly advice column. But not your average advice, Bridget advice. Send us your man problems or emotional breakdowns, and we’ll respond by channelling our inner Bridget and delivering you words of (possibly drunken) wisdom.
Contact any of us at Melissa, Lucas or Kezia @themorningbell.net. Because really, the real question we should be asking in life, the epitome of existentialism, is what would Bridget do?