We all owe him an apology for the sheer shame
Imagine your typical single woman, and most of us are likely to conjure up images of Bridget Jones, sitting on the couch, crying in an ice bath.
We took the ‘perpetual singleton’ – famous for its alcohol, tobacco, and obsessive calorie counting – into our hearts, after Helen Fielding created the character in 1996, and many of us. , single girls, we still identify with her over 25 years later.
But as much as we adore Bridget and the awkward way she navigated London’s urban jungle and her own love life (really – she was voted the most inspiring onscreen heroine in a 2020 poll), looking at the character through a fresh, modern perspective presents some issues in the way she was portrayed.
Yes, while Richard Curtis Bridget Jones Diary is still our romantic comedy staple, and Renée Zellweger unquestionably lives up to the role, there’s no denying that there are issues with the way Bridget is characterized, as a single woman.
On the one hand, she is continually ashamed and questioned as to why she did not settle down when she was only 32 years old. Bridget even hears relatives say “ticking” when discussing future plans to start a family, in a cruel reference to her body clock.
While the film, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversarye birthday, admittedly a parody of a lot of tired tropes about being single, a lot of societal beliefs about being single are also endorsed.
Bridget was introduced to us as a chubby, fag smoker, wine-drenched person whose only path to happiness was with Mr. Darcy. As a result, her publishing and then television careers are largely swept away, and the fact that she owns a one-bedroom apartment (in the much sought after Borough, London of all places) only serves as a backdrop. of pity to his well established. single.
Instead, the film focuses on the pressure Bridget puts on herself to eat less, exercise more, and change the very fibers of who she is to satisfy a man’s whims – even if he does. tells him that she loves him “as she is.”
Bridget’s original character may have been intentionally satirical, poking fun at the middle classes for their more ridiculous weaknesses, but the nuances in it were seemingly lost on the big screen.
The typical attributes we still associate with Bridget – getting drunk, singing Celine Dion’s All By Myself, and resigning themselves to dying old, alone and being eaten by Alsatians – are still something some people today associate with the life of single.
Match dating expert Hayley Quinn agrees the character is most likely a victim of sheer shame.
“Bridget Jones was the poster girl for single women in the ’90s, but her hopelessly single character also perpetuates many negative stereotypes about single lives,” she says. Tyla. “Her parents are worried about her, she drinks too much wine and is neurotic about how many chopped pies she eats.
“She doesn’t walk into the dating world feeling complete on her own – she’s desperate for love in order to feel fulfilled.”
Hayley explains that the pressure on Bridget to find “The One” as soon as possible is something we still see today, despite huge social changes.
The average age for women in the UK to get married is 35, according to national statistics, four years since the 1990s.
Women may choose to focus on their careers or other life pursuits before settling down, and the introduction of online dating sites and apps means some people may want to enjoy the game. meetings longer.
“Simple shame sucks; it assumes we must all have arrived at the same destination, on the same timeline, what if you haven’t? Well, there must be something wrong with it. you, “said Hayley. “In fact, many people are more than ever connected to this.
“A recent Match study found that 52 percent of singles say they’ve experienced simple shame since the start of the pandemic, although 59 percent are happy with the state of their relationship.”
Bridget’s emphasis on the search for love, on all other aspects of what seems like an otherwise fabulous life, masks all of her other accomplishments – and perpetuates the idea that the only ‘real’ happy ending for one. woman is a wedding day.
With the world so completely changed over the past 20 years, Hayley urges single women not to be ashamed of their choice to stay single and to celebrate other things in life that make us happy instead of chasing a spectral M Right (or should we say Mr. Darcy).
“Whether it’s Jane Austen or Bridget Jones, it’s important that everyone recognizes that there is more than one path to happiness in life; and that everyone’s final destination doesn’t have to be the altar, ”she says.
“If you are single today, don’t be Bridget; appreciate the fact that you are the main character of your own story and the master of your own destiny – be single on your own terms.”