three things bridget jones has taught me
The new Bridget Jones book Mad About the Boy has arrived from Helen Fielding, and already there are whispers of a film adaptation. Fielding has said she would ‘like to see it be a film’, but nobody seems to have bought the rights as of yet. Many would ask if a third Bridget Jones film is necessary –to be honest, I would answer not really. But do I want to see it made? Absolutely.
With all this speculation, it seems appropriate to reflect on the effect Bridget Jones has had on singletons of all ages. Aside from being an extremely loveable character in an extremely quotable film, there are a few life lessons that the socially awkward, bumbling Bridget has taught me over the years that can easily be adapted into most women’s lives.
‘circulate, oozing intelligence’: you don’t always have to be the life of the party
Bridget works in publishing and gets to ‘fanny about with the press releases’, something I have rather fancied doing myself – and if I must wear a short skirt while doing so, what of it? But with publishing comes literary events, something that a great majority of us find intimidating at the best of times. Being the life of the party can be tough.
During a particularly rough period in year 11, when I had transitioned to a new school and was trying to deal with the fallout from some particularly nasty girls, Bridget was there to remind me — in her flannelette pyjamas — that it’s totally okay to be a bit of a social outcast sometimes.
At parties I always felt ostracised, which resulted in many bathroom trips. I much preferred to curl up on the sofa (sans the vodka bottle that Bridget would be cradling) and watch the films over again. While this was an undoubtedly tragic and anti-social use of my free time, I kind of didn’t care.
Through watching Bridget fumble over her words at a book launch — in front of the great Salman Rushdie, no less — I was secretly learning how to behave at a highbrow social gathering.
‘great, I was wearing a carpet’: looks can be deceiving
It is safe to say that each time Bridget meets Mark Darcy, she is wearing something utterly ridiculous. When they first meet at the turkey curry buffet, Mark is donning a knitted reindeer jumper and Bridget is rocking an extremely tactile looking waistcoat-and-skirt combo — clothing their mothers have lovingly forced them into. This is only to be later outdone by her infamous sexy bunny costume.
And considering the obsession with women’s bodies, it is refreshing to see a female protagonist on screen that doesn’t look half-starved and as if they’re about to cave in on themselves. Albeit, Renee Zellweger did have to put a lot of weight onto her teeny tiny frame in order to play this role, but didn’t she look fabulous?
Bridget also taught me it’s totally okay to be caught in your worst underwear, because if the person you’re with is superficial enough to be turned off by it, they’re probably not worth it. Flesh coloured, tummy tucking granny pants? At the age of 23 I haven’t tried them personally, but who knows what I’ll be trying in ten years or so.
‘i like you, just the way you are’: you’re allowed to be a bit of a fool
When I moved into my first share house, I initially thought it would be a nerve-wracking experience. Essentially, I would be exposing all my weird (creepy obsession with owls) and wonderful (remembering to put out the bins) ways with my two friends Georgia and Emily. However, any anxieties were immediately quelled when we unloaded our DVDs into a pile and Bridget Jones was in amongst the mix. We were going to get along just fine — in knowing that we had Bridget in common, we knew we were off to a good start.
Hence, our favourite mantra for crossing the crazy, traffic-strewn road outside our house became the words of the useless television assistant who tells Bridget to slide down the fireman’s pole at the wrong moment. ‘Go go go go go GOO!’ one of us would yell, and we would dash, screaming, as the next set of cars raced towards us. Another quote we were fond of whipping out for no particular reason was ‘bop bop’, courtesy of the very creepy, very inappropriate “Uncle” Geoffrey, who frequently grabs Bridget’s arse. (To be clear, we were in no way condoning this behaviour.)
Basically, we all just decided to be ourselves, and it made for the best outcome possible. We knew that if one of us held a dinner party and made a totally inedible blue soup, they would be instantly forgiven — because we liked each other just the way we were.