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March 26, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones

“Bridget, Bridget, Bridget”

Helen Fielding has managed to create a wonderfully lovable character in her protagonist, 30-something Bridget Jones. Bridget’s diary chronicles her (attempted) weight loss, her cigarette and alcohol intake and her ever-important quest to find true love (before her biological clock implodes and she is doomed to live out the rest of her life as a singleton in the world of smug marrieds). Surely even marrying a fuckwit would be better than that!

Fielding creates a protagonist who is desperate to “improve” herself in order to fit in to what she thinks society expects her to be (skinny, healthy, happily married and graceful at all times) but never quite measures up to her unrealistic version of the perfect woman because she is too busy doing all of the things that are actually important in life (and I don’t mean that ironically) like laughing with friends and drinking far too many cocktails. One of the most heartwarming things about Bridget is that she manages to get herself in to several embarrassing situations and has the reader groaning in sympathy at her make up mishaps and her birthday feast that turned blue despite her very best efforts.

Fielding has a way of describing things that shows you that it is okay to start the diet tomorrow, drink wine by yourself and hate skinny people just because. There is something about Bridget that every woman can relate to, at some point in her life, whether it is image problems, a smoking addiction, embarrassing parents, a pervy boss or the fear that you will die alone and be eaten by Alsatians. If you don’t believe me I challenge you to find me the exception!

I did get annoyed about Bridget worrying about her weight when she was a little over 9 stone. I found myself thinking that I would kill to be 9 stone but then I realised that that is exactly the point Fielding is trying to make, that Bridget doesn’t need to change, she just thinks she does. This revelation didn’t suddenly make me okay with my weight but it did make me laugh and anyway if we all went around being okay with who we are who would buy all the holding-in pants! 😉

Fielding writes with such refreshing honesty and humour about the struggles and joys of womanhood, the search for Mr Darcy and the journey towards being happy ‘exactly as you are’. She even makes up a few of her own words (my favourite being fuckwittage) which is reminiscent of Shakespeare and throws in lots of references to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for good measure.

Bridget Jones is a modern-day heroine and she doesn’t feel like a character in a book, she feels like a friend – one every girl should have.

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