If we have to describe a single woman, most of us think of Bridget Jones crying into a tub of ice cream, and we immediately single-shame her. Even though Helen Fielding created Bridget Jones in 1996, many girls still identify with this drinker, smoker and obsessive calories counter. But being single is not something to be ashamed of!
Bridget Jones and the continuos single-shaming of her
As much as we adore Bridget, if we look at her character in 2021, some problems on how she was portrayed as a single woman emerge.
Bridget Jones is continuously single-shamed and questioned on why she hasn’t settled down. She often hears relatives saying ‘tick tock’, referring to her biological clock.
Moreover, Bridget is presented to us as a plump no-hoper, whose only pathway to happiness was with Mr Darcy. Her brilliant career in publishing and then television is often forgotten. Also the fact that she owns a flat in an elegant Borough in London is just a way to highlight her singleness.
The movie focuses on the pressure Bridget puts on herself to eat less and exercise more. She doesn’t do these things for herself, but just to satisfy a man.
The positive things of being single
In 2021, we still use the typical attributes of Bridget Jones to single-shame people (and especially women).
Dating expert Hayley Quinn agrees the Bridget is clearly a victim of single-shaming. She was the poster girl for single women in the nineties. However, her attributes still perpetuate the classical (and negative) stereotypes about singleness. Moreover, she chases love in order to feel fulfilled, and without feeling good in her own skin.
The pressure of finding “the One” is still something that we see today, despite huge social change. The average age for women in the UK to get married is 35. They usually choose to focus on their careers or other, then settling down.
The emphasis Bridget puts on finding love masks all her other achievements. It’s important to celebrate other things, also because not everyone’s destination has to be the altar.