Bridget Jones's Diary: A feminist view point reading.

The book is not structured as a conventional novel: It is in a form of diary´s entrees which allows the author to use a more informal language. That makes it easier to read and creates an expectation of what is coming in the next entrée. Besides, in my opinion, the book is a cliché and if it is aimed to be comedy, it is poor in irony(the idea of a diary is ironic by itself, considering a thirty-something heroine) although having a strong tendency towards supporting unveiled feminist ideas.

Bridget Jones decides to start a diary in order to track her progress in weight loss (specifically thigh circumference), quitting smoking, cope with adult responsibilities, drinking less and finding a man (with no emotional fuckwittage!), as she’s tired of being a thirty-something singleton.

In order to understand feminism, it is demanding that we define feminism. According to Merriam-Webster:” 1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.2: organized activity on behalf of women´s rights and interests. Today feminism is more related to women´s liberation and the attempt to make men more sensitive, according to various feminists activists.

Helen Fielding portrays a society that(through the eyes of BJ)is intolerant with the gender inequalities as the main character herself is incapable to cope with household chores (she does not know how to boil an egg) and have a professional career. She is lost in the twilight zone, were she is not even a stereotype of a woman (a woman who is skillful for housekeeping) and she is not equal to men(generally pragmatic), besides she is liberated(she drinks, she smokes, she has casual sex, etc.)She is not socially well accepted, again trough Bridget´seyes.

Why is it that Bridget Jones´s Diary is placed in London some twenty years ago? And the entire plot revolves around a girl in her earlier thirties who is enormously aware she is a heavy smoker and drinker as well as overweigh, if most of English girls of her age in that time were also like her?

That suggests the author wants to pass on a feminist viewpoint as her heroine is struggling unsuccessfully through the trial to fulfill the society´s demands of pursuing self-improvement nevertheless she succeeds professionally and in love against all odds.

The story is an entire year in the life of Briget Jones; A Thirty two year-old middle class London girl, starting with new year’s resolutions, which include: Stop smoking, lose weight, reduce drinking units, improve career, save money (start a pension), be more assertive, make better use of time and build up functional relationship with responsible adults. Her eternal quest for sel improvement meet an end when she recognizes that she is not up to the struggle and she decides she is going to stay home in an egg spotted sweater like a “couch-potato”.

Her love life´s turning point is when she is disappointed with Daniel, her boos to whom she is obsessed and then she discovers that Mark Darcy is divorcee not because he had been in a failure marriage due to his faults, but because of an unfaithful wife who cheated on him. In this point she finds out that he can be also a sensitive man.

Firstly, evidences show that Bridget must have a low self-esteem: Her self-image is of a compulsory fat, alcoholic, smoking addicted and manners less middle-age woman (she is only thirty-two years old but she thinks she is way too old to get married) who was failed under social conventions. Evidences on that can be seen in every diary´s entree on her obsession to losing weight and stop smoking and reduce drinking. But the author has never actually described her physically. She is probably an average English girl. On the movie with the same title BD is interpreted by Renée Zellweger (she is fit).The conception of social failure for being a single thirty-two year-old girl is also a feministic matter, as well as being overweight and not been “accepted”.

Secondly, the media promotes perfect fitness, vices free and desirable women and men. Yes. Women and men! Today there is a thought stream of people who believe that there is a shape dictatorship over women in society but let us consider this in more details: What is the shape of of boy´s toys like Max Steel and Batman? What is the shape of James Bond?

Helen Fielding’s men both Darcy and Daniel are fit and there is no doubt an attractive man is a man who is in perfect shape and has self-control over tobacco and other drugs.

What calls attention in the book is that the unstable Briget Jones is portrayed as victim of sort of pressure to self-improvement like no other people in the book are, especially men.

Another spoonful of feminism in the book is the frequent references to shagging. While there is no steamy sex scenes there described. That stands for the reason that extreme feminism claims for women the right to have casual sex.

Finally, the other characters like Tom and Sharon for instance serve the purpose to state the author´s idea of an unbiased acceptance of different life styles, suggesting alternative family units to the traditional ones. Here is Tom making clear his disapproval to prejudice against unconventional types of families: “We´re not lonely. We have extended families in the form of networks of friends.” - Says Tom, Joining Sharon in deploring others: “arrogant hand writing about single life”. Feminism often states that a woman is not obligated to get married; she can chose to be single.

In conclusion, the novel has a clear purpose: To elicit the difficulties a regular woman is facing to cope with adapting to modern thinking of society and to fulfill the expectations of the same society which is very demanding on self-improvement and Helen Fielding does it in a comic way.


Marcos AntonioStaub

28 de Julho de 2018.





Assine gratuitamente nossa revista e receba por email as novidades semanais.


Está com alguma dúvida? Quer fazer alguma sugestão para nós? Então, fale conosco pelo formulário abaixo.