Women and Society
Published 30 Jun 2017
The novel “Bridget Jones Diary” is a good depiction of how a woman struggles to cope with the people around her while keeping in mind about the things that matter to her. It reflected how a woman balanced her life despite the challenges that she constantly face. One of these challenges is how to remain beautiful as time goes by, as people around you grow old. It showed a struggle to look beautiful, feel beautiful, and stay beautiful; a struggle to conform to the women’s beauty myth.
In this novel, the beauty myth was that women should stay sexy and beautiful no matter what happens. This is shown by the main character, Bridget Jones. In the novel, she is a woman in her 30’s who s still single and overweight. She smokes a lot, and when she tries to quit, she finds it hard to do so. When she realizes that she is way off the women’s beauty myth, she tries hard to do away with her vices and lose weight, as well as find herself a man to settle down with. Looking at Bridget’s situation, we can say that she is clearly trying to fit in to the beauty myth, wherein the physical aspect is the most important factor of a person’s beauty. In order to do so, she is willing to give up everything that she was used to, and is very willing to change her way of life (Kesselman, McNair and Schniedewind).
She seemed unhappy with herself at that time, wherein she was single and overweight. Here we can see that the beauty myth is stretched out to mean that a woman cannot attract a man if she’s old-looking and weighs a little more. They view that falling for someone is purely physical attraction, and that if you want someone to fall for you, you have to make yourself physically appealing, just like what Bridget Jones think. She lacks confidence in herself, that’s why she is willing to do anything just to change.
Another beauty myth being shown in the novel, Bridget Jones Diary was regarding aging. At the start of the novel, we see Bridget Jones as a 30-something single woman who doesn’t have any love life. For her, she is trailing n the relationship bandwagon and she needs to catch up. Age seemed to be a defining factor in this novel, considering that as a 30-something-year old, Bridget thinks of herself as getting old, and that she has to change the situation.
Bridget fears that at her age, no one would get attracted to her anymore that’s why she resorted to flirting with her boss at work. Despite knowing that her boss is a known womanizer, Bridget still pushed her luck since she feared that it would be the last chance for her to have a relationship. At her age, she was fearful tat she might be too old to be liked by someone else. She then turns to making herself look younger in order to attract men. She tried to loose weight along with her bad habits, all these just to be young again. There are a lot of other people just like Bridget Jones. Even though the novel slightly exaggerated on her experiences, there are still a lot of women who can relate to her story. There are a lot of Bridget’s out here living up to their beauty myths.
Despite the negative connotation that the beauty myth has on people, the novel still turned out well for Bridget. She was able to find the man for her, as well as conquered her own problems with the beauty myth. What’s important is that you are confident that you’re lovable. Physical traits are just superficial; in the end, all of us will grow old and look old, wherein which the beauty myth is impossible to apply. What matters most is what is inside, what we really feel and not how we look.
- Kesselman, Amy, Lily D McNair, and Nancy Schniedewind. Women: Images & Realities, a Multicultural Anthology. Third ed: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages, 2002.