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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Mad about the Girl - Why I'm Defending my Beloved Bridget

I have made several refferences to Bridget Jones on my blog.  As regular readers will know, I often think of myself as the Bridget Jones of the Infertility World.
Where Bridget can look at any food item and tell you how many calories it contains, I can tell you whether it has a neutral, positive or negative effect of fertility and whether it should be consumed pre or post ovulation.  Bridget has a flat strewn with relationship and self help books, mine is littered with books on fertility and various guides to achieving the (seemingly impossible) goal of a baby.  While Bridget battles an increasing deluge of friends becoming Smug Marrieds, I'm beginning to despair as my friends become Smug Mothers.

Bridget wasn't created for my generation - in-fact if Bridget was an actual person, she would only be a year younger than my Mother!  When she was first 'born' I was only 10 - men, booze and fags were probably the furthest thing from my mind ;) I am rather abashed to admit that I only knew of Bridget's existence once the 2001 film came out.  It was still another few years until I settled down with the books - since then I've been hooked!

Bridget has helped me through many a tough time.  She taught me that it's okay to not have life figured out at almost 30 and beyond, that drinking too much and making a tit of ones self isn't the end of the world and most importantly that basically being a slathering nut job with more than a smidgen of body loathing just means I'm normal.

Imagine how delighted I was at the beginning of this year to learn that Helen Fielding was dusting off her Granny Pants and bringing my Beloved Bridget back!  I was pretty sure that after the fairy tale ending of 'The Edge of Reason' that Bridget would have morphed into a Smug Mother and although I would have felt I'd lost an ally, I would have been over-joyed for her.

A few months ago I noticed a few journalists were giving back handed comments on the release of number 3.  To my resounding squeals, the extract released showed that Bridget was in-fact the same old, familiar, very slightly neurotic Bridge.  It would seem I was part of the minority that was over-joyed at this revelation - apparently the world has moved on from the 90s third-wave feminism that Bridget encompassed, and that seeing a woman that is (by all rights) in her late 40s behave in this 'dated' way is completely unrealistic!

Really?  So despite the fact that single life (both chosen and circumstance) is on the increase, the journalists are stating that people of Bridget's 'age' are no-longer on the look out for Mr Right - and if they are, then they certainly aren't sending regretful drunken tweets.  Their social networking interactions are of the reserved, and oh so very mature manner.

I thought that 40 was being touted as the new 30?  Is it just my part of the world that features 40 something females behaving in an oh so familiar way to us 20 somethings?  Maybe it's being part of the generation after Bridget was aimed at, but I have never thought of her drunken behavior as anything but amusing and quite sweet - she isn't stripping at work functions, taking part in drunken brawls or passing out in the street.  Her behavior has always been very tame compared to most that I have had the misfortune to witness.

This notion that Bridget would hit mid 40 and morph into Mrs Sensible career lady is insane!  It would appear that the grumblers out there believe that 40 is the mandatory age to morph into a 'grown up'.  In a society that urges women (and men) to embrace their age and continue living life to the fullest, it seems a rather bizarre concept that Bridget must conform to the out-dated concept of 'acting your age'.

More than ever there is increased pressure for Women to have it all - we have all these milestones that we secretly aim to complete by certain ages (so very guilty of these).  We try to under-cut them and out-do friends, family and those in the lime light.  Failure in any of these areas is felt on such a personal level - we feel inferior to others that achieve what we can't.  Admitting you are struggling or that life isn't quite as you planned is seen as a weakness, a taboo subject that no-one wants to admit to.

Bridget is very normal in many senses of the word - she struggles to achieve what she wants on both a personal and business level.  When Bridget fails, we don't see her as any less of a person; in fact most of these endear her to us even more!  The world needs Bridget to tell them that it is okay to fail, that it makes you no less of a person to not have the man, the baby and the house.  In fact Bridget makes us realize that to fail makes us normal!  To have wobbly bits that we hate is a wonderful embodiment of human nature.

All of this is why I am still 'Mad about the Girl' and why I will go on to defend my beloved Bridget

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