Bridget Jones's Body Image Battle

We all fell in love with the lovable, hopeless singleton, Bridget Jones, when she first hit the screen in 2001. However, this desperate, 30-something, did not portray positive messages about body image. In fact, she famously obsessed about losing weight in a bid to cure her self-proclaimed failing love-life.

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) Trailer via You Tube

Bridget Jones is a character we can all totally relate to in one way or another. Helen Fielding, successfully captured the woes and worries of many women the world over. Encased in humour, Bridget Jones becomes a best friend to many of us. Whether it be our battle with body image, our disasters at work or the complicated love-life, Bridget will have been there and done that first, making it all a little easier to stomach.

Bridge Jones falls in mud
Bridget Jones showing us all how it is done at Glastonbury, Bridget Jones's Baby (Released September 2016)

Over the years, there have been some that have shunned the Bridget Jones character for endorsing body-image issues and unnecessary weight-loss. However, the character reflects a very real woman, with very real everyday concerns. Bridget Jones may obsess over her weight and body image but ultimately she finds strength and happiness in her personality and relationships. Her character reflects real-life not an idealised life, many of us strive to achieve.

However, somewhat controversially, it was well-known that Renée Zellweger gained weight for the first two films. Encouragingly in the latest film (Bridget Jones’s Baby) it is all change. Although at first, Zellweger was not comfortable with the new-look Bridget Jones, she has revealed that the character has achieved her ‘perfect’ weight, but does this bring her the perceived ‘perfect’ life?

Even though Zellweger felt it was important for Bridget Jones to still have her body image issues, Director, Sharon Maguire, decided that it was imperative to show that although Bridget had achieved her ‘perfect’ weight this didn’t equate to the ‘perfect life’ or eternal happiness. The hopeless character was still struggling to achieve the idealised social stereotype.

The take home message from this, is not to hang our hopes of happiness on achieving a particular weight-loss goal. Happiness is far deeper rooted than that. Be yourself, enjoy the present moments and remain healthy.

Bridget Jones the all-time feel good movie (even if it is just from the reassurance that our life really isn’t that bad), is promoting the life-affirming message that weight-loss is not the road to happiness we all hope it might be.

To end this I will leave you with my favourite quote from the original film, which seems most appropriate here, “I like you, very much, just as you are”


Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) Mark Darcey Clip via You Tube

Has Bridget Jones been a guide in your life? Do you relate to her dilemmas?

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