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Bridget, Get A Clue

December 23, 2011

Today is the third and final introductory post for Christina, our latest FFFs candidate. You can vote on whether she’s FFFs material in the poll on the right side of the page. The poll will be open for one week.

As a fat person, I have never liked this film. I hated the way Renée Zellweger spoke to the press about how hard it was for her to gain, and then lose, the 30 pounds she put on for the film. I hated the way the press made her seem so heroic for braving the added pounds, and then having the willpower to lose the weight. I hated how in her very next film, Chicago, she was so thin that it aroused suspicions that she might actually have an eating disorder. I have suffered through Bridget Jones’s Diary several times (at the request of friends) and I suffered through it again just for this review.  You’re welcome.

Bridget is the only person who ever mentions her weight.  Even in the beginning of the film, when Darcy is critical of her, the subject of weight is never brought up. The characters in the film discuss her age more than her weight, which is strange because Bridget’s weight is such a major source of her discontent.

We see her making faces at the scale, cringing when watching her bottom sliding down the fire station’s pole on TV, and wearing a girdle to make her stomach smaller than what it already is. What does this tell women? It tells them that it’s normal to obsess over their weight and that even being slightly rounded (not even overweight) is cause for concern.

Bridget feels that in order to be noticed (and receive that ever-elusive love and attention) she has to flaunt her curves by wearing mini-skirts, see-through blouses, and push-up bras. She does not do this out of self-confidence, but as an attempt to receive some sort of validation from male attention. This tells larger women that in order to attract a man they have to objectify their bodies because, after all, without showing off her breasts, a larger woman really has nothing else to attract a man with.

All of this is in vain, though, as Bridget discovers Daniel having an affair with a thin, attractive co-worker. The fact that Daniel eventually leaves Bridget for a thinner woman conveys the message to a larger woman that she needs to be cautious when in a relationship because a thinner woman could steal her man away at any moment.

Bridget Jones’s Diary does not embrace Size Acceptance. It does not teach women that it does not matter what size they are, it teaches women to obsess about their bodies. It teaches women that men might love them in spite of their weight, and, if they found a man willing to do so, they should run through the snowy streets wearing nothing but panties and a sweater to chase him down.

The way Bridget and her friends obsess over Darcy’s proclamation that he loves her “just the way she is” is excruciating to watch. Every man should love a woman just the way she is! Women should not have to change themselves to attract or keep a love interest. This film is one big stereotype and does absolutely nothing for the Size Acceptance movement. It’s just another mindless chick flick and one that I won’t be watching again.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2011 11:45 am

    Great review that was really well written!

  2. December 23, 2011 4:41 pm

    I completely agree. I tend to dislike “chick flicks” and “rom-coms” anyway, but some are more obnoxious than others.

  3. December 23, 2011 6:19 pm

    You’re so right. (Red-faced, admits she loved the movie nevertheless)

  4. December 24, 2011 9:20 am

    Great review. I’ve never seen the movie whole, only in bits and pieces, and the only parts I remember is where she shows up at a party in a bunny costume, her sliding down the pole, and then when Colin Firth shows up at her place at the end declaring his love and she ends up chasing him through the snow. I have to admit, I did like that part (when he declares his love), although you’re right … what kind of message does that send? Chase him girls, because he might get away or worse — change his mind!

  5. cara permalink
    February 12, 2012 4:16 pm

    i think you are over thinking it, I don’t think this movie ‘teaches’ anyone anything, except to laugh at themselves for the silly thinking that we so often do. It is not a movie about how we should be it is a movie about how we often are and how ridiculous we can be. The movie is a comedic representation of a lot of peoples reality. For me, I enjoy it because the things she criticizes herself for are things that i criticize myself for and after laughing at how silly it sounds coming from Bridget, I realise that it is silly for me to think that way also.

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