Bridget Jones is one of the most iconic female figures in pop culture. Her big knickers, complicated relationship with Mark Darcy and her determination to get through never-ending awkward moments and blunders makes her completely charming and relatable to this day.
Of course, there are aspects of her story that simply haven’t aged well. Author Helen Fielding recently opened up about the audacious amount of sexism Bridget faces and women have also spoken out about how she is simply not overweight, despite the major focus on her size in both the books and movies.
But despite all of this, Bridget will forever be one of the most loveable and aspirational characters in the book and movie worlds. She has been a comfort to us when we’re nursing broken hearts, a breath of fresh air from the dull realities of everyday life and a familiar face we turn to when we simply need to laugh. Here are six life lessons I learned from Bridget Jones, on the book's 25th anniversary.
Flaws Don’t Make You Unlovable
We all swooned the first time Mark Darcy told Bridget that he liked her, “just as you are.” We are all so quick to put ourselves down and to focus on our flaws, but what we need to realise is that they don’t define us. Learning to love yourself, flaws and all, is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself. We all have our bad habits and traits like Bridget, but he still loved her despite the smoking, drinking and the verbal diarrhea.
Choose Big Knickers
Are they hideous and could likely be used as a tent? YES! Do we wear them anyway? Damn right. As a woman, there is so much pressure to dress a certain way and to follow trends and to wear whatever Zara dress Instagram is obsessed with, but Bridget taught us that wearing what you feel good in, even if they are hideous pants that go up to your boobs, is always more important. Choose the big knickers if you feel like it.
Friends Are Golden
Bridget’s friends are one of the best parts of the movies. They are outrageous and their advice may not be helpful but they’re the ones who promised to whisk her away to Paris when she was heartbroken and the ones who pretended that the blue soup was appetising. Her strong friendship group helped me see that it is all about quality not quantity. Shazza, Tom and Jude are there for her in her time of need and when she simply wants to drink far too much vodka. After years of thinking popularity was everything, her little trio made me see that friendship isn’t about numbers.
After Daniel Cleaver broke her heart and humiliated her, Bridget knew it was time to leave her job. Her days of ‘fannying around with the press releases’ were behind her. One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is when she quits her job and walks away from Daniel as Respect by Aretha Franklin plays in the background.
Never Leave Your Diary Lying Around
Unless Mark Darcy is in your apartment… Seriously though, having a diary or journal is one of the best things to do for your wellbeing, but just make sure it is put away from prying eyes. I’ve been writing in diaries since I was 11 and the thoughts of someone snooping through the pages makes me feel quite uneasy. They’re the perfect place to empty your mind (far safer than Twitter) and to pour your thoughts/fears/worries out. It’s the top self-care habit Bridget taught me and I now have stacks of notebooks safely stowed away at my home.
Always Follow Your Dream
Bridget’s job at Sit Up Britain was a major change for her, but she didn’t let that knock her back, even after the fireman’s pole incident. She helped us realise that you should always keep going, no matter what hurdles you face in your career. There’s always a way around it if you work hard and keep going. When the third movie aired, I felt proud and reassured when she had a successful role in the TV industry because it helped the viewers see that it is never too late to achieve your dreams.