There’s one major problem with ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ that we all need to talk about
It’s huge, so to speak
As a whole, ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ is a near-perfect film. It’s relatable, it stars not one but two age-defying DILFS, and it transcends time — we can just pretend the two sequels don’t exist, ok?
But there is one problem so huge, one flaw so massive that for a over decade I’ve struggled to understand how no one talked about it: Bridget just wasn’t fat at all.Give me a fucking break
How we as an audience just suspended our disbelief defies all logic. Of course, everyone, no matter how thin, has areas they’d probably like to tone up but to have tiny Renee Zellweger portray a woman ~so fat~ that it takes up half the plot is just absurd. Consider the following:
In the books and movies, Bridget’s weight fluctuates between 125 and 130 pounds and she’s about 5’5″. Across the board, wholly average. The typical American woman — I know she’s British, chill — is about an inch shorter and weighs 166. This isn’t necessarily the best measuring stick because as we all know (love u, Mrs. Obama!) that western society is getting fatter and fatter and soon we’ll all die from it, but it gives us a good idea of how she stacks up to us non-movie mortals.C’mon!
Let’s slide on over to another flawed but acceptable form of measurement, the infamous BMI index. Yes, it doesn’t take things like muscle and bone density into account but in this instance, it’s fine. Even at her heaviest, Bridget Jones’s BMI is a 21, which is on the lower side of normal with 19 more or less marking the cut-off to the underweight section.
Aside from the medical paradigm, it’s upsetting to think that Bridget was so unhappy with her weight that it became arguably the biggest plot device of the entire movies. I understand that her transformation was about changing her life and quitting smoking and whatever, but her perceived fatness was the bulk (sorry) of it.
Even as a thin teenager, I so clearly remember watching the movie, looking at the number on her scale and thinking “Ok, so that’s the cutoff for fat.” I mean, this is literally the movie that introduced me to Spanx.Sequel Bridget has a kick-ass collarbone
Lately, I’ve been revisiting old favorites including books and movies and TV shows and I’m pretty stunned at some of the shitty elements we didn’t notice as kids. Did those things have any impact on how we view certain issues now? Is Titanic why I’m only attracted to unemployed artists? Is Mean Girls why I still can’t wear white gold hoops? Is Bridget Jones why I have a body image complex?
At least the actual (kind of) Bridget Jones is on our side. Renee Zellweger is also firmly in the “she is not at all fat, ok?!” camp, which is refreshing. Still, as the movie continues to make appearances in our adult lives in the form of shitty sequels and Netflix revivals, it’s comforting to finally be armed with the knowledge we should have had as teens: Bridget, you look great.
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