As we (some of us) eagerly await the release of Bridget Jones's Baby on Friday I am compelled to put pen to paper as I recall that day in 1996 when I picked up a copy of Bridget Jones's Diary in a hospital shop.
Miss Jones conforms to that chick lit appeal of the ditsy female protagonist that thankfully (I for one am happy about this) hasn't been ousted in this wonderful new age of political correctness that may have slightly lost its head. I hit my 30's and unlike Bridget I had my first baby in 1996. I was proclaiming that I HAD been Bridget Jones, rather than I AM Bridget Jones. And here began my lifelong love affair with chick lit.
I think the appeal was that so many of us could relate to that single time in our lives, the painful, obligatory, dating. Climbing the career ladder whilst still trying to work out what we were any good at. And of course, a blog post about Bridget wouldn't be complete without mentioning the BIG knickers! She really put BIG knickers on the map. No longer 'in the closet' but out in the open where we could at last talk freely about what was sucking it all in. No more hiding in the loo to whip them off before our new beau got a glimpse of our unsightly pants. I have had feedback on this new liberty, and unsurprisingly some male friends have been less than enthusiastic, as an aside apparently not many of them like leggings either.
For me, what I would like to see next for Bridget is the being a mum part of her life. I'm not sure how far the new film goes with the baby bit. But I would love to see some of what Sophie Kinsella gives us in Shopaholic and Baby (2007). I have read all of the Shopaholic books and there is a book for every stage of your life. I'm not setting Rebecca Bloomwood (The star of the Shopaholic series) up as any kind of role model, but the laughs you have along the way are bountiful, and you will recognise something of yourself in there somewhere.
As a mum of a 20 year old I'm still proud to be able to say I STILL have it, whatever IT might be. If when feeding a hungry brood of his mates chips, and the ketchup has run out, you can produce as many condiments as needed from your handbag you are up there with the best of the chick lit leading ladies.
Would the real Bridget Jones please stand up.
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