'A woman's sell-by date is getting later and later': Helen Fielding on fame, modern women and Bridget Jones
Novelist tells Vogue magazine how she found her huge success hard to deal with
Helen Fielding has said her new instalment of Bridget Jones's Diary - Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy - was written to reflect modern women whose “sell-by date is getting later and later”.
“In the same way as the whole tragic, barren spinster thing was hopelessly outdated when I wrote the first book, the idea of a middle-aged woman being expected to start growing curly grey hair and wheeling a shopping bag is totally irrelevant,” the novelist tells Vogue. “Women of my age are still dating, having sex and looking great. A woman's sell-by date is getting later and later, and quite right, too.”
Despite this, she believes the pressure on women continues to grow too.
“Nobody's life is perfect and today, more than ever, I think women are under a huge pressure to be something, achieve something, look like something. We are all constantly constructing a façade,” she adds. “If there was one thing I could say to my younger self, it would be 'Stop worrying! It's all going to be fine.' But the irony is that I still do. And that's what I love about Bridget. Bridget is just an ordinary person, a flawed human being who muddles along and still, despite the blows, manages to find the lightness in life. 'Hurrah!' is what she says. It is all going to be all right.”
Fielding admits that ironically when her novels became a huge success, at first she found it hard to deal with.
“I had to really figure out how the success thing worked and what it meant… to start with, I didn't really understand,” she says. “I felt quite guilty and confused; I thought that if I went out and bought something extravagant, like a business-class ticket or a Gucci handbag, that all the money would go away...”
What didn't go away were the high-profile women who were keen to tell her just how much the books had resonated with her.
“It was a bit startling really; all these fabulous women coming up to me at parties, spewing out every intimate detail of their lives and telling me that they felt just like Bridget did,” she says. “It was almost like they were looking for absolution, that they needed me to say, 'Bless you, my child. You are normal.'”
See the world exclusive interview and photoshoot in the November issue of Vogue, on sale Monday 7th October
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Mike Tindall, Jodie Kidd and co take to the slopes
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' goes viral 35 years later
Martin Scorsese 'in shock and sorrow' after death on set of new film Silence
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures