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An Examination of The Representation of The 'Singleton' with Specific Reference to:' Sex and the City', 'Ally McBeal' & 'Bridget Jones' Diary'

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Introduction

An Examination of The Representation of The 'Singleton' with Specific Reference to:' Sex and the City', 'Ally McBeal' & 'Bridget Jones' Diary' For years females over twenty have been called spinsters, and have had to deal with the stigma attached to this lexeme. This was until the publication of Helen Fielding's novel "Bridget Jones' Diary", which coined the phrase 'singleton'. This phrase has now become commonplace and used by the media and the public to describe single women in their late twenties to early thirties. Moreover, since this term is relatively brand new it carries minimal connotation, and is a welcome replacement of the stereotyped spinster. Fielding says that she hoped the word would be used for both male and female and carry no negative connotation. This shows that not only is the gender gap disappearing, but also that the media has responded to this, showing that it is possibly the most rapid and largest growing industry in the world. However, the term is still only used to describe females and does carry some negative connotation but this is miniscule in comparison to that associated with spinster. ...read more.

Middle

The one example most similar to that of Bridget's is Ally McBeal. This is a sitcom about a single woman in her early twenties to late thirties, in a high-powered job as a lawyer. Ally is blessed and cursed with eccentric colleagues, an exceedingly overactive imagination. Just to makes things worse for the character it seems that the love of her life and childhood sweetheart is now married and not to Ally. Similarly to Bridget, Ally is juggling her own emotions, along with her friends, later on in the series a daughter, her job and of course the dancing baby! She begins to see this dancing baby when she thinks her biological clock is running out. This is something that every female faces the idea that eventually she wont be able to have children. The scariest thought for the singleton is that they've had their chance and missed it, not because they didn't want a child but because they haven't found Mr. Perfect. The idea for a singleton that their biological clock is running out may still be scary but there is the comforting fact that thanks to technology and medical advancement, women can now have fertility treatment if they can afford it. ...read more.

Conclusion

The women interviewed said that not only had the show changed fashion and style in New York, but it has also made being single cool again. One woman described being single before the show as a having a 'scarlet' letter, but now it is considered cool to single. So the singleton has not only revolutionised the stereotype of the single woman from dowdy spinster to professional and aloof singletons. But it has also made it easier for both male and especially females to be single. There is no longer the need for some one to settle down and marry, and can now follow the examples of our relatively new heroines and work their way up the ladder. Moreover, these characters have explored the fact that it is not unacceptable to have flaws, and by showing them they have empowered other females to correct and embrace their flaws. This new breed of woman is more confident, sexually and professionally, competitive, and courageous. Therefore by acquiring traits commonly seen in the stereotypical man the gap and negative connotation between the sexes is being reduced. Perhaps future generations will not have to be faced with as much stigma attached to the categories, that the media instil us into, with thanks to these pioneering characters flaunted by the media. Hannah Moore Mrs. Widdowson ...read more.

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