Feminist or Just Funny? Bridesmaids vs OITNB
The representation of women in film has come on in leaps and bounds since the over sexualised and incapable misrepresentation we are all unfortunately familiar with. In recent years, films and TV programmes are kicking the butt of stereotypes with powerful modern day women; when ‘Bridesmaids’ was released in 2011 it was praised for its feminism approach, and more recently Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black’ series is loved by many for it realness. However, are these titles truly feminist, or do they just succeed in female-led comedy to make us laugh?
Bridesmaids has been called “the movie that changed how we see women in film forever”. Paul Feig has directed and pioneered a successful female-led comedy; it threw those seriously outdated female stereotypes out the window and showed Hollywood, and the rest of the world, what real modern women are really like. With characters all having varied body types; skin tones; personalities and jobs, we see a vast range of six modern-day women.
The writer of this Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and many other awards-winning film, Kristen Wiig (who also obviously starred in Bridesmaids as the single and struggling to enjoy her jewellery store clerk job, her flat who she shares with an unpleasant Matt Lucas and her egotistical no-strings attatched booty call ‘buddy’; Annie Walker that seems to end up making mistake after mistake; until the almost certain happy ending), I think definitely succeeds in pushing viewers to see women as something other than the predominately negative stereotypes that the media suggest all females should be like. Instead of the idealistic body image that all magazines portray that consist of a size 0 body, this film actively shows that regular women come in all shapes and sizes; from the larger Megan Price played by the super funny Melissa McCarthy, to the smaller Helen Harris played by Rose Byrne; we should be celebrating the female body and happiness, whatever shape or size.
However, is this female-led comedy too focused on being funny and laughing at the women characters rather than actually being a feminist film?