'Bridgerton' baddies and the girlboss era
Disclaimer: this article includes spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 of “Bridgerton.” Please proceed with caution. You have been warned.
Dear gentle reader,
If you have glanced at Netflix for even a moment in the past few weeks, you will have noticed the enrapturing release of the second season of “Bridgerton.” A quarantine favorite, “Bridgerton” is a sexy take on Regency-era England — like “Gossip Girl” but in corsets and waistcoats. However, the best part of “Bridgerton” is undoubtedly its refreshing take on the motto “gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss.” From long-running staple GILF and hot-bitch-in-charge Lady Danbury to new additions Miss Kate and Edwina Sharma, the streets of Mayfair are bustling with women who get what they want, when they want, no matter what any man has to say about it — but why this sudden obsession with kickass women?
The 21st century has been the era of the "girlboss.” It is hard to avoid magazine covers displaying these confident boss-ass bitches in pantsuits, arms folded, talking about their up-and-coming Fortune 500 companies. So, it is no surprise that television has had to jump on this fast-moving train.
But first, what is a “girlboss”?
The proper scientific classification is gaslightae gatekeepinae girlbossus, a class of woman who take shit from no one. They make their own decisions, their own money, and their own empires. Did she make a mistake? No. You’re clearly mistaken, because the girlboss is perfect. Can you have what she has? No. She works for what’s hers and doesn’t need to give it to anyone. She is an icon. The girlboss is a queen. Thus, we introduce our first "Bridgerton" Girlboss™ — the Queen of England, Queen Charlotte.
This queen is not only royalty, but a gossip and gatekeeping savant. At the start of season 2, she decides that she needs to take the gossiping narrative of the town back into her well-manicured hands. To do so, she names Miss Edwina Sharma the season’s diamond, a.k.a. the hottest debutante on the market. Miss Edwina is a perfect lady, and with the guidance of her sister, she intends to marry a member of the Ton — but only a man worthy of her grace and love. Little does she know, the Queen’s decision was calculated; instantly we see the Viscount, Anthony Bridgerton, the cream of the crop man-with-a-plan (not to mention easy on the eyes), begin to court her. However, there’s one problem: girlboss #2, Miss Kate Sharma, the sister of Edwina.
Kate is introduced to us on horseback, riding through a misty morning without a chaperone (gasp). However, she is not alone. Anthony Bridgerton notices her from afar and is immediately entranced. He urges her to return to town with him, but, never one to take men at their first word, she instead runs off and rejects his flirtatious advances. Gaslight. Then, after being named the season’s diamond, Anthony begins to chase her sister, but Kate disapproves, having overheard some of his unsavory opinions on love and marriage. Gatekeep. However, being the hottie with a body she is, Anthony cannot move past the festering desire he feels for Kate. Unfortunately for Edwina, the feelings are mutual. Still, Kate observes girl code first and refuses to even acknowledge Anthony as a viable suitor for her or her sister. Gatekeep. It is only at the end of the season that she ultimately takes him as her husband, but it’s on her terms, not his. Girlboss.
As all of this is unfolding, someone is lurking in the background, pulling the strings of high society. That someone is none other than Lady Whistledown — girlboss #3. Penelope Featherington is a young lady on the grind, not only thirsting after Colin Bridgerton but also keeping the Ton wrapped around her pinky. Throughout the season, she convinces all of society that she is just another girl (gaslight), she supports a fellow woman’s business, and best of all, she uses men to do the dirty work for her. They carry, print, and deliver her work, and she gets paid all the while. Every other girlboss lives in her shadow, waiting for her to give the final word on each and every match and debutante of the season. She is the voice of the Ton. She is the moment. She is Bridgerton.
But wait. Somehow, the show feels incomplete. Who’s going to provide guidance to all these young debutantes? Who’s going to carry all this gossip throughout society? The mamas, that’s who. Enter girlbosses #4 and 5 — Lady Bridgerton and Lady Danbury.
Talk about hotties. MILFS. GILFS. They stand above the rakes and diamonds of Mayfair. They are women who got theirs, and now have the freedom, the wisdom, and the bravado to help those who so desperately need their guidance. From setting up their children with the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes of the Ton, to making sure those same children don’t screw up their lives through narrow-minded self-sabotage (in the case of Kate and Anthony), they just make better decisions than you ever could. They got more in their prime than you ever will. Forget prime — they don’t know the meaning of the word. These are eternal girlbosses, forever on top of whatever game they choose to play.
If you still have not had a chance to watch these girlbosses in action, get off your lazy butt and go to Netflix. Go to search, and (without any shame) play episode one of "Bridgerton." You won’t bee sorry (if you know, you know).