I’ll keep laughing, thanks – Leah Marie Brown
By Leah Marie Brown
“Chick lit is soooo last century.”
“Oh my god! I know, right?”
“They’re all fashion, fun, and female empowerment.”
“Eww! Who wants to read a novel about some sad woman stumbling through life in overpriced designer shoes?”♥
I was standing in my local bookstore when I overheard the above conversation and I literally had to stop myself from raising my hand, jumping up and down, and crying, “Oo! Me! Me! I want to read about a less-than-perfect woman balancing life, love, and lustful pursuits in a pair of fabulous Louboutins!”
But then, I have always been the hot pink mini in the closet full of little black dresses. Remember Joan Cusack’s bit part in the movie Sixteen Candles? The comically, awkward girl in the back brace, trying valiantly to take a sip from the water fountain. Yeah, that’s me. When everyone else was reading time-travel romance, I was reading (and writing) historical fiction. When everyone else was reading zombie/ vampire/ shape-shifter romances, I was reading sweet women’s fiction. Now, as readers are clamoring for the next big dystopian society read or 50 Shades knockoff, I am reading (and writing) light, breezy chick lit.
Because Bridget Jones changed my life. Actually, her Diary changed my life. It’s probably cliché for a chick lit author to say Helen Fielding’s bestseller inspired her to write a funny, female empowerment story, but it’s true.
I get girls like Bridget because, behind my smiling façade, my expensively maintained mane of blonde hair, my seemingly together act, I am an awkward, inadvertently comical girl. I am stumbling through life (sadly, sans Louboutins), meeting challenges with a quirky, self-depreciating kind of humor.
If we were invited to the same party, you would find me in the corner laughing with the clique of women who don’t take themselves too seriously, who possess a joie de vivre, and a hunger to connect. Across the room would be the badass vampire slayers, leather-clad dominatrices, and bow-toting tributes. I would compliment the vampire slayer on her fab jewel-encrusted crucifix, ask the dominatrix if her bustier was from Prada’s Fall line, and get Katniss talking about her love for Peeta. The other crowd would tolerate me, but snicker as I walked away. The hardcore end of the world saviors and otherworld slayers would say I am pathetically LB (legally blonde).
And I would be okay with that. Bridget and her peeps have taught me it’s okay to move through life with designer rose-colored glasses, to apply liberal doses of laughter to all that ails you, to unapologetically strive for empowerment, and to surround yourself with a colorful cast of slightly awkward, totally lovable characters.
Leah Marie Brown has worked as a journalist and photographer. An avid traveller, she has had adventures and mishaps from Paris to Tokyo. She doesn’t buy cheesy tee-shirts or useless bric-a-brac, but prefers friendships and memories as souvenirs from her travels. She lives a bike ride away from the white sand beaches of Florida’s Emerald Coast with her husband, children, and pampered poodles.