Strong female “Bridgerton” characters as UC Berkeley students

Photo of the TV show, "Bridgerton"
Netflix/Courtesy

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2020 might have been uncertain, but it drew the curtain to reveal “Bridgerton”! Even as more of a Burton fan myself, with an affinity for shows featuring creepy, gothic vibes, “Bridgerton” and its kaleidoscopic Regency England costumes, props and story made me snuggle up in my PJs and tune into Netflix. And it was amazing — don’t even get me started on the instrumental covers. But what stood out to me the most, despite the fantastic costumery, cinematography and music, was the sheer number of strong, ambitious women. So, fellow “Bridgerton” fans, what more can we ask for than to daydream about the females of the show exchanging their silk corsets for blue and gold? Who can you imagine as your soul sister, enduring long painful homework sessions at your side and slurping split-pea soup with you at Cafe 3? Fetch some earl gray and a scone because we’ll be taking a glance to see where strong “Bridgerton” women would find their calling here at UC Berkeley.

Disclaimer: In order to fully explore this topic, we had to include a couple of spoilers, so please make sure you’ve finished the show before continuing!

Daphne Bridgerton: music

Daphne seems to have it all: poise, grace and eloquence. She can be fit for a number of majors, from comparative literature to MCB. But remember when she, to Eloise’s vexation, composed her song on the piano after Simon broke her heart? Or that time when her fingers sped up gliding over the ivory keys as her anger rose, banging out an ear-splitting clash of love, hate and anger? Daphne seems to not only like to compose but to also intimately join her feelings to what she plays on the piano. She would be your best friend, cheering you on as you play into the night after a tough breakup.

Marina Thompson: business administration

Marina doesn’t deserve all the hate she receives in the show — after all, she is a woman of circumstance. But she’s also, undoubtedly, a snake with a penchant for trickery. You can’t deny she seemed a bit smug about having Colin wrapped around her pinky, at least up until the end. But she is also a persistent and clever risk-taker, which would enable her to succeed at Haas. She would be your best friend, there to bail you out when lecherous old men at networking events try to do lecherous old men things.

Eloise Bridgerton: gender and women’s studies

Eloise may be brazen and whip-smart, but she also possesses a sense of justice like no other. She was the first to realize and attempt to rescue Lady Whistledown. She also managed to accept her sister Daphne’s and her friend Penelope’s desires to wed and raise children, despite her personal desire to carve her own path. She knows that there is something more for her beyond the horizon, and she will pave that way for any girl alongside her. She will be your best friend, fangirling with you over Margaret Atwood and Angela Davis, and will surely rope you into doing some investigative reporting on the side to defend women and gender-nonconforming folks’ human rights.

Penelope Featherington: English

Penelope is Lady Whistledown — yes, I just said that. Nothing escapes her ink, and it is her sensational writing style that leaves her with a faithful audience consisting of no less than the whole town. She would leave no leaf unturned, as friends, students and professors alike will be subject to her next pamphlet, which would probably be “flyered” by her kindred spirit (you) on Sproul. As her best friend, you will have the most loyal of friends to count on, though you are also likely to receive large piles of gossip in front of your door every week, scrawled with “please flyer” and requesting that you remain ignorant as to where they’re from.

Siena Rosso: legal studies

Last but not least, Siena is a fierce and enterprising woman who longs for belonging and a place in high society. Above all, she believes in protecting her own future and living a life of freedom. Even though she has not yet found her rightful place, we believe that she will soon, with her strong personality and an even stronger will. And when she does, she could easily use her voice, charm and performance skills to fight for justice in court, providing aid to those who also come from humble beginnings. She would be your right-hand woman at every party and there to take revenge on your ex if you need her to. 

Even though these strong female leads aren’t here with us at UC Berkeley, we can draw inspiration from their passions, motivations and strengths this International Women’s Day!

Contact Angelina Yin at [email protected].