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Culture > Entertainment

Penelope Featherington Is One Of Us

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

If you haven’t seen the trailer for season three of Bridgerton, you either don’t have social media or you’ve been actively avoiding it. Whatever the reason, it is imperative that you educate yourself on this season’s affairs before going in blind. The trailer, teasers, and press for the newest season have infiltrated every corner of my socials, and I’m not complaining. If you’re rolling your eyes or furrowing your brows at my excitement, allow me to geek out about Penelope Featherington, the most overlooked Bridgerton prospect and this season’s leading lady. After that, feel free to make your judgments. 

why penelope?

After mooning over the release of the trailer alongside my friends, most of them expressed their appreciation for the infamous “Bridgerton glow-up” of Colin Bridgerton, season three’s leading man. Yes, this is excellent news, but I was surprised to learn that I was the only one anticipating the rise of Penelope Feathertington. To my astonishment, my friends expressed their utter disdain for Penelope. How can this be? I have been a proud Penelope Featherington stan throughout the past two seasons, so learning about her cosmic unpopularity urged me to fight for her reputation and hopefully change a few minds.

Penelope receives backlash for assuming the role of Lady Whistledown, the catalyst for the town’s gossip. On the surface, it seems as though she conceals herself under the pen name of Lady Whistledown merely to slander the names of those who reside in the town. To me, Penelope just wants to be seen. She wants a voice and a platform to express her opinions without the possibility of being ignored or interrupted. As a woman living in the 1800’s, and even a woman of today, it can be a frustrating and defeating experience to get a word in, especially without the judgment of man. I admired Penelope for taking this bold measure. Do I agree with everything she said? No, but at least she had the courage to say it. 

I also find myself admiring Penelope because I identify with her vulnerability. In the past two seasons, she is often known as the girl who is never chosen. Forced to watch her counterparts receive the romantic attention that every woman her age craves, she is always left wondering when it will be her turn. Her timid love for Colin, who views Penelope as a friend, is abundantly clear to everyone except him. This is incredibly frustrating for her, and understandably so. Ironically, this seems to be the way most crushes play out nowadays. College girls gush over someone to everybody, but rarely pursue this infatuation. So, the fact that viewers get to see Penelope receive the love she has longed for has me kicking my feet. Watching her feels like watching your friend finally talk to that guy she hasn’t shut up about. Too often, women are shamed for coveting the romantic attention that we all secretly pine after. It can be seen as desperate or vulnerable, but in my opinion, it’s honest. Who doesn’t desire the intimacy that is so beautifully portrayed on our screens? I know I do. Sue me for being excited to watch Penelope go after what the rest of us yearn for.  

If you’re in a similar position as Penelope, you’re probably bored of hearing that it will come when you least expect it. Same here, friend. I wish I could leave you all with an optimistic piece of advice, but the truth is that I don’t know if we all get a happy ending. I’d like to believe that we all experience a fairytale romance and end up as lucky as Penelope, but I don’t know that for sure. For now, it’s stories like hers that keep me holding onto hope. 

Riley Thornton

West Chester '26

Riley is a sophomore secondary English education student at West Chester University. When she is not pursuing her passion for writing and literature, she can be found jogging around campus, discovering new coffee shops, or binging "Friends" for the 20th time! Riley enjoys exploring the grounds of pop culture, mental health, current trends, and popular reads!