Thursday, December 5, 2013

On weddings, and bridal culture

By Anči

I always get irritated at the phrase “every little girl dreams of having the perfect wedding someday.” Not because there’s anything wrong with that, (unless  you inject me with truth serum. In which case I might  say “Yes, Professor Snape, there is something very wrong with that.” And nobody could hold it against me, because… truth serum.)

But in my current serumless, postmenstrual state,  I’d say… fine. It’s a fun fairy tale little girls  are into.  (Courtesy of Barbie, Disney, and something called “David’s Bridal.”)

There's even a "Royal Wedding" doll. Because that's an attainable fantasy for every female child.

 Having the “perfect” wedding has never been my dream though.  It may simply be the fact that  I’ve…systematically stained  every single white item  of clothing I own. (Including all  my bras…  which are mostly, now... the color of   “Forbidden Sensation’s Chocolate body paint.”  Because I like to eat it with toast... Usually while wearing sweatpants and a bra.)

But my gut tells me my aversion to everything  "white wedding," stems from feeling emotionally manipulated by the bridal industry. (Oh and by the way, every kiss does not begin with “Kay.” I would know because my last kiss began with  “Baby, I brushed my teeth for real this time!”) 
 Thanks to  aggressive campaigning on the industry's part,  women feel pressure to "provide" their friends and family with the romantic rites befitting of their social station. And if God forbid,  any cultural expectations aren't met, the woman is made to feel like a failure. (Even Santa Kate Middleton, who was criticized for doing her own makeup, and giving Willy a dry kiss on the balcony.) 
 Regardless of the level of  "offense," whether a bride chooses to walk down the aisle rocking a pregnant belly (like my mom did when she married my dad!), or makes the "bold" decision to keep her own name, (like my mom did when she married my dad!)  or whether  she refuses to starve herself into compulsory daintyess.  (You can't really call it "the happiest day of my life" when your stomach's eating itself, can you?) there are necessary (and gender-specific) social repercussions to contend with.

The point is, the burden of nuptial success is placed squarely on the shoulders of the bride who's simultaneously expected to 1) reassure the public of her symbolic virginity, (I call it the glorious phantom hymen!) and  2) emphasize her 'goodies' just enough, to secure the requisite role of "The most beautiful woman in the room." (Remember, It doesn't count unless somebody's creepy uncle gets his share of wedded eye candy.)

Liz Lemon knows wedding dresses are for eating large quantities of ham

To be clear, although I hate the wedding culture, I don't hate marriage. In fact  I eventually plan on getting married in an official ceremony.  (With cake! That doesn't stain, right?And yes, it will be meaningful and romantic: even while lacking in bridesmaids and wedding toasts, (What am I, a Protestant?)  or a diamond ring proposal, (What am I, a congressman’s niece?) Or a big frilly gown. (What am I Mexican? Actually yes,  and that's racist.)


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