So thanks to Kate Harding's great post I am now hooked on InfoMania. (Seriously, I think I've watched all the segments twice now.) Last night was a new episode with a new Target: Women section about bridal shows. Go watch now, then come back and I'll finish. Go on, scoot.
OK, back? I would like to discuss the part about the show Bulging Brides. First of all, the name is beyond ridiculous. Nothing like a little shame to get a fat girl motivated to fit into her wedding gown, am I right? Second of all, the woman they refer to as a "chubster"? I'm not the best at guessing dress sizes, but I seriously doubt that woman is more than a size 8. That's fat? (And why is her wedding dress a size too small? Generally speaking you order your dress or have it custom made, why not just get it in the right size?)
I'm not really comfortable with bridal shows--partially because there seems to be a large percentage of the population that think it's OK to act like a total bitch if there's a camera on them--but also because there is this whole message that you, as a woman, are Not Good Enough to get married. You must be skinnier, more tanned, with better hair and the perfect dress or your prospective husband will realize the error of his ways and call it off. It makes me appreciate my husband more, who still loves me as much as or more than the day we met even though I'm easily fifty pounds heavier than I was when we got married. And even though our wedding was something of a disaster.
For my second item, I would have you refer to the June 2008 issue of Redbook. (Don't worry, I'll type it out.) On page 28, in the "What's on our Radar" section, there is a story titled "No Way!: The Bridal Bump," which reads "We're not suggesting that you need to be a virgin to wear white at your wedding, but a white maternity gown takes the chastity speculation out of the equation altogether. Sister stores Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, and Mimi Maternity are now offering wedding dresses for their shoppers who are 'marrying and carrying.' Shotgun sold separately."
Yes, Pregnant Brides, for shame! How dare you marry after getting pregnant! Don't you know you are supposed to hide your shame and not show your face in public once that little bastard starts to grow inside you? Then you pass the baby off as a younger sibling or a niece or nephew.
Set aside for a moment the mistaken assumption this article has that white wedding dress=chastity,* why on earth shouldn't a pregnant bride wear whatever the hell dress she wants to wear? Because she's pregnant she's not allowed to wear white? She should wear red instead since she's obviously a big whore? And what is the deal with the shotgun line? Not all women who are pregnant when they get married are getting married because they're pregnant. Maybe this is what I get for reading Redbook. Heads up, editors: some women DO THINGS OUT OF YOUR DECREED ORDER. Some women have children and THEN get married. Some women have children and NEVER get married. Some women get married and never have children. Get off your high horses.
*The white wedding dress trend was started by Queen Victoria. The way I've always heard it is that white wedding dresses are a symbol of wealth. Up to that point most women simply wore their best dress, so buying a white dress that you would wear for one day and could never wear again showed that you were rolling in the dough a la Scrooge McDuck. Wiki has it a little differently, saying Queen Victoria chose white to use some lace she had and that other women honored their queen's choice by also marrying in white.