There’s a post you should read here. Ms. Octopus posted it over in WeddingBee, and it really captures why I’ve always cringed when I hear the word “Bridezilla.”
Read it yet? Okay.
Sometimes it’s hard balancing who I am as a raging liberal feminist. Okay, you don’t have to be a filthy liberal to be a feminist, and maybe it’s just me, but in today’s day, I find it really, really hard to believe that there are people, especially women, who don’t consider themselves feminists. I mean, hello? Since when did being a feminist become a bad thing? That’s another post.
Anyway, I didn’t think these things would happen, but when I got engaged, things changed a little for me. Maybe it’s just because I work in academia, but there are definitely different expectations in this weird little inbred community. Sometimes, it’s like you can’t be an intellectual and planning a wedding at the same time. Now obviously, people are married, but you don’t often hear female professors say things like “My husband and I….” They exist, but they’re not called husbands, and my female professors are certainly not called “wife.”
My point is, balancing being a feminist and being engaged is a bit tricky sometimes. People have expectations: that I’ll change my name, that I’ll wear a ring, that I’ll follow him wherever his job takes him, that we’ll have children and I’ll be a stay-at-home Mom. Some of these expectations, I’m running with. Others make me cringe.
I’d like to think that I’m doing a pretty good job being a feminist bride (and a feminist wife). But it gets hard when terms like Bridezilla get thrown around pretty carelessly. I haven’t been called one yet (that I know of), but it seems inevitable that as a bride that’s only having a VERY small handful of people in attendance, no bridesmaids, no formal reception, and no lots-of-other-things-typically-associated-with-a-wedding that the term will be used in my direction.
Was I being a Bridezilla when I (we) decided to change venues when our first choice turned out to be not quite what we were looking for? Was I being a Bridezilla when I looked at every single item in 14 different photographers’ portfolios? Was I being a Bridezilla when I tried on 10 other wedding dresses even though I was pretty sure I was going with the first one? And was I being a bridezilla when I made sure I could exchange my dress for a different size if my weight fluctuated past the point of alteration?
I really don’t think so. I think that’s called being a person who’s handling a big event the same way planning ANY big event would be handled. It’s called getting all the information I can and making good decisions. It’s called making sure I understand contracts so that I don’t waste a large chunk of change.
But to some, I’d be a bridezilla. I’d be asking too much. I’d be a bitch.
And as Miss Octopus asked, do grooms have a word like this when they want something for their wedding and do all they can to get it? No. Not one I’ve heard of anyway.
I think this is based on our cultural assumption that men don’t care about weddings. That they have no opinions. That their brains channel static when their fiancees pull out the wedding planning binder.
I’ve been lucky, for the most part. Dustin admitted from the beginning that he never thought about his wedding before we got engaged, and that he really didn’t know what was involved in planning one (hell, the man has never even BEEN to a wedding!). So our deal was that I would do the bulk of the planning, but that we would talk about every decision together. Asides from buying my dress, there hasn’t been a single decision made that Dustin hasn’t given me his input. He’s vetoed some ideas. He’s fully supported others. Some, yeah, he doesn’t care about at all. My point is, though, is that Dustin has had some very strong opinions about our wedding, but no one would ever call him a bridezilla. Or a bitch. Or demanding.
But today, I feel like the expectation is that *all* brides are bridezillas. The bridal industry is portrayed as this body of women all going psycho and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars for glossy wedding. TV shows like Bridezillas and Say Yes to the Dress often do very little to discourage this kind of sexist stereotyping. And brides themselves sometimes wear this name like a badge of pride.
Maybe it’s just me and Miss Octopus. But I doubt it. What are your thoughts on the “Bridezilla” phenomenon?