Shallow End

I’m more and more excited to be aiming for a Spring 2011 wedding instead of a Fall 2011 wedding.  But some of my reasons are completely lame and make me feel like a bad feminist.

For example:

  • Four fewer months for my hair to turn gray!
  • Four fewer months for eczema to conquer more of my skin!
  • A shorter period of time I feel obligated to maintain approximately the same weight to avoid becoming a multiple-dress bride!
  • Birdcage veils will be so-five-minutes-ago, as opposed to so-four-months-and-five-minutes ago.1
  • Less duration of time I justify buying expensive hair conditioners and face creams and splurging on manicures so I can “look my best for the wedding.”

All of this implies I plan to “let myself go” [Warning: “BUH” risk high] after I’m married.  And guess what, Dudeocracy, I am.  I have recently felt uncomfortable with how much time and money I spend on “beauty,” and tried to take stock and cut back.  But then I got engaged, and the crazy-making pressures of being a bride-to-be pretty much sidelined that project.

It isn’t all bad: I am more diligent about washing my face every night and putting sunscreen on every day, which is actually good for me beyond making me look better.  If I exercise with the dubious motive of keeping my body the same shape between my dress order and my final fitting, at least I will be getting exercise.

But I do look forward to getting back the time I spend pushing back my cuticles and filing my nails after people stop asking to see my hand and the threat of close-up photographs of my ring has passed.  And I look forward to being able to chop off all my hair on a whim, not chickening out after thinking about lost wedding up-do opportunities.  I look forward to gaining ten pounds because I ate a lot of yummy pizza and pie and having to buy a new $30 pair of jeans instead of a new $1000 gown.

And yes, I realize the absurdity and Liz Lemonism of looking forward to GETTING MARRIED as a way to escape some of the pressures of the patriarchy.  So let me reassert that I am most excited about marrying Collin because I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him, and that ahead of all these factors I approve of moving up the wedding because it is four fewer months I have to wait for him to be my spouse.  And let me go read some radical feminist theory as penance and search for some opportunities to be an activist for women instead of just a mouthy lady and don’t hate me because I still want to be beautiful!

1It occurs to me that birdcage veils may already be soooooo played out. Bridal trends are still a mystery to me. I assume they have a significantly different life cycle than regular fashion trends. It is probably best for my sanity if I choose not to care. This issue could be (and probably will be) the subject of its own entire post.

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5 responses to “Shallow End

  1. End of the random comments, at least for a while!

    I found one more jewelry holder thingy and it made me think of you- http://modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/OLD+Apartment/Decor/Cottage+Keepsake+Jewelry+Stand

  2. I love this post. I’m not sure what I love more, that you made “Liz Lemonism” a word, or that you have a footnote!
    I can commiserate with the feeling of being a bad feminist. At one point I just told myself that I’m having fun, so screw it and continue on with all of the pretty lovely weddingy things. I know Mary Wollstonecraft wouldn’t approve of my fawning over every adornment on my body for one day, but I’m sure she’d be proud of many other accomplishments.
    Don’t think about being a bad feminist too much, because anyone that uses Liz Lemonism in a sentence isn’t one in my book. 😉

    And I really miss pizza too. Mushroom and sausage please.

    • To be fair, Sady Doyle made Liz Lemonism a word. You should read her blog Tiger Beatdown, it is a delight.

      And I do think feminism is rich enough a philosophy that there is room in it for weddings and for pretty things, including beautiful people in gorgeous ensembles.

  3. First things first, my cat Liz Lemon is thrilled to be represented on this post. (Seriously, though. I feel like every smart woman I know has a real girl-crush on Tina Fey. And we all have a bit of Liz in us too. Or, um, a lot.)

    And secondly, this wedding beauty stuff is so fraught and complicated. I wrote a tortured post about the economic and emotional expense of wedding pretty and how hard it was to come to terms with these things being worth it to me. Because they are, even if I’m not entirely okay with feeling this way. What really helped was talking with Accordions and Lace who pointed out that there’s a difference between “fancy me” and going batshit insane about consuming bridal beauty standards and products. It’s a hard line to walk, and the “beautiful bride” product we’re meant to achieve is sinister and hard to walk away from.

    But I think it’s important to treat such an important day with respect and ceremony and, yes, special prettiness. I dress up for nice nights out. I dress up for other people’s weddings and religious celebrations and all sorts of other important moments, so we shouldn’t berated ourselves for wanting something even slightly nicer for our WEDDINGS. If we treat it as extra-special dressing-up and not Must Lose 50 Pound For The Wedding And Get Botox, then I think we’re okay.

    I’m also really using this wedding as a catalyst for all sorts of real change though. J and I are working through the healthy life habits together, and the exercise/food/natural care products are part of that. I’m trying really hard to see it as life habits, though, and not as an April 2011 goal line. And I think that’s where the marriage part of planning comes in handy. Because the good stuff stays, and the non-dangerous beauty fluff (the fifth gym visit of the week, worries about birdcage veils and fancy manicures) can go.

    • Well said. There’s a huge difference between busting out “fancy me” and trying to meet beauty demands that are dangerous for our minds and bodies. Personally, I find it a hard line to walk, and it’s just something I’m going to think about and write about and work on.

      Also, I love “marriage planning.” Seriously, it is one of the best things about being engaged. Collin is also, thankfully, all about healthy life habits. His fantasy is to run a marathon with me. That might not happen for a while, but we’ve got time. What a great feeling.

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