E! has ordered reality series Bridalplasty, in which the contestants who prevail in wedding planning challenges (example: writing the best vows) win plastic surgery.
After reading stories like this, I usually check to see if it is April 1st. For those playing along at home, it is not.
I’m having trouble moving past making retching noises to appropriately respond to this. I suppose it ties back into the theme of Bride As Uberwoman. When an average everyday person like you or me plans a wedding and anticipates being a Bride, it somehow taps into all these insecurities woven throughout our sense of selves by that tenacious patriarchy loom, perhaps in an unprecedented way.1
We think, “I’m just a regular everyday chick. I can’t be a BRIDE. I can’t be that perfectly gracious hostess. I can’t be that clever crafter of a beautiful, cute, charming, hand-made with love day. I can’t be that stunning beauty walking down the aisle, deserving all eyes on her.”
And so women getting married start thinking now, more than ever, that they need to lose weight. They need to whiten their teeth. They need to have someone else’s skin. Or, if reality television is involved, they need an Extreme Makeover.
Because the person they are now is just a person, and some serious improvements must be made before they can be a Bride. Fat chicks can put on a white dress and walk down an aisle, flat-chested chicks can exchange rings and vows with their partner in front of friends and family, chicks with wrinkles can throw a bunch of flowers at their single friends… but there is this pervasive message they won’t be a Real Bride unless they are something more ideal. On this milestone day in our Womanhood we’ve got to be everything a Woman can be. Most importantly: nice to look at.
1I would not be surprised if something similar happens to women anticipating motherhood, but I have never done that and have never actually been close with anyone doing that, so I can only speculate on that comparison.