After my last post, where I talked about having a ‘good feminist’ wedding, this is the post where I confess to all my anti-feminist wedding sins. Only kidding. Well, kind of.
It’s white. Or ivory, or whatever you want to call it. Apparently when it comes to weddings white is never just white.
The white dress is part of the traditional wedding ritual. Unlike the man in his sombre suit, the woman’s wedding outfit cries out for attention. It’s a big stand-out reminder that women, more than men, are still judged more on what they look like than on who they are. Not only is the bride’s wedding day no exception to this rule, it is the epitome of this rule.
So why on earth am I wearing a white dress?
Because I want to.
It’s as simple as that. I looked at navy blue, red and gold, but nothing I saw had the x-factor I wanted. It may not stand up to militant feminist scrutiny, but I want to feel stunning on my wedding day, and a white dress helps me to feel that way. In fact, let me be very unfeminine (it’s very unfeminine to brag, after all) and just come out with it: I feel beautiful in my dress.
Whether or not that’s the result of a patriarchal ideal I’ve been brainwashed with, that’s the way it is. I know this isn’t a fantastic treatise on the moral ins and outs of wearing a white wedding dress, but it’s all you’re going to get from me today.
Oh, and I’m also going to be wearing a veil. Because it’s the veil my Mum wore to her wedding, because it looks fab, and because when else do you get to wear a crazy long bit of white tulle or organza?
I questioned whether wearing the white dress and veil was the right thing to do, using my feminist lens on life, and ultimately decided to go for it. I honestly don’t believe that incorporating these traditional wedding elements into our wedding day makes me a ‘bad’ feminist.
Looking My Best
Since I told a colleague about my bridezilla freak-out a few weeks ago (the tailor cut my dress too short – disaster) it seems that the whole office knows that I’m getting married soon. This week someone I’ve never even spoken to before asked me “Did you get your dress fixed?”
Of course, I know that Looking My Best is important on 24th April. And just because I’m having a small wedding and haven’t bought the back catalogue of Brides magazine doesn’t mean I’m immune to the Looking My Best pressure. Early on in the process I hired a personal trainer to whip me into shape. To get that ‘glowing’ complexion I scheduled in monthly facial treatments and even cut back on caffeine. (Well, okay, maybe just for a bit).
Not forgetting the make-up trial and pre-wedding mani, pedi and waxing. The whole Looking My Best palaver doesn’t come cheap you know. And that’s just to start with. I haven’t even got on to the shoes, jewellery, ‘wedding underwear’ (yup, that’s a thing) and hair accessory. Whatever you do, don’t ask me about the preposterous amount I spent on that.
What I’m saying is that just because I’m someone who believes in the equality of men and women doesn’t mean I feel the need to abolish every wedding tradition. Of course I can see how some people might view the things I’ve mentioned here as brainwashing by a patriarchal society. But I’m an educated woman with a feminist lens on life and these are my choices. And maybe that’s what feminism is all about.