Wednesday, December 23, 2009
If I Could Strike a Word From Our Language....
....it would be bridezilla.
I do believe that there are women out there who act inappropriately and unkindly to their friends, relatives, and vendors during the wedding planning process, but I don't know any personally (and I also suspect that women who behave badly throughout their engagements probably weren't super-pleasant to begin with). I also recognize that we all have moments of intense emotion, irrational reactions, loss of perspective, and perhaps less-than-perfectly-charming behavior. Heck, I've used the word myself, to refer to myself (and the reaction I will have if my relatives try to stand behind the photographer while we're doing portraits and take pictures with their own cameras, causing everyone to look in different directions--this is an extremely justified fear, by the way). But I think the use of the term "bridezilla," overall, has gotten way out of control.
I think the usage of bridezilla has transitioned from being a word that describes genuinely not-okay behavior to one that is casually tossed around, both in the media and in personal life, to demean and mock the general population of engaged women. It seems to me that you're liable to be called a bridezilla if you feel strongly about anything, think your wedding is important, are willing to spend money on any extra details that will beautify or personalize your wedding, actually enjoy wedding planning, expect that things will be generally be carried out the way you planned (and paid for!), feel stressed out by any aspect of the entire process, and aren't planning on giving in to every single opinion and request you receive.
I also find the word quite sexist. Mr. O had a very strong opinion about where our wedding ceremony should be held (Heinz Chapel) and made his opinion clearly known--is there a word that was made up specifically to insult him because he's engaged, he really wanted an aspect of our wedding to be a particular way, and he spoke firmly about it? No.
I like to think of myself as an intelligent, reasonable, assertive, and altogether sane person, and I don't believe those traits were wiped from my brain the second Mr. Octopus slid a ring on my finger. So you know what? Yes, I own a wedding book, a whole stack of wedding magazines, and have tons of wedding inspiration pictures filed away. I have a slew of spreadsheets and documents on my computer, and an organized binder full of contracts and information. It's not because I'm a bridezilla, it's because I'm a visual learner who finds organization helpful, and I would tackle any major project in the same way.
Yes, I cried while having a discussion with my parents about the guest list, and you know why? Because deciding who to invite is an emotionally fraught and difficult process, not because I am A Crazy Bride.
Yes, I expect the vendors we hire to perform their services accurately and correctly. And that does not make me a princess, selfish, or spoiled. It makes me a person who expects service providers to fulfill their contractual obligations and do the things they were specifically hired and paid (LOTS OF) money to do.
So there it is. I have a lot of problems with the term "bridezilla," and the contexts in which it's used. How do you feel about it?
P.S. All the images in this post come up on the first page of an image search for "bridezilla"!