I have to write about this because the hype bothers me SO much. I am first going to address the irony: I am mad that so many people are so focussed on it/putting energy into it, yet here I am doing the same thing.
The reason it makes me mad, though, is because I have deep feelings about love and romance and how these are viewed by society and portrayed by the media.
I get it that the reason people are watching is because they ‘want’ to see a real life ‘Cindarella’ story. I get that. But why is that SO important? Why, in this day and age, are we still seeking satisfaction via depictions of love and romance of people that we dont’ even KNOW? How is it that we are still seeking that glimpse of ‘happily ever after’?
It’s one thing to be excited about friends of yours, a couple who has established a mature, real relationship and you are happy to celebrate this with them via a wedding. I am not denouncing the act of celebrating love relationships (I am critical of the institution of marriage in many ways – see my entry called Free Agent for more on this).
I don’t say this out of bitterness or cynicism, and I don’t mean to sound pretentious, as if I’m ‘better’ than people who chose to watch it; your choice is your choice. But I don’t believe that buying into the princess routine is healthy for society as a whole. I think that it instills very unrealistic ideals about love and romance into us (girls in particular) at a very young age and I think that this is why we struggle so much with these issues (as related to gender, sexuality, all types of relationships) as adults.
So watching the wedding just reinforces the idealized, fantastic, and unrealistic nature of these ideals. People say they are watching out of fascination, even if they are critical, but I wonder why invest time in it if you aren’t at least somewhat entranced at the possibility? The wedding in itself is a spectacle, one that – as far as I’m concerned – sends a very distorted message to the world, a message that projects traditional, conservative, capitalist, sexist ideals that I was hoping we were starting to move beyond. Yet people are still consuming it in mass quantities.
Why focus on the ‘beauty’ of the fantasy on TV when we can look around now and find that beauty now in small things, in real things, in our own lives? Why is it that we need to look elsewhere?
I know that this is not always easy to do, but I think we need to practice.