I appreciate my readers’ comments below the last post! Hopefully I can get to blogging about serious stuff like that soon.
In the meantime, I couldn’t help but notice this article many people were sharing on Facebook about the dawn of the see-through wedding dress:
But the most revealing pieces in the latest bridal lines—revealing, in every sense of the word—were Vera Wang's mermaid-cut sheaths, staunchly traditional in their ribbons and lace, but innovative in their most striking features: The gowns are almost fully translucent, from their necklines to their hems. The lingerie their models wore, dainty and daring at the same time, was on full display under the fishnet and lace bodices of the gowns. The lingerie was, in fact, an elemental part of the dresses.
This—the be-boudoired bridal outfit—may be designed to shock, but it isn't at all surprising. It's simply another step toward something that has taken place both gradually and seemingly overnight: the sexification of the wedding dress. The gowns that have for so long involved sweeping hoop skirts and demure lace and virginal white have been, of late, getting steadily saucier. They've been showing more shoulder, more cleavage, more back ... more of pretty much everything, except fabric.
You can read the rest, if you want to, here. Or I could spare you the trouble: all of this, according the article’s author, is about the ultimate rejection of the “traditional” virginal wedding gown (which wasn’t all that traditional, anyway--the article correctly points out that the all-white wedding dress is much more recent than most people think, and was only for rich brides anyway) and the shocking revelation that sex is part of marriage and that brides know that and want to flaunt it. Because, you know, our ancestors had no idea that sex and marriage and babies were sort of connected, or something.
Actually, I think that what this is about is simple: many young women are rather stupid when it comes to “sexy” clothing and “sexy” attitudes and the like. They actually believe that it is empowering and feminist and girl-powerish to appear in public in your underwear. The fact that this happens to fulfill the secret and not-so-secret fantasies of the raunchiest, filthiest, least-good-husband-material men-children out there is something that seems to escape them completely; they really seem to believe that appearing half-naked is somehow the same thing as striking a blow for feminism instead of participating in their own objectification.
Yes, there are men who will objectify women whatever we wear, and no, the choice is not (and never has been) between the see-through wedding gown and the burqa. It is not necessary for women to don shapeless heavy sacks in the name of modesty. But for heaven’s sake, it’s also both unnecessary and just plain stupid to plan a walk down the aisle wearing considerably less fabric than Esther Williams would have worn in a swimming pool, and it takes nothing more than a bit of common sense to understand that.
Of course, I think the see-through wedding gown trend will last until some sweet little flower girl asks in front of the whole wedding party, “Mommy, why is the bride naked?” It took a child to alert the Emperor that he was being scammed, too.