The Bride Factory: Mass Media Portrayals of Women and Weddings

Media Report to Women, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

The Bride Factory: Mass Media Portrayals of Women and Weddings


The Bride Factory: Mass Media Portrayals of Women and Weddings by Erika Engstrom. Peter Lang, paperback, $38.95.

University of Nevada Professor Erika Engstrom has written about the world of weddings for MRTW and other periodicals. Now she has put all her research together in The Bride Factory, and it makes for a compelling read about one of the most significant traditions in society - any society. This book is about the evolution of the wedding in the United States - as in the highly lucrative wedding product business and its allure for so many of today's brides.

This issue of MRTW appears just as the traditional wedding season kicks into high gear. Now in evidence is what Engstrom calls "a transient utopia in which class mobility becomes attainable, if only for just one day." Much of this bride-asprincess fantasia is encouraged by bridal media, both print and television, that display numerous possibilities for the big day, and about which Engstrom writes with insight and wit.

Perhaps the most interesting chapter in this volume is Chapter 5, "Working the Part: Bride As Actor," which studies the gendered roles played by brides and grooms on a sample of wedding shows. By and large, men are superfluous to the wedding planning. Showing up on the big day is their main responsibility, and in lots of the programs, that's just fine with the bride. Overarching themes point to this being the bride's big day, with acquiescence to her wishes, no matter how outlandish or expensive. The "blushing demure bride" is an archaic stereotype that has given way to the "superbride" - capable, decisive, with superior organizational abilities - and in some cases to "bridezilla," an archetype that needs little description. Let your imagination run loose and you can picture her in her many terrifying variations, which Engstrom ably documents. She also devotes a chapter to "Modern Women, Traditional Brides," which shows how even the most independent, self-directed women, depicted in wedding media, fall into the dreamy thrall of a "white wedding": the bride in white, the groom and wedding party in formal wear, exchanging vows before an admiring throng.

Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau devoted the week of March 12-16 to pushing back against the politicizing of a woman's decision to terminate a pregnancy and being forced to have a transvaginal ultrasound as a pre-condition to an abortion.

Trudeau slammed the Texas legislature and Gov. Rick Perry for backing the bill, which was enacted in 2011. (A similar bill in Virginia was withdrawn after a public outcry.) Women seeking abortions in Texas must receive the intrusive transvaginal sonogram and hear detailed description of the development of the fetus. This must occur at least 24 hours before the scheduled procedure. Doctors also must offer to play sounds of the fetus' heartbeat.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Bride Factory: Mass Media Portrayals of Women and Weddings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.