Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Can we stop with the bridesmaids are bitter, evil bitches narrative?

Buzzfeed just put out a video titled, “If bridesmaids were honest” which, you guessed it, is all about how terrible and bitter bridesmaids are. Not surprisingly it has almost one million views after just five days (why internet, why?).

I’ll admit I chuckled a couple times -- okay like one time -- when the girl said “I flew cross-country for this I am not getting you something from Crate & Barrel” mainly because Crate & Barrel is where money goes to die.

Usually I am a fan of theses videos, i.e. the formula  “If TK group” was “TK” -- like “If Asians said the stuff white people say” -- because it highlights how ridiculous we all are.

But the bridesmaid bit is tired and frankly, insulting to women.

All the jokes are the same and equate to bridesmaids being (1) bitter they’re still single, (2) catty and bitchy to other bridesmaids, (3) mad their best friend is getting married, (4) pissed at spending so much money on a “dress they’ll never wear again” and (5) feeling like the bride is making a mistake.

Essentially, since most women will be a bridesmaid at some point in their life, this means we as society believe women can’t be happy for each other even on “her most important day” -- which, um, I am calling BULLSHIT.

I have been a bridesmaid three times. So clearly I am an #expert. Although, one doesn’t really count because it was for my brother’s wedding, so it was more about my bond with him than her. But the other two were for two very good friends of mine and let me tell you, every minute of each experience was wonderful in its own special way (like a snowflake).

Never once did I think “Oh why is my best friend getting married and not me?!” As if somehow marriage was a zero sum game. Let me be clear: Her getting married to the freaking love of her life did not affect my marriage prospects in any way shape or form.

In fact, I was VERY single during my bridesmaids duties and frankly it restored my faith in romance to see two of my friends marrying really great, really fantastic guys. It gave me hope that despite all the assholes I had been dating at the time (it was my 20’s there were several) true love really did exist.

Rather than thinking “Why not me?” I thought “How great for her!” Yes, I was happy to see my friend so happy! I know that’s hard to believe because I am a female and there’s some rule that says women all have to hate each other. But call me crazy, seeing my friends light up with love and joy made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Honestly writing about it right now makes me feel happy all over again.

The other thing is, I made friends with the other bridesmaids. No I didn’t know all of them before the wedding (both weddings were on the east coast and I’ve spent the last 10 years in LA), but I got to know them through parties and showers and games. And it was great. The thing we had in common was love for an awesome lady, which is a great place to start. So no, I wasn’t like “Oh she’s a bitch” or “Her presence is ruining this for me”. In fact, I didn’t see any of that go on at all (unless they all thought that about me, but hell we’ll never know!).

Which brings me to the dress. One thing I will say is, no I have never worn any of my bridesmaids dresses again and probably never will. But, wearing a bridesmaid dress is not all bad. It’s kind of like wearing a VIP badge. Everyone knows you’re friends with the bride and groom, which at a wedding makes you cool. You get to sit at a cooler table, you get to make a speech, people come up to you to chat and ask you questions. It’s like being Prince Harry at a birthday party for Prince William. Sure you’re not the future king but really you get to have an awesome time and share none of the responsibility. 

I suppose my point is that all my bridesmaid experiences have been fantastic. I can’t wait until my other good girlfriends get married so I can be a part of their wedding too -- if they choose to have one (me I’ll probably elope because planning a wedding seems like a nightmare).

And I get it, it’s definitely a financial burden (I spent thousands flying back and forth across the country) but I know if I couldn’t afford it my friends would have understood and let me opt out. Or heck, probably even helped me out. When I say it was a privilege to be included I actually mean it.

So I just want to put it on record that most of us are happy when we get to see our best friends live out their dreams with the person they love -- and this ongoing joke that women are mad when other women get married is insulting. It insinuates that women are so desperate to tie the knot they can’t possibly be happy for anyone else. The video Buzzfeed should have made is “If we talked about groomsmen the way we talk about bridesmaids” … or like ... “We’re misogynists with very little comedic skills so we need to recycle old and tired stereotypes.” That works too.

Also, if your best friend is bitter you’re getting married, then you need to rethink your friends. Just sayin.

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