Television Tuesday :: I think I need to talk about dress shows.

28 Apr

I don’t believe in “guilty pleasures,” really.  As far as I’m concerned “guilty pleasures” are often either people liking things that they’ve been told are bad, or people liking things because they’re bad but not… understanding that that’s okay, I guess.  If you get something out of something, that’s something, in my opinion (with limits, of course).  And I like bad movies.  My taste in television shows is outstandingly “genre.”  Etcetera.

But my taste in television also, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned but maybe not in a while, includes wedding dress shows.  The shows where people go shopping for wedding dresses.  And it’s funny, almost, because I was never a little girl who dreamed of their wedding or played bride; I remember that my very first Barbie doll was a Midge (the redhead) with a wedding dress, I had an entire wedding playset, my Ken doll had a tuxedo (I had exactly two male Barbies, a blonde Ken and… Aladdin), blonde Barbie had a terrible bridesmaid’s dress, etcetera.  But I don’t recall staging wedding ceremonies so much as staging dramatic receptions.  For example.

But I digress.  My point is, I don’t watch wedding dress shows because of the wedding aspect.  Like, that’s nice for the brides I suppose (and I do admit I get a little sentimental about the bride/bride pairs; one bride-to-be described the feeling she got from her fiancee as being “like warm cookies” and I utterly squealed with delight) and there’s nothing wrong with it if they were the girls dreaming of their wedding or what have you, but that’s not why I’m there.  And okay, so you may argue that it’s frivolous and horrible, watching women spending thousands of dollars on a dress they’re going to wear once.  But… I don’t know.  I’m able to put that aside.

I watch dress shows… pretty much every week with my mom.  It’s pretty much ritual at this point.  (We watch a whole slew of “girly” shows, your Project Runway variants and what have you.  We just do.)  It’s a nice low-stress thing to do, just us; it doesn’t require much brainpower, and it’s fun.  There’s the base level of “ooh, pretty.”  But that’s not really the point either.

The point for us is the dresses themselves.  Because we’re dress dorks.  As you’ve doubtless figured out from our cosplay stuff.  We enjoy the technicalities of dresses, of dress trends (one of our favorite games, of course, is “spot the Game of Thrones trend working into the dress”), of how things work and fit and play out.  There are things we generally don’t care for and things that each of us tend to prefer.

And the point, too, is the psychology of it.  I’m sure a lot of it is manufactured, but watching the way that expectations play out (the relatives who either want their daughters demure or much flashier and more glitzy; the brides who come in either wanting to fit a certain look [the brides on Say Yes: Atlanta having a “Southern wedding” despite the fact that nobody really seems to know what that means except for having mason jars on their tables; the brides who say they want to feel like a princess but either mean a Disney cartoon or Kate Middleton] or not wanting to fit a certain look [the brides who have done pageants their whole lives and don’t want to look like they’re doing pageants are surprisingly prevalent]) and the way that these dramas unfold is, even if manufactured, fascinating.

–your fangirl heroine.

abject disbelief


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