03 June 2006

irony take two

broadsheet had a recent post that mounted a critique of the Wall Street Journal's New York advertising campaign (I know, I know. I hate it when New York people think they're the centre of the universe. but what can you do? false consciousness is a bitch.) they suggested the paper might be pandering to its male readership by producing ads that are all about selling women's bodies. this critique is fine, although not particularly new, and the use of women in ads for things utterly unrelated to them is, well, definitely old.

broadsheet then went on to link to an article in the WSJ on the new rage in bridal photography which redefines the 'intimate shot' in whole new ways. again, broadsheet suggests (rightly, sure) that this is merely an excuse for the paper to include photographs of scantily-clad brides-to-be. fine. but in pursuing only this line, they miss a crucial element of this article, which I find potentially feminist:
But at the same time, many independent-minded brides are poking fun at so many white bouquets and demure poses. "Being like a virgin is very different than being a virgin," says Julie Albright, a marriage therapist and sociology professor at the University of Southern California. For the many brides who have been living with their fiancés for years before taking the leap, mugging for risqué shots can be a way of playing up the irony of donning a traditional dress. "The white gown and veil is a kind of performance or drag -- like Madonna in her video for 'Like a Virgin.'"
yes, exactly. it's drag. and yet, one might suggest that brides worry, as say, a businessman might: Why Can't Anyone Tell I'm Wearing this Business Suit Ironically?

all this makes me wonder: should I be purchasing the sequinned undergarments for my sister's wedding? hm....

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