Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Flaw in Fairy Tale Weddings

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal (subscription fee required to view) covered Walt Disney Co.'s latest venture--Fairy-tale princess-inspired wedding dresses. The dresses will be more subtle (they don't copy but merely capture the mood of the princess's style) more "grown-up" and more pricey than little girl's princess wear, but the goal is the same--to have a fairy-tale moment. These lovely pastel gowns will be available in the Spring ranging in price from $1,100 to $3000.

Snow White and Sleeping Beauty's gowns will be more delicate and pretty. Kristie Kelly, designer and spokeswomen for Disney's enterprise expects young brides to be drawn towards this more modest look. But modern, mature brides, she explains, are ready for another style.

Ariel and Jasmine's inspired gown, for instance, will be much more racy. The reason, Ms. Kelly explains, is that Ariel has a "sultry allure" and is "comfortable showing her body."


Why is sultry, sexy, Vegas style promiscuity associated with being "comfortable" showing my body? There are plenty of women who are comfortable showing their body to the man they love, but who would never wear Ariel's gown. There are scores of women who are comfortable with their body even after the strains and weights of pregnancy and age, but who cannot wear Ariel's gown. And to them I send gratitude and admiration.

Let me restate what Ms. Kelly is actually saying. Ariel's gown is meant for women who are willing to expose their body to men who should not be gazing at them for sexual jollies. For instance, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, brothers-in-law, nephews all gathered to watch the long approach of the bride down the aisle. As these modern brides saunter slowly along they are, in my mind, selfishly comfortable exposing their most loved friends and family to the discomfort of struggling to remove the raunchy thoughts from their minds. Not to mention the fact that exposed, over-sexyfied brides are highly distracting to women as well.

How painfully ironic that the moment when all a woman's loved ones are gathered to support, witness and encourage her into holy (which means separate and sacred) matrimony (which by its nature excludes every other man), she is exposing the body she is about to pledge to her husband. How discouraging that the woman fails to see the value of her own soul above her body's sexual appeal. How disappointing that Disney is contributing to the problem. See the beautiful advertisement where Scarlett Johansson reveals a sexier Cinderella and how different it is from the original.

We now have Disney to thank for making a fairy tale wedding possible without having to sacrifice the sexiness we've come to expect.


Jodi H. said...

You are totally right about people saying that a woman is "comfortable with her body" when she is more than happy to show it off to anyone. Actually, I think that women who don't need constant gawking are more likely to be comfortable with their bodies because they don't need the continual affirmation and admiration to feel good about it. They know who they are and are "comfortable" with it! (I have to say though, I love that picture of Scarlett and think the dress is gorgeous. But yes, perhaps a little too much cleavage for a wedding day!)

Stacy said...

WOW...that is crazy that Disney is doing that. You are so right on. That is the American way, right, sexual appeal everywhere. The worst thing ever is when you see little kids (girls mainly) dressed in designer fashion.