A call to arms

In preparing for this week’s dreadful bridal show, I stumbled upon this New York Times article about the recent trends in bride and bridesmaid wedding preparations.

  • Brides providing Botox to their bridesmaids.
  • Women asking their friends to get breast enhancement surgery prior to the wedding.
  • Microdermabrasion parties.
  • Teeth whitening.
  • Professional spray-on tans.
  • Wrinkle filler injections.
  • Chemical peels.
  • Liposuction.

All this for brides and bridesmaids alike.

What the hell is going on?

From the article, one bride said:

As you get older, everyone is more conscientious about their skin and appearance.

Really? I was under the impression that the older you become, the greater your degree of self worth. The less you care about peer pressure. The more perspective you have in terms of what is truly important in life.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not attempting to portray every woman in this light. Not even most women. However, the article clearly states that these ridiculous, superficial, and shallow treatments are on the rise.

It needs to stop.

Consider this:

For fifty years, the most popular doll in the world has been Barbie, a doll whose proportions are universally acknowledged to be physically impossible. According to research by the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, Barbie would lack the 17 to 22 percent body fat required for a woman to menstruate. And the history behind this doll is disgusting.

In 1965 Slumber Party Barbie came with a book entitled How to Lose Weight which advised: "Don't eat."

In July 1992 Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie, which spoke a number of phrases including "Will we ever have enough clothes?" and “Math is tough.”

This doll is a statuesque representation of anorexia and breast enlargement, yet it is found in nearly every little girl’s hands. Year after year, this doll remains the most popular girl’s toy, regardless of the body image issues and eating disorders that plague girls and young women at ever increasing rates.

Where are the boycotts of this toy in favor of a doll that portrays a more positive and realistic body image?

Remember Madonna’s song "Material Girl?" Hugely popular with women in the 1980’s and still requested at weddings today, yet this song paints women in a superficial, materialistic light.

Yet they dance on.

In an update to this song, today’s women are blessed with "Gold Digger," another #1 hit in 2006. Brides still ask me to play this song at weddings, regardless of the materialistic, objectifying implications of the lyrics.

And how about Good Charlotte’s song "Girls and Boys," with its chorus declaring that “Girls don’t like boys. Girls like cars and money.”

Another song that portrays women in a terrible light, yet where is the outrage? The protest?

Instead, the song was used on Nickelodeon as a promotion for Slime Time Live.

And now pole dancing has become the newest form of aerobic activity in gyms across America. Touted for its aerobic, strength, and flexibility training, this activity, once relegated to the confines of strip clubs, is now touted as fun, energizing, and an excellent form of exercise.

Some may say that women are “taking pole dancing back” and “owning it,” but frankly, some things aren’t worth owning. I argued this point with friend recently, pointing out that this activity sends a terrible message to little girls, who will inevitably discover what mommy is doing.

I was told that they would not.

Not only was I right, but it turns out that not too long ago, you could purchase a pole dancing kit for your little girl.

This nonsense needs to stop.