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The Bride Factory

Mass Media Portrayals of Women and Weddings

Erika Engstrom

In response to the growing scope and popularity of wedding-related offerings and the media attention given to celebrity and royal weddings, The Bride Factory critically examines various bridal media outlets, artifacts, and the messages they convey about women today. The book departs from conventional wisdom and other treatments of the bridal industry as a scholarly topic by revealing how media portray women in modern American society, and how these portrayals reflect feminism and femininity and illustrate the hegemony created by these media. The book discusses the portrayal of women as brides in media coverage throughout history; the various forms of wedding media, including print, television, and the Internet; how bridal media forward ideals of feminine beauty; how reality wedding programs depict brides – and the new «bridezilla» – as agents of control over their perfect day; the role of men in wedding planning; and the extent to which the white wedding ideal is embraced or resisted, with special attention given to alternative wedding media.
Cohesive and multidisciplinary in its approach, The Bride Factory is the first major publication to shed critical light on bridal media and their feminist implications.