Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Out of the Loop

My brother is getting married next summer. I am going to be a bridesmaid. Mr. J. kindly pointed out that I will be the oldest bridesmaid in the wedding party by about 10+ years. That's good for the self-esteem, yes? Although I suppose I may be able to hide a bit since I am one of eight bridesmaids.

So while learning that I was going to be a relic on public display didn't exactly make me feel young, nothing has made me feel older than this new phenomenon: Trash the Dress.

Have you heard of this? I had not. And I called myself a wedding planner's assistant!

My brother e-mailed me Friday to tell me that he and his fiancee were in the midst of planning their "Trash the Dress" shoot. I had no clue what he was talking about, so after he explained it, I did some Googling. Here's what I found:

"Amid the posy photos and puffed-up bios that comprise the wedding announcement section of Sunday Times Style Section, there was a fascinating article on the rising trend of so-called Trash the Dress wedding photography.Trash the Dress, you say? It's exactly what it sounds like -- following the blessed event, the bride straps on that gorgeous dress once again for a final farewell photo to the gown she spent a fortune to wear for one day only. Only instead of posing in some predictably idyllic setting, the picture is shot in a scroungy back alley or a mossy lake. These so-called Trash the Dress photos have become all the rage with brides who want to add something unconventional to their wedding albums. And unconventional they are -- particularly the photo at right in which a bride has set her wedding gown aflame, a la Joan of Arc. This shot was taken by a photographer named John Michael Cooper, who coined the phrase Trash the Dress. If you want to see more of his edgy, arty wedding photography, check out his website, which chronicles his collection of Trash the Dress wedding photos. Pretty cool, huh?"

Suddenly, I'm older than someone who lived through the Great Depression. Because, no - this is the opposite of pretty cool. Why would one spend thousands of dollars on a dress, wear it once and then trash it? I'm sure some of my younger readers could enlighten me on this one. For the sake of "art"?

I also suppose it doesn't help that I'm turning 37 on Friday. Whoopee!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a load of crap. that is so wasteful. why can't they trash the dress by donating it? though i do appreciate the idea of symbolically killing the patriarchy's ideas of women, you could do that with a one dollar sheet. (and i highly doubt these women are doing it in that vein).

August 27, 2007 8:40 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Oh - I do like the concept of trashing the patriarchy's ideas of women. But you're right. Somehow I don't think it's about that.

August 27, 2007 9:06 PM  
Blogger Addy N. said...

Completely bizarre! And I'm turning 37 next Monday (and you have the same birthday as luckybuzz!) Happy Birthday, Blogging Virgos!

August 27, 2007 10:08 PM  
Blogger Shawnee said...

This is the most ridiculous wedding-related thing I have ever heard. (Had to qualify. After all, W is still out there, supplying us with newly ridiculous material every damn day.) And your brother & future sister-in-law are jumping on this bandwagon? What could they be thinking?

Happy (early) Birthday, by the way! Mine was last week & I have to keep reminding myself I am now 35.

August 28, 2007 9:32 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

(I'm an early-20-something getting married this fall, so this might color my perspective somewhat...) I've seen variations on trash the dress that don't actually, well, trash the dress: taking the dress for outside photo shoots, etc., after the wedding when the idea of getting a tiny stain on it isn't the end of the world. I actually really like some of the photography that comes out of it!

On the other hand, I'm also pretty skeptical of people who spend thousands of dollars on a dress, wear it once, and then have it preserved and never look at it or wear it again. It's one thing, I guess, if you're hoping you'll have a daughter who will wear it, but if I do, well, she can pick her own style of dress! I'll likely sell mine, or, if I'm less strapped for cash, donate it somewhere.

August 28, 2007 5:19 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd said...

Less about the "art" or the trashing of the patriarchy. More about the dressing up like a pretty pretty princess one...more...time! What a fucking load of crap! And? Just like wedding photos, they all look exactly the same.

August 28, 2007 5:49 PM  
Blogger Carolie said...

Oh my. I have dreams that a daughter or granddaughter might wish to wear the dress herself. My cousin was spectacularly lovely in our grandmother's dress. Or, perhaps, my dress might become part of a crazy quilt and treasured that way. I can even see selling my dress to someone who wants a "bargain" (though it was already a bargain -- I could not bring myself to spend thousands on a dress I'd wear once, while people in this world starve). How about donating my dress to a charitable organization?

I could see any of the above. But to destroy the dress just for some hipster photographs? I've never heard of such a disgusting display of conspicuous consumption. I'm revolted.

August 29, 2007 5:47 AM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

Never heard of this, and one of my best friends is a wedding photographer!
If you're going to buy into the whole wedding thing and wear the dress at all, then what's the point in Trashing the Dress? Especially if it's becoming trendy!

A very Happy Birthday to you!

August 29, 2007 9:11 AM  
Blogger Tizzie said...

I spent £30 on my wedding outfit. It is STILL in pristine condition...WHY would anyone trash their dress?? WHY?? The world has gone mad, there is no other explaination.

August 30, 2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger SAILOR MOON said...

funny that you mention this. Im getting married next yera and i had no idea about these "trends". I heard today on the radio another trend on buying 3 to 4 wedding dresses for seperate occassions during the wedding. I can barely afford one - whats the deal with 3 to 4 dresses?

August 30, 2007 11:51 PM  

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