White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture
From sitcoms and soap operas to talk shows and movies, Americans are in love with the idea of a white wedding. The happy bride and groom smile from the covers of fashion and entertainment magazines, and appear in TV commercials to sell everything from life insurance to antacid. Fascinated by this national obsession, Chrys Ingraham peers behind the veil to question the meaning of weddings in American popular culture. What she finds is nothing less than a wedding industrial complex. The wedding industry does a thriving business with annual revenues in excess of 30 billion dollars. The average cost of a wedding is over $19,000, with 2.4 million couples getting married each year. White Weddings is the first book to investigate the underside of this recession-proof industry, exposing how weddings are used to sell aheterosexual fairy tale.
Ingraham draws on popular media, such as bridal magazines, children's toys, feature films, television and advertising to reveal how they regulate gender, sexuality, race and class. Weddings mean more than just flowers and flatware, but are part of a belief system that relies on romantic and sacred notions of heterosexuality to maintain the illusion of normalcy. This entertaining and insightful book will make you think twice about ever wanting to catch the bouquet.
professor of sociology at Russell Sage College, tears away the veil of fantasy and takes a hard look at bridal magazines, religion, the garment industry, the media and just plain capitalism, and how they all figure into this tradition (Los Angeles Times) interface with race and class in the US and what happens to those who step out of line must read this informative study. (Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director, Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University)