I always catch a face-full of heck when I tell people that my favourite TV show is Say Yes to the Dress. Now,
before you roll your eyes and assume I’m the type of girl who wears a unicorn onesie to bed,
I’ll have you know two things: number one, my unicorn onesie is quality micro-fleece so back off me, Judge Judy! And number two: Say Yes to the Dress is touching, empowering,
Sure, there’s a lot of frilly dresses,
hand-wringing over “silhouette” and googly eyed references to “being a
princess,” just like you’d expect (Wanna make this fun?” Drink every
time they reference princesses). But just because those things
traditionally appeal to women, does that make them somehow “less than?”
Relegate them to the dark and shameful corner reserved for “guilty
pleasures?” I challenge you to embrace the show because it
tells the story of women at a turning point in their lives and
relationships, of unique womens’ challenges. How is that not empowering to women?
brings me to my next point. The brides come from all walks of life
(Lawyers! Rock Stars! Mothers! WNBA champs!) and in all shapes, colours and sizes. How often do you see this kind of diversity in women on television? Rarely, if ever? And no matter what the girls
come in looking like or looking for in a dress, they are treated like
queens (DRINK!) They share a little bit of their story, too: the bride
who struggles to see herself as beautiful after losing her breasts to a double mastectomy? The bride whose taste clashes with her domineering mother’s controlling ways and she has to learn to
stand up for herself? These narratives aren’t what you’d expect to see
on a show about lace and “mermaid style” gowns but sometimes, they can
be downright tear-jerking!
And the gowns! Just like the
women, no two are alike! On most style shows, the fashion “expert” is a
pedantic preacher who stuffs a unique woman into a
trendy, “flattering” wrap dress and calls it a day (you know what you did, What Not To Wear!).
On SYTTD, the consultants are fairy godmothers (DRINK!) to the brides,
encouraging them to make the choice that makes THEM happy, regardless of
what their friends and family think is “appropriate” or “flattering”!
At the end of the day, the consultants bend over backwards to empower
their brides to stand up for what they want! “Tell me princess, now
when did you last let your heart decide?” (DRINK DRINK DRINK!)
the surface, Say Yes to the Dress is a frothy and frivolous romp
through a showroom of silk and cliches. But beneath its Chantilly lace
overlay is a show with heart. A chrysalis that welcomes a diverse group
of women to see themselves emerge as the beautiful butterfly of their
dreams on their wedding day! Say yes? I’ll drink to that.