While I was putting off doing academic reading, I started to do the usual look-at-things-I-can't-afford websites. You know, the ones like Bluefly and Gilt where you can kind of pretend you can get that to-die-for £200 bag but in reality you can't justify it? Since my boyfriend and I are headed to New York in June, I decided to see if Gilt had any deals it could offer me. Hit me NYC, I'm ready to bleed all of my money onto your sidewalks.
I came across this little service, called "I'm a Mrs." which allows you to change your name on all of your documents with ease. This service may be nauseating and antiquated, but it is necessary for the women who do wish to change their surnames. (There is nothing wrong with changing your surname, by the way. You do you, girl!) If you go to their website, there is even a little latte gif with tick boxes next to "Miss" "Ms." and "Mrs." Of course, you get to select Mrs. now because you've MADE it.
However, it was the marketing campaign that really stuck in my craw (am I 85? Yes, evidently). My biggest pet peeve with modern marriage, aside from the obvious issue of inequality, is this pervasive idea that women win when they get married. It's some kind of race to the altar, and then when you're there you have to have the perfect hair, the perfect make-up, the mason jars, the bedazzled bridesmaids Juciy hoodies. And don't get me started on the engagement photo trend.
This may make me seem like I'm anti-marriage or anti-wedding. I'm totally not. I've rocked a bridesmaid's dress and had a ton of fun and I'm up for a good horah at any Jewish wedding. But I think that the modern wedding industry is selling an idea and fantasy, like your wedding is some kind of reward for being the best woman. These little cutesy "I'm a Mrs.!" cards make marriage almost like a game or a contest, something to validate your femininity and success as a female.
What this stuff doesn't recognize or put any weight on is that relationships and marriages are work. There isn't a happy ending after your white dress where you two float off into the sunset. Sometimes I think this sort of expectation is what distracts young couples from focusing on their actual issues and ultimately ends their marriages in expensive divorces.
The "I'm a Mrs.!" card also reinforces the idea that a woman's primary role is in relation to a man. Getting married is certainly a milestone to be celebrated, but it is not an achievement. Your achievements lie in getting a degree, starting a business, raising well-adjusted children, making it to your 50th wedding anniversary, knowing when to walk away, etc. Marriage is just simply a thing that happens in your life, not a woman's end goal. Not to mention that this company is negating the idea that there are now tons of gay couples who are legally getting married and will need similar services, but not all of them are now "A MRS. OMFG!"
And ultimately, the card carrying "I'm a Mrs.!" card gives you a FastPass to the front of the Smug Married line. Especially if you ever earnestly whip it out to show your friends.
Sure, use the service. But cut that dreadful card up.
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