I love Don’t Tell the Bride. Something about some great lump of a man exclaiming ‘I want a zombie themed wedding!’ while his fiancée sobs into a green wedding dress just speaks to me on a spiritual level. But one thing I don’t get, is how nearly every episode some woman is whinging about how she wants to be treated like a princess. It baffles me, because why in the hell would you want the life of Kate Middleton, swishy-haired robot whose main mission in life has become to get pregnant, probably via a schedule the queen designed on her iPad?
Wanting to be a treated like a princess, to be your husband’s princess, or even worse ‘daddy’s princess’ (vom) sends us back decades, even centuries. It infantilises grown women so that they become giant, spoiled babies, wanting to be treated like they’re little girls. It says ‘yeah yeah equality, wevs, buy me DIAMONDS!’ It’s nice to be thought of as special, and of course we all want to be treated well by our partners. But why a princess? Why not just you?
When was the last time you heard a man on Don’t Tell the Bride demanding to be treated like a prince? If one of them ever did, they’d be laughed off as vain and selfish. But with women the idea is indulged, especially when it comes to weddings. Many of the brides to be want their every whim to be catered for, to have half the budget spent on a dress and probably some doves to fly around and help her get dressed. They want everyone to be at their beck and call, while they sit back and look pretty.
It may seem harmless, but the princess ideal is damaging. Princesses (the classic kind) are mute and unrealistic. They don’t tend to change tyres or fight wars or do much of anything apart from smile at children and wear endless pairs of nude court shoes. And yes, Kate Middleton works hard and does great charity work, but you know the women on Don’t Tell the Bride aren’t planning on marching out and meeting people with cancer. They want to be princesses in the purest sense; decorative objects with the men in their lives worshipping at their feet. I say men because there’s only ever been a couple of gay weddings on Don’t Tell the Bride, and I don’t recall any princess nonsense going on with those.
We want to be equal to men; we can’t pick and choose that equality. Either we want it or we don’t. We can’t ask for equality but then refuse to take the bins out because its ‘yucky’. We can’t expect to be paid for in restaurants. If I was a man on a date and the woman didn’t at least offer to pay, I’d down my drink and say ‘I’m sorry but I’m going to have to leave as you are absolutely the worst kind of bellend. I hope you marry a rich old man and have to have sex with his sagging body until he dies. P.S drink’s on you byeeeee!’ We can’t want to be showered with gifts and give nothing in return. We can’t use sex as a weapon, or as a form of currency. And we definitely can’t expect our weddings to be some sort of show, where we get all the attention and our husbands hover in the background, wringing their hands and staring at their shoes.
It will only end in tears anyway. Any woman who is lifted that high onto a pedestal is bound to fall off at some point. Because women are just as complex and flawed as men are; we will do things wrong. We can’t keep up the princess ideal because no one can. Kate Middleton’s whole life is an exercise in being as bland and harmless as possible, so as not to upset or offend anyone, and the rest of us simply can’t manage that. The woman is seen as edgy when she gets a fringe for fucks sake, just imagine what would happen if she got drunk and did a wee in the street, or got caught calling prince George a little shithouse under her breath.
And yes, I can say this and it doesn’t mean I’m ‘unsisterly’, before any trolls try to pipe up with that one. Its magic, there’s this thing where you can be a woman and hate on other women and no baby pandas die or anything. And if you’re the princess type, and I’ve offended you, then I’m sure you’re feeling pretty judged right now. Which is fair enough as I’m literally the most judgemental person I’ve ever met and spend most of my time pointing out celebrity eye bags. But just have a think about what it is achieving. You should want to be treated just as well as you treat your partner or husband. We say we want equality, so princesses: stop letting the side down.