Disclaimer: this is a pretty much unadulterated copy of what I'm turning in for a homework assignment on cultural limits on expression tomorrow. Sneaky, you say? Certainly! But I only have so much time, so I better do double duty where I can. This is homework, you say? Forgive me, I shouldn't do homework when writing a present-tense semi-stream of consciousness reflection on browsing Pinterest sounds like a good idea.
I can’t sleep, so
I get on Pinterest and look at wedding stuff. There’s lots of planning to do in
the next year, and the best place to start is by looking at what everybody else
has done, right? There is precedent for that method, after all.
are just a filtered and regurgitated imitation of another person’s expressions.
Classic artists recreated scenes from mythology and history—both things others did
or created. Painters learn to paint based on the styles of people who came
Now, thanks to the
Internet, we can learn about what everyone else is doing ever more quickly. We see
cool ideas, and since everyone can see them at the same time, it becomes a
movement before most people know what the source was.
So whose idea was it to decorate for
weddings with burlap and Mason jars? I wonder as I scroll down. Is this
going to be a tradition that will last? It’s certainly popular—there’s even a
word for it now: the DIY wedding. Maybe it’ll eventually be a cultural movement
that people will say reflects resourcefulness. Or maybe it’ll just be a weird
thing that people will eventually get over, like wallpapering houses with arsenic
in the Victorian age.
An anthropologist might
look at all the frills of a wedding and identify the inherent ritual, from the
truly ritualistic ceremony to the near-universal (at least in the West) extras
that people have added over time (white dress, sending out save-the dates,
color themes). He (or she) might also begin to notice how much the modern
wedding has to do with expression—and the limits impressed upon them by social
Maybe that’s what
The white wedding
dress was popularized by Queen Victoria. That was less than 200 years ago, but
now it’s considered shocking to wear anything other than white. Though she
chose the fabric in support of British manufacturing, we’ve attached the value
of purity to it. As this theme has been played on a hundred different ways,
people even begin to lose this falsely-impressed symbolism, since purity has
nothing to do with most weddings. Again, the social norms of expression are key
in maintaining the tradition.
The wedding blogs
tell me it’s all about me and what I want on my day. It’s funny how lots of
people tend to want the same things. I don’t want to be like everyone else by
default, but the tradition still matters to me.
And because of it,
I want to have a white dress.
And maybe a few