The American Bridesmaid
For the last few years, I’ve been on the listening end of the same complaint voiced over and over by almost every female friend I have. That complaint? “I fucking hate being a bridesmaid.”
Maybe my lady friends are not all so crass. It’s the same litany of problems for all of them. The friend that they once loved is either a megalomaniac bride, a lazy bride, or a bride who is too busy trying to please everyone else. They all universally complain about the costs of engagement parties, wedding showers, bridal showers, lingerie showers, bachelorette parties, dresses, plane tickets, hotel rooms, hair/nail appointments, and gifts. They all feel like they aren’t getting enough credit, someone else is not pulling their weight, and someone else is getting too much credit. If they are single, they feel even more lonely. If they’re dating, they feel the pressure to get married. If they’re married, they feel old.
I’ve always wondered whether this was a cultural thing limited to American women or if it was just a problematic issue for women worldwide throughout their 20’s and 30’s. I think I may have an answer.
The Kristen Wiig/Judd Apatow movie Bridesmaids is getting phenomenal reviews and pulling in great domestic box office numbers ($141,287,025). The problem is that it has only grossed $7,600,000 abroad. It is dramatically disproportionate. Maybe American bridesmaid culture is just not as universal as cars, men behaving badly, superheroes, and Woody Allen.
Maybe the rest of the world hasn’t empowered women to the point where they hate each other for obligating one another to spend their hard earned money on an event that glorifies only 1 person out of the whole group of friends. Maybe the rest of the world still believes in specific female gender roles and finds women in a raunchy comedy distasteful. Maybe women aren’t even allowed to go to movies in other countries (oh the horror!). Maybe obese and loud American female tourists have turned the world against us all (oh the shame!).
Maybe women in developed countries are treated just as well as American women, aren’t strictly shoved into gender roles, love raunchy comedies just as much, have just as much expendable money for entertainment, love going to the movies just as much… but don’t find American bridesmaid culture relatable. Or maybe I’m just being ridiculous and the problem is the difficulty in distribution and marketing of a movie without an actress familiar to foreign audience.