First. The term bridezilla kind of sucks.
It’s one of those terms that are rooted in the idea-however subconsciously- that assertive women are ridiculous for being assertive women. And further, that being assertive women, they are bossy and other B words, rather than confident, powerful, and intelligent.
A bride that is called a bridezilla often takes offense. Which, she should as she has effectively been told that her wants and her assertion of those wants matter less or that she isn’t expressing them in the right way.
It’s true that a brides wants shouldn’t really supersede the well being or even the wants of anyone and everyone else. However, the idea that any bride that advocates for herself is a bridezilla needs to be squashed. Rather than naming a very specific behavior, it lumps together any bride – or person as it has branched out- that is unwilling to bend to any pressure as negative.
Perhaps the problem isn’t so much the word, but it’s flippant use. The fact that it get’s thrown around in order to tell a woman that she is being selfish and to get her to chill out is more manipulative than it is helpful. Name calling is incredibly powerful as it is the base of how we understand our world. Language is names: We attach experiences and meaning to a word (symbol) and then when we apply it to a thing, that thing becomes those meanings. In this case, the thing is a person. When you think about it, it isn’t exactly fair to exert that kind of control over anyone (let alone a bride on her wedding day).
So, when you hear the word ‘bridezilla’ and bad TV shows with crazy women come to mind, you can see the problem with calling any bride or any woman bridezilla; erasing her identity and rewriting it with her new name.
So, how do we keep from resorting to the bridezilla?
- If you feel walked over, talk about it.
- Just because we’re suggesting it’s not fair to label your bride as bridezilla, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express the fact that you don’t feel heard. Create a conversation that says just that, rather than an accusation that is demoralizing.
- Ask why.
- If your bride is being really specific in what seems to be an unnecessary way, try asking why. Most of the time, understanding motive deflates any frustration you may feel as you triple check ribbon lengths.
- Take a step back.
- If you feel yourself heading to the bridezilla zone, take a step back. Don’t walk out, but look at the big picture that maybe even your bride can’t see right now. Wedding planning is a huge stress on everyone, but a lot of that stress rests on the bride’s shoulders. See that and your might see her a little differently.