Monday, March 15, 2010
Bridezillas: Terrifying yet Fascinating!
There is a show on WEtv that absolutely terrifies me. It’s called Bridezillas. The women on this show scare me more than the little girl from the Exorcist. It makes me sick to watch this show, but I catch myself watching it all too often because I am so fascinated by how crazy these women are; they always manage to surprise me. Here’s a taste of what they are capable of:
Marriage is the most popular form of long-term commitment in the United States with more than 96% of men and 94% of women marrying at least once in their lifetime. But with this show it has become clear to me that some people just shouldn’t get married at all. There are some women, and I suppose men as well, that are psychotic enough to believe that they should act like this when things don’t go their way.
This show is perfect for communication majors in that you can analyze these woman and how they communicate unethically, how they present themselves with articles, how they interact in their interpersonal relationships, how they use nonverbals to get their point across, etc.
Let me take one example and see if I can break it down…
Meet Valerie. In this clip, the bride-to-be throws a hissy fit because she incorrectly ordered her wedding cake.
Unethical Communication: Ethical issues concern right and wrong; therefore, an “wrong” decision in communication would be UNethical. Richard Johnnesen devoted most of his career to studying ethical aspects of human communication. According to Johnnesen, ethical communication occurs when people create relationships of equality, when they attend mindfully of each other, and when their communication demonstrates that they are authentic, empathetic, supportive, and confirming of each other. Valerie proved none of the above.
I-It: This type of communication occurs when we do not acknowledge the humanity of other people; when we treat people as “its” rather than as human beings. One could argue that the relationship between Valerie and the cake shop owner teeters on I-You (when we acknowledge someone as more than an object and more as a means to get from point A to point B); but in the end, the relationship is broken down by Valerie to an I-It.
Nonverbals: This is all communication other than words themselves. There are a number of nonverbals, but some that apply here are Kinesics (body position and motion), Proxemics (space and how it is used), and Paralanguage (the use of sounds in place of words).
Valerie displayed Kinesics by taping the tips of her fingers together in anger, swaying back and forth on her toes, and murdering a perfectly innocent vanilla cake; Proximics by standing far away from the cake shop owner and leaning in when she shouted; and Paralanguage to mimic the cake owner’s explanation for why she doesn’t have a chocolate cake.
I’m sure there is so much more to analyze here! What have I missed? Or… do you have any other general thoughts on these wack jobs?