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?


  1. Wow I love the communication ideas you presented, I took interpersonal last semester so it's all fresh in my mind. I watched this show with my mom when my sister was getting married. Oh dear God what is wrong with thee people!!! They are insane, every episode. I mean I know I'm spoiled and sometimes don't communicate the best way but I realize it and apologize because I know I'm a brat and over react. These brides don't it's as if they don't do anything wrong...ever. Like pushing people around and treating them horribly is ok because it's their big day and it's not their fault things went wrong and not to plan. Although it can be frustrating to not have a plan come out the way it was supposed to. They don't have a right to do that. Just awful haha.

  2. This show just appalls me. But I'm willing to admit that I've been wrapped in these kinds of shows before. I've been hooked on "Say Yes to the Dress," "What Not to Wear," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and "The Biggest Loser," to name a few. I still watch "EM:HE" regularly, but the others have so much drama. Why are these kinds of shows so appealing to our society? But back to Bridezillas: I've only seen a glimpse of this show, but it disgusted me so much that I haven't so much as stopped at the WE channel for months, fearing that it will come on. These women have no respect, no humility, they're spoiled, out of control, self-centered and selfish children, wanting one day out of their entire lives to be absolutely perfect. And if it isn't perfect, their entire world will end. It's dumb and stupid and appalling. Now don't even get me started on The Bachelor...ugh.

  3. I have never watched the show but the concept is scary to me as well. I am uncertain how these people have someone willing to marry them in the first place. Good description tying in the very applicable I-It relationship with these ridiculous people.

  4. Okay I just rewatched the clip and I cannot believe she actually mimics the dude over that cake. That would be it for me seriously. I would dump her. Right before her wedding.