Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 12-2012

Publication Source

Asian Women

Volume

28

Issue

4

Inclusive pages

83-115

Publisher

Research Institute of Asian Women, Sookmyung Women's university

Place of Publication

Seoul, Korea

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

This essay examines the images of the bride constructed by China’s burgeoning bridal media that sell lavish wedding products and services. Through the lens of semiotics, the author focuses on analyzing bridal magazines widely circulated in China’s consumer culture. The analysis shows that China’s evolving wedding industry adapts the trite, oppressive trope of “romantic” Western wedding rituals into a bricolage of global fashions, lifestyles, beauty regimens, and marriage tips for the Chinese bride. Conveniently tapping into the rhetoric of neoliberal consumerist agency and postfeminism, the wedding industry repackages patriarchal domination over the bride-to-be in the process of generating profits and disseminating the ideal of consumer one-upmanship. The author further argues that the modern Chinese bride, seemingly empowered within the opulent consumption at her wedding, neither escapes from the gender scripts of Chinese society nor celebrates a significant enhancement of her status in her marital relationship. In this regard, the bridal industry normalizes heterosexual matrimony and reinscribes women’s subordinate position in marriage and love.

Keywords

the Chinese bride, bridal media texts, lavish weddings, neoliberal consumerism, postfeminism, gender scripts

Disciplines

Communication

Included in

Communication Commons

Share

COinS