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Quote of Note | A. A. Gill on Wedding Dresses

“The first bride to popularize white wedding dresses was Queen Victoria. She was a tiny, round, plain girl with a nose like a claw hammer and less chin than a terrapin. Charitably, the best thing you could say for her on her wedding day was that she looked like an ornamental toilet-tissue cover. Before Victoria, brides wore what suited them. Red was a popular color; so was black. It’s universally said that all brides look beautiful. Every bride is told repeatedly that she is breathtaking, but white is an unforgiving un-color unless you’re a baby or a corpse. White is particularly bad on pale, pinkish people, but not quite as bad as on sprayed-orange people. The only girls who manage to look decent in wedding dresses are those who look great for a living and would look good in a trash bag or traction. Wedding dresses are a collective blind spot, an aesthetic dead zone. We are brainwashed to believe that a wedding dress is magic, that it has the ability to transform everyone into a raging, shaggable piece of hot, virginal, must-have, never-been-had gorgeousness. But, like all fairy spells, it only works for one day. In any other context, a wedding dress makes you look like a transvestite, which is presumably why the groom isn’t allowed to see it before it’s too late to change his mind.”

-A. A. Gill, in “Can This Wedding Be Saved?” published in the September issue of Vanity Fair

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