By Bonnie Adrian
With a marriage approaching, the Taiwanese bride-to-be turns to bridal photographers, make-up artists, and hair stylists to rework her snapshot past popularity. they provide her fairer epidermis, eyes like a Western child doll, and robes encouraged through assets from Victorian England to MTV.
An soaking up attention of up to date bridal practices in Taiwan, Framing the Bride exhibits how the lavish images signify greater than mere conspicuous intake. they're artifacts infused with cultural that means and emotional importance, items of the gender- and generation-based conflicts in Taiwan's hybrid process of contemporary matrimony. From the bridal images, the publication opens out into broader matters equivalent to courtship, marriage, kinship, globalization, and the that means of the "West" and "Western" cultural photographs of beauty.
Bonnie Adrian argues that during compiling huge, immense bridal albums packed with pictures of brides and grooms in kinds of finery, posed somewhere else, and exuding romance, Taiwanese brides have interaction in a brand new ceremony of passage--one that demanding situations the phrases of marriage set out in traditional marriage ceremony rites. In Framing the Bride, we see how this custom can be an inventive reaction to U.S. domination of transnational visible imagery--how bridal photographers and their matters take the venture of globalization into their very own arms, defining its phrases for his or her lives whilst they disclose the vacancy of its pictures.
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Additional info for Framing the Bride: Globalizing Beauty and Romance in Taiwan's Bridal Industry
In important ways, bridal photographs differ from the vast majority of consumer objects in that they are not, in Karl Marx’s language, alienated goods. The labor of photographers, assistants, and stylists in the production of bridal images is, of course, alienated, in that they produce the objects for “exchange value” and their labor generates profit for the salon owner. But brides and grooms, too, take part in the production of their photographs, and their labor is not alienated because they produce the photographs for their own use.
Qxd 30 8/21/2003 3:48 PM Page 30 Chapter 1 because it is a standard feature of bridal portraits. More remarkable, they thought, was that Ben-ming looked fatter in the photographs. Also unremarkable to them were the provocative photographs I had found so striking. I imagined that the groom’s grandmother, who had scolded him about the photo of the bride sitting on his back, would have complained. Probably not, thought my friends. Ben-ming had mentioned trouble only over that one photograph. Later in my research, I learned that provoking the disapproval of parents and grandparents is a common feature of Taiwanese bridal photography.
My friends disagreed. They imagined that Jing, who had remained silent that evening among new acquaintances, was just as excited to take the photos back to China to show her friends. In Taiwan, women always bring their albums to work to show off, they argued. qxd 8/21/2003 3:48 PM Page 31 How Can This Be? 31 express excitement over their photo albums risk being seen, by standards of masculine behavior, as overly enamored with their wives and too interested in this feminine pursuit. For Fang and Mei-hua to have agreed with me would have been to insult a dear friend of Mei-hua’s.