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Why You Won’t Find Me Wearing “Wifey” Merch After My Wedding – British Vogue

1 minute, 55 seconds Read

Nothing is certain in life, besides death, taxes, and the fact you will never find me wearing “wifey” merch before or after my forthcoming wedding. As a soon-to-be-bride, the thought of wearing any kind of relationship-inspired attire brings me out in hives. While other recently-engaged women seem to throw themselves headfirst into their newfound bride-to-be identity, something about the whole thing has left me feeling nauseous.

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So, you can imagine my reaction when I saw newlywed Millie Bobby Brown’s honeymoon photos on Instagram. Having recently tied the knot with Jake Bongiovi (son of Jon Bon Jovi) at the tender age of 20, Brown showcased some new “wifey”-emblazoned denim shorts and a white cap (worn backwards), with the heave-inducing slogan “WIFE OF THE PARTY” across the front.

Now, I’m not here to shatter anyone’s newlywed bliss – and the fact that these two wealthy young celebs appear to be spending their honeymoon at Universal Studios is another article entirely – but, why? Why is being married an identity that a woman (not least one who is an accomplished actress) needs to shout about? I don’t see her groom wearing a “hubby” tee, and likewise I don’t see brands churning out novelty bags, shoes or swimwear to men making the trip down the aisle.

Of course, it’s only women (although many now choose not to) who change their name after getting married, a tradition that dates back to the 15th century – back when a woman was considered her new husband’s legal property. Which says it all, really. The simple fact is that women are still being sold this trad wife-adjacent dream: secure the man, get the ring, buy the big white dress and everything will be perfect. Your kitchen will be clean and you will smile all the time!

The matching “bride tribe” pyjamas (silky, white and with marabou feather trim, you know the ones), and that miserable Etsy font are all over Instagram – we see the bridal trappings on those we follow and then seek to emulate it all, perhaps viewing it as some form of self-improvement. It works well for the wedding industry, which sells us – at extortionate prices – everything we “need” for the Perfect Big Day.

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