College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Pursuit of Perfection: "Bridezilla" Explained


Cele Otnes, professor of marketingThe June 21 issue of the Chicago Tribune includes comments from Business Administration Professor Cele Otnes about the "Bridezilla" syndrome, where brides morph into disagreeable and sometimes hostile people in the weeks leading up to the big event.

One bride wants to be the "most beautiful bride ever." Another furiously calls off her $80,000 wedding but later changes her mind. A third banishes her maid of honor from the wedding party - and calls off their friendship. These mental meltdowns are par for the course on "Bridezillas," a Women's Entertainment TV program that showcases brides in the time leading up to their nuptials.

The pursuit of perfect may be at the root of the problem, says Otnes, a professor of marketing and a co-author of "Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding."

"It was frightening to us, when we were looking at brides' magazines, how many times they used the word 'perfect,' " Otnes commented to article author Tara Swords. American culture teaches that perfection is attainable, and when it isn't, people get frustrated, she says.

The Tribune article is available on the Sun-Sentinel website

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