As we overlook Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s wedding photos, we must ask ourselves this question: Are we looking for aesthetics or love?
Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt finally tied the knot on April 14, in what was an “intimate relationship”, including only close friends and family, but of course you already know that.
From designer to attendance to number feras There’s nothing we don’t know, thanks to social media and some dedicated photographers.
The world has always been obsessed with celebrity weddings, but back in the day, those relationships were special with the publication of a photo or two in print magazines. With the social media revolution, you have minute by minute real-time updates. Celebrities have become more accessible, and the distance between fans and their favorite stars has decreased significantly.
Add all this to the ingrained human psyche to be curious and interested in the lives of people who seem to be “living the dream.” To simple people who live the mundane life, it all sounds like a fairy tale that they wish they could reverse.
Now, add to this cauldron, the culture of great Indian weddings, because rich or poor, famous or not, there is nothing Indians love more than a wedding, and they will do anything to achieve this supreme splendor. Even a simple middle-class family with a budget to stick to will have ambitious desires that they will do anything humanly possible to achieve. In such a setting, Bollywood weddings are the epitome, which makes it aspirational. It adds to the fanciful notion of big, chubby Indian weddings, not to mention that it’s an extension of our cinematic impulses that lead to the desire to repeat them or vicariously live through them.
However, no matter how attractive all this is, the dark side of this obsession lies in the desire to emulate such aesthetics, paint a cheerful picture of the wedding on social media and more. There is pressure that builds on curious viewers. For example, after the wedding when the newlyweds went out to take a photo, Ranbir was seen holding Alia in his arms. This is a nice gesture when viewed individually, but when combined with the barrage of paparazzi shooting them, as well as impulsive viewers on social media, such a stunt is perhaps a way to get attention. It was as if Kapoor was aware of the demands and thus was providing a dose of romantic fairy tales to meet her.
It’s this commodification of celebrity weddings that is problematic because it creates scenic expectations that may not be fulfilled in natural environments, and it has inevitably happened, with many women explicitly asking that their grooms do it too, unaware that it is. It is possible that this seemingly attractive move was orchestrated to generate interest.
Just last week, I received a wedding invitation bearing the couple’s name in a hashtag format, to mimic the trend of joining the two names of a couple, linguistically known as portmanteaus. The card also requested that we follow the hashtag on Instagram, and I couldn’t help but find it ridiculous. I’m not the one to judge me, but the point is, that’s what celebrity weddings have done for us. Not only is all that unnecessary stress, but it’s also dull and unoriginal. Every bride wants to be the bride of a boy, and it is not even about finances; I’ve always wished I could wear a Gaurang Shah on my wedding day, and it’s probably an expensive designer outfit, but the choice is still funky because well, celebrities choose a boy, so a boy is she!
Moreover, while I agree that I sound sarcastic, it is undeniable that this also causes people to fall in love with the idea of love, rather than love.
If our escape movies weren’t already enough, such glamorous weddings and acts mislead young people to crave an image rather than a reality that may not be pretty looking, but is actually more comfortable and real. However, the downsides of this obsession with weddings are not only limited to ordinary people but also affect the people we are talking about. Actors and stars, like everyone else, have a right to privacy and intimacy, from which they are robbed thanks to the hype on social media from which it is almost impossible to escape. Perhaps this is why they are turning the curse of social media into a blessing, by creating a brand outside of their relationship and thus monetizing it through endorsements and selling their wedding photos to magazines. Since they definitely can’t escape from it, why can’t they earn from it?
All that said, festive weddings have a positive side, which gives people hope and joy. For example, recently landing crash on you Stars Son Ye-Jin and Hyun Bin got married, and it drove the internet into a frenzy. Fans of the show and the stars were ecstatic, and why wouldn’t they? These stars who were until recently the fables of fantasy and inaccessible romance fell in love (that’s also with each other), which makes them all the more human and accessible. You see, when weddings happen to people like Ranbir Alia, Ben Jane or Vicki Katrina, they lead people to believe that celebrities and stars are no different because they also fall in love, they also like to have families, and they also celebrate two people coming together.
In addition, celebrity weddings are also a much-needed respite during troubled times, especially with the two long years of the pandemic, when everything was dull and dim. In such circumstances, weddings become an occasion of unparalleled joy and color, and their voyeuristic nature forces even people who are not personally involved to enjoy them indirectly.
It is true that the people we see on social media are very expensive, and magic is attractive and desirable, but we cannot blame someone for having the financial ability to spend. However, what we can do is take a look at what they really represent, not brilliance, not magic, but love. For whether it is luxurious or simple, whether it is intimate or in the public eye, it can be in court or in a palace for all I care, but weddings are special not because they are big and beautiful, but because they symbolize the dream of many people. We Possess: The desire to find and spend our lives with that person who will hold our hand through it all.
While it is one aspect of celebrity wedding culture that highlights the wide class difference between the common people and those of the rich and famous, it is also necessary to keep in mind that they are entitled to be loved as much as we are. Yes, celebrity weddings are ‘photo perfect’, and the digital age invites us to gush over precision and dreaminess, but as we sip wedding photos, we must ask ourselves this question: Do we seek beauty or love?
And if most of us choose the latter, it is not wrong to think that despite differences in class and privilege, we are not all different, because our search for love and companionship unites us, if nothing else.
Takeshi Mehta is a freelance journalist and writer. She firmly believes that we are what we stand for and therefore you will always find her holding a pen.
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