I really, really want to hate this idea. At CNN, writer Michelle Burford meets up with Rachel Greenwald, author of the book “Find a Husband After 35: Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School,” and is indoctrinated into a program in which Greenwald likens finding a husband to properly marketing a brand:
…for the woman who’s ready to vault to the altar, Rachel has a promise: Put yourself on a 15-step plan she calls The Program, and you’ll have one foot in that Vera Wang gown.
I mean, that sounds horrible, right? Because meeting a husband should be about falling in love, not selling yourself…right? And yet, Greenwald’s ideas, honestly, seem to have a lot of merit. For instance, she suggests calling up everyone you know and asking them to set you up on a blind date. While that at first seems aggressive, it’s really just proactive.
Burford is then tasked with figuring out how to best describe — or “brand” — herself:
Rachel has me draw up a megalist of my most appealing attributes, like “resilience” and “playfulness.” Then I choose three (“writer,” “warm smile,” and “grew up in Phoenix”) as a basis for a brand — “sunny girl from Arizona.”
Again, I can see the arguments against it: “We’re so much more multi-faceted than three words can convey!! And also, someone should love us for the millions of words that can describe us, not just three! And that boxes us in!” That’s me arguing with myself, BTW. But I think in the end, I’m wrong…and I’m also right, since I’m arguing both sides of it. Anyway, it seems harsh because branding reduces a person, in some ways, to an object. But at the end of the day, I simply can’t argue with the logic behind concise marketing — and if it’s logical, it must be right.
The final argument, of course, has to do with the idea of “finding a husband.” But you know what? I’m over being upset about that. Lots of women want to find husbands, and lots of men want to find wives, and lots of women want to find wives, and lots of men want to find husbands. It’s just something some folks want, and it’s totally valid. So, fuck off if you have a problem with people actively seeking relationships that end in marriage. Keep it to yourself.*
In the meantime, you go, Burford.
*And yes, I know that not everyone can get married. That should change.