Big fat gypsy wedding dating
(Soon after, however, Pat, a young Traveller man who’s marrying an outsider, offers a different take: “I think it’s very unfair to try to point out differences.”) With comments like Thelma’s coming from the screen, on top of scene after scene of gaudy wedding preparations carefully edited for maximum effect, it shouldn’t be surprising to either Channel 4 or TLC that one viewer took to Twitter Sunday night to write, tragically, “I now understand why all of Europe hates gypsys [sic].”This isn’t to say that the lavish weddings aren’t worth documenting, though it would have behooved the producers, had they been concerned with presenting a fair and robust picture of the communities in question, to show the weddings of Travellers and Roma who aren’t interested in glitz and glam.And, to be sure, even in this thin cultural portrait dominated by tulle and sequins, there are substantively disturbing moments—namely, young brides who bluntly say they don’t think getting an education or holding a job is important, and, most notably, a description of “grabbing,” a dating ritual whereby a young man grabs a woman and demands she kiss him, twisting her arm or otherwise hurting her until she obliges.For instance, the narrator teases, “[T]he secrecy behind a Traveller communion is revealed for the first time”—but there isn’t much that’s secretive; it’s more or less a young girl in a too-big, too-ornate dress, followed by a large family party.Or “another important Gypsy [marriage] custom is the cake-cutting”—one which, last I checked, goes for most modern weddings as well.“When I first seen them, it was like ‘My God,’” she says early in the show’s first episode.“They did look like prostitutes—that’s how you would describe them. You wouldn’t let your daughter walk around like that.” But Madine tells viewers she came around, realizing that Travellers and Roma are decent people, too.
“From the makeup to the miniskirts, from the heels to the hair,” TLC declares at the beginning of each episode, “it’s the outrageous, it’s the unbelievable, it’s ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.’”What’s most outrageous, however, aren’t the celebrations on display: It’s the show’s voyeuristic, stereotypical, judgmental, and shallow depiction of one of the world’s most misunderstood and, at times, abused minorities.
A twelve-year-old Traveller boy named Jerry tells the camera that this happened “[j]ust cause they don’t like Gypsies”—and the show seems happy to leave it at that.
No one on the council is interviewed, nor did the show bother to find a historian who might have been able to offer some genuine insight into the tensions over land between Travellers and non-Travellers.
Yes, we’re expected to cook and clean, but we do have our own lives too. Most girls have the opportunity to go to school, many of them have jobs.” In the same article, a Traveller mother of two young boys said of grabbing, “I don’t agree with it and neither do many other travellers. (If you’ve watched TLC at all over the past few years, you’ll know that it is dominated by a collection of reality shows about people in unusual circumstances: polygamists, hoarders, and people who have dwarfism, to name a few.) She described the network’s “creative filter” as being for “extraordinary everyday people.” “People may tune in because they’re thinking, ‘That’s sort of funny or weird,’ but they don’t keep watching it for that reason,” Mullin said.
It’s tantamount to sexual assault.” (It’s also worth noting that, in the first two episodes of the show, the couples getting married met on Facebook or as children; there is no mention of grabbing in their courtship.) This isn’t to suggest that the situations depicted on the show are false or that they are all acceptable, but rather, that the realities of Travellers and Roma’s lives are far more complicated and varied than what appears on the show. “They do because they are amazing people [on the shows].”“My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” may fall into this category, but, as with much of TLC’s programming and reality television more generally, it’s a mistake to think most people will watch the series because they feel an empathetic connection with its subjects, or because they believe they are gaining a fuller understanding of a culture.