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Ameera Ahmadieh is getting married in October. And while planning a wedding during a pandemic is not easy, she is excited about getting all her favorite people together to celebrate.
The Maryland-based product testing analyst says she always dreamed of finding the right person rather than her actual wedding day, but she quickly got caught up in what some experts call the "wedding industrial complex."
"The venue I chose actually takes care of the rentals for tables, chairs, linens and catering," she says. "We'll still need the florist, photographer, videographer — if we decide to do the videographer — and DJ. And then, now I'm remembering all the little details, the signs on the table, napkins, you know, any extra touches you want for the day. So, the list seems like it never ends."
The expectation of a showcase wedding featuring a traditional white dress with all the expensive trimmings gained ground after World War II, prompted in part by the availability of new inexpensive fabrics like nylon and rayon — developed during the war to make parachutes — that could be used to make wedding gowns at a far lower cost than satin and silk.
And diamonds did not become a bride's best friend until the 1930s. Diamond rings were not associated with marriage proposals until an advertising drive from the De Beers diamond cartel in the late 1940s embedded the idea in American culture.
"They found a small association between diamonds and love, and they hired a Madison Avenue advertising company that came up with this idea of 'diamonds are forever,'" says Laurie Essig, a professor and director of gender, sexuality and feminist studies at Middlebury College and the author of "Love, Inc."
"They even paid Hollywood to put diamond rings in various movies," Essig says.
Before brides and grooms buy into spending tens of thousands of dollars on wedding-related goods and services, the culture sells them on the idea that it must be worth it.
"You can see a million ways in which the toys that are sold to little girls," Jellison says, "the animated films that they're urged to go see, do play up this kind of fairy tale princess image that maybe the only time a young woman has an opportunity to play that in real life is when she dons a floor-length white gown on her wedding day."
A woman's wedding day is the one time she can be the center of attention without any lingering feelings of guilt, according to Jellison, who personally ranks the day she defended her doctoral dissertation above her wedding as one of the best days of her life.
"But society has not coalesced around some of these other occasions that individual women might say are more important days to be celebrated," she says. "But society has accepted the idea that on a woman's wedding day, this is a day that she deserves to be the center of attention, that everyone should see her as the star of the show."
As part of her research, Essig interviewed couples at wedding expos, where wedding vendors try to sell their goods and services to future brides and grooms. She found that the young couples are seeking security in the future during uncertain social and economic times.
"From 1980 forward, you start seeing increased spending on weddings and an increased growth in both the wedding industry, but also romance ideology. Princess movies come back. Disney doesn't even make princess movies for a while there in the 70s and 80s," Essig says. "So, I think what we're seeing is we, as a country, turned to this idea that the only way I can have a safe and secure future is if I find 'the one' and we ride off into the sunset."
COVID-19 restrictions have forced many couples to downscale their weddings, but Jellison does not expect more modest celebrations to become a trend once the pandemic ends. If people can afford to go big, she thinks they will.
"If history is any guide, weddings will be back and bigger than ever after the pandemic. That's what happened after World War II," Jellison said in an email following her interview with VOA. "After all those years of first, the Great Depression, and then the war, people were in the mood to celebrate and spend. I think the same thing may happen post-pandemic. After a couple of years of scaled-back consumer spending on big celebrations, all that pent-up energy and disposable income will have to go somewhere."
(Article originally written by By Dora Mekouar ) ( VOA/HP)
Met Gala regulars like Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Sharon Stone, Emily Blunt, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid and the Kardashian-Jenner siblings were spotted alongside debutantes like 18-year-old British tennis star Emma Raducanu who recently won the US Open, Rose Leslie from 'The Game of Thrones', gymnast Nia Dennis and Justin and Hailey Beiber who walked the Me carpet together for the first time.
Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach -- Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine shares an input that could prevent heart attacks at a young age:
Cholesterol is not the culprit, inflammation is: Many people believe that high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are the sole culprits behind their heart attacks. The main reasons behind most heart attacks are inflammation and oxidative damage in the heart, blood vessels, endothelial lining, arteries, and more. While maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important, we cannot blame heart attacks on cholesterol levels alone. What then can you do to keep inflammation in check and your heart strong? Adopt simple lifestyle changes.
Fix your sleep routine: There is nothing cool about pulling an all-nighter to work or socialize more. Your body only cares about survival. Remember, your sleep is your heart's free drug. The chronic deprivation of it can increase your risk of a heart attack. Your heart is a muscle that needs recovery. Lack of sleep increases your insulin resistance and makes you more prone to type-2 diabetes and a gamut of metabolic conditions. So, adopt a fixed sleeping schedule and sleep deep.
We cannot wait for more misfortunate incidents to realize the importance of lifestyle and start prioritizing it. We must wake up and work towards prevention. Many of us may go through heart disease later in life, no matter how well we exercise or eat clean. So, identify risk factors and work towards tackling them. Even if one of your risk factors is genetic predisposition and there is nothing you can do about it, you can still alter your lifestyle. Our intelligent human body was designed to fix and heal itself. The least we can do is invest in it and help it do its job effectively. Lifestyle can help you bridge this gap.
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: lifestyle, heart, oil, stress, sleep, human, body, health, heart attack
The fast food giant collaborated with local Indian suppliers and pioneered the local production of iceberg lettuce in the country. Their lettuce undergoes 30 quality and food safety checks. After harvesting, the lettuce is pre-cooled to a temperate of below 40C at the farm gate to maintain its freshness. It is then transported in refrigerated vehicles to the world-class processing plant where it is shredded to a measured length and width and then washed and cleaned thoroughly before being vacuum-packed.
Today, the lettuce that goes into your favourite burger is produced at a pristine height of 10,000 feet under the rain shadow areas of the Himalayas in the Manali and Lahaul districts. Over the last 15 years, the farm base that produces lettuce for McDonald's menu items has grown from 5 acres to more than 100 acres. The process for growing lettuce is very rigorous and thoroughly monitored starting with the selection of seed variety, nursery production, fertigation, integrated pest management and post-harvest technology. Over the years, the company has continued to engage with local suppliers in good agricultural practices, meeting the Gold Standards of food safety and hygiene. It has transferred global best practices in irrigation, pest control, seed selection benefitting nearly 250 small and marginal farmers across the country. These practices ensure the right conditions for the iceberg lettuce to grow.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: burger, india, lettuce, McDonalds, locals, North, East