China professional bridesmaid markets in everything those new service sector jobs

Against this backdrop, it has become a huge ask to invite someone to be a bridesmaid, and many only agree to act as one reluctantly. Consequently, brides are hiring professional bridesmaids.

Professional bridesmaids have become a routine option for wedding packages, currently offered by more than 50 wedding-planning firms in China. A professional bridesmaid would be required to act as the make-up artist, to drink alcohol, and to fend off rude guests on behalf of the bride, among many other tasks. They are required to perform what the sociologist Arlie Hochschild termed “emotional labor”: faking smiles, engineering a joyous atmosphere, and taking part in traditional stunts that are otherwise considered too vulgar for many.

Depending on the level of “difficulty” of the services they provide, a professional bridesmaid is paid between 200 yuan (around £22) and 800 yuan (around £90) per wedding. Many professional bridesmaids work on weekends, in addition to their routine weekday jobs, in order to generate extra income.

Here is the full story from Yang Hu, much more detail at the link.

Comments

"This is, perhaps, the only village in the world that possesses an endowed corps of professional bridesmaids who are bound to be on duty every day from ten to four – and it is at least six months since our services were required. The pious charity by which we exist is practically wasted!"

Life imitates Gilbert & Sullivan?

You know what they say: China is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

A "huge ask"? Are The Simpsons popular in China?

Like a lot of such stories, how much does this really happen? "Over 50" agencies offer the service...in a country of 1.4 billion. And it's not clear how often it is taken up. One agency states they took 8 orders in a short time, that's the only mention of the service actually being used.

It's possible that this is a "very rare, weird service" story rather than a "Chinese culture" story. Hiring bridesmaids might happen no more frequently in China than in the US (where such a service is available, according to Google).

I will call it "Average is Still Over".

Salaried bridesmaid seems to be equivalent to Hooters hostess: " faking smiles, engineering a joyous atmosphere, and taking part in traditional stunts that are otherwise considered too vulgar for many."

" taking part in traditional stunts that are otherwise considered too vulgar for many.”"

OK, can we get a youtube of this?

Is this is like in Taiwan where they sometimes have strippers at weddings (and funerals.)

Taiwan also has professional mourners. Yeah, because the departed need to hear someone wailing "Ma Ma why have you left us" for 24 hours on loudspeaker. Yes, all night and all day wailing and crying.

Did ancestors who lived before loudspeakers not hear?

The pay ain't great, especially considering the risk level. I'd assume there's adverse selection: if the bride and groom expect their "friends" to harass the bridesmaid is when these people are probably hired. Where I live, the wedding DJ is paid five times as much.

I suspect the hired bridesmaids are working cheap because of the fringe benefits of the work.

"A professional bridesmaid would be required to act as the make-up artist, to drink alcohol, ...faking smiles, engineering a joyous atmosphere, and taking part in traditional stunts that are otherwise considered too vulgar for many."

They're paid to dress up, drink, do stupid stunts and be the life of the party. It's like being paid to be the lead in an '80's teen movie.

If the alcohol is free, I'm available.

Half "Bridesmaids," half "Some Like it Hot," it's a coming of age buddy comedy where a group of misanthropic American Internet commentors buy wigs and planes ticket in order to try their luck as professional bridesmaids in China. Wacky mix-ups abound, but in the end they all learn a valuable lesson about respecting other cultures -- and themselves. Summer 2017, in theatres near you.

50 wedding planning firms? So I'm guessing this is basically the top ~50 million richest people in china who are part of this kind of social class

A professional bridesmaid would be required to act as the make-up artist, to drink alcohol, and to fend off rude guests on behalf of the bride, among many other tasks. They are required to perform what the sociologist Arlie Hochschild termed “emotional labor”: faking smiles, engineering a joyous atmosphere, and taking part in traditional stunts that are otherwise considered too vulgar for many.

Uh huh. Are we sure the Chinese term for "bachelor party" didn't get mistranslated somewhere?

I didn't know it was a thing. Anyway, if you're a professional bridesmaid, I suggest you use http://www.resumesbridge.com/ this service to make yourself an amazing resume.

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