Media Hype ‘Self-Marriage’

The media crusade to redefine marriage has taken a radical turn. Media outlets have put a spotlight on the narcissistic practice of “self-marriage,” in which a person marries himself or herself in a formal ceremony.

CNN’s sister network HLN provocatively titled a June 1 piece “Is self-marriage for you?” The HLN piece cited several examples of people who have “taken vows of self-marriage as a way of contractually binding themselves to matrimonial values,” quoting psychologist Brian Powell: “It doesn’t surprise me that people who live alone want some type of acknowledgment from others that this is a reasonable choice.”  

Powell conceded that “self-marriage” is not marriage in any legal sense: “Basically it’s not a legal marriage, it’s just a ceremony that says she’s happy.” HLN also cited an expert, Susan Pazak, who argued: “Having a celebration focused on a woman’s or man’s progress, growth, or accomplishments in front of family or friends is a great idea to being accountable to continue to grow and love oneself … calling it a marriage to self does not seem appropriate.” 

Yet that’s what HLN and other outlets are calling it. 

On May 24, Anderson Cooper interviewed Nadine Schweigert , who spoke about her marriage to herself on his daytime talk show. The Huffington Post picked up on Cooper’s story the following day, quoting Schweigert’s declaration that she was “very empowered, very happy, very joyous.”

Samhita Mukhopadhyay at the left-wing magazine The American Prospect discussed the topic on May 15, declaring that “Whether she meant to or not, she [Schweigert] also showed the world she didn’t need a man to get married” and that “Schweigert’s decision and the decision of many women like her is actually quite courageous.”

Not every outlet has been willing to accept “self marriage.” Jezebel, no fan of traditional marriage, labeled the practice a “disturbing new microtrend,” and even attacked some surprising culprits: “If this becomes A Thing, I blame Glee and Oprah. The former elevates self-absorption and self-regard into something resembling a virtue — embedded in every episode of is the moral that what is most important in life is to "be true to yourself." … … Oprah advocated constant self-affirmation — you could be awesome if you just sat around being happy with how things were at that moment, or you could be awesome if you made a big ****ing deal about changing something in your life.” 

(In season 2 of Glee, a character did end up marrying herself.)

The very definition of the term marriage has become flexible, subject to change and reinterpretation. The term marriage is being redefined to mean any “special” relationship which one person has with anybody, including this formalized narcissism. The media happily present a parade of sexual oddities, presenting them as “choices” and “lifestyles.” What else can be made of a report about a woman who married the Eiffel Tower?