© Copyright 2021 Deanna Ratzki, Ryerson University.
In a visual media-dominated culture like that of contemporary North America, it is common to share personal milestones and accomplishments with one’s virtual peers. From documenting weight-loss, to the humbled annual it’s my birthday so give me attention post, to any other events that present the version of you that you want others to see, social media is the place to do it all. Some of the more common milestones and accomplishments to trend Instagram’s “Explore” page in 2020 were engagement, wedding, wedding postponement, and pregnancy announcement posts. These posts were often tagged with homage to the Covid-19 pandemic that surrounded, impacted, or caused these events to take place. Some tags that bare this homage include:
#CovidWedding, #PandemicWedding, #CovidBaby, #PandemicBaby, #PandemicPregnancy, and #CovidWeddingPlanning to name a few.
In this image, you will see that there are two components of the photograph – that which is in focus, and meant to capture the viewer’s immediate attention, and that which is out of focus. In focus is a hand-made departure board, meant to resemble that which one would find at an airport. The purpose of a departure board is to convey relevant information regarding departing flights, the dates or times they are scheduled for, and the status of these flights (on time, delayed, departed, cancelled, expected). As you can see from the originally planned wedding date in the image, the wedding was supposed to occur on September 26th 2020. However, it is likely due to the restrictions related to the worldwide pandemic occurring during this time, that this wedding date was cancelled, as seen under the “status” title. The following “departure” or event to take place, is the honeymoon which was planned for two days after the wedding and is only delayed – not cancelled. This likely coincides with the various travel agencies offering vouchers, as opposed to refunds, for trips that could not take place due to pandemic restrictions. Following the previous events is “new wedding,” which is in replacement of the original wedding. This event is on time and is set for a future date of August 11, 2021. The following ‘event’ is a baby, which is labelled as expected sometime in April 2021. As mentioned above, it has become commonplace for babies born during, or as a result of, the pandemic to be dubbed as “Covid Babies,” due to their association with the timing of the pandemic. In the case of the couple out of focus, one can observe how the restrictions of the pandemic led them to rerouting their life plans in a comparatively unconventional way, as they are now expecting a baby prior to their wedding date. However, their out-of-focus display of affection towards one another indicates that despite having their original plans rerouted, they are still committed to having these milestones take place, not allowing the impacts of the pandemic to permanently ruin the love they share. Hence, the purpose of this image being taken in the first place, as a true testament to this couple’s love for one another, and their desire to start a married life together despite facing the adversity of the pandemic.
Elkins, James. How to use Your Eyes. Routledge, 2000.
Flutterbeeze. “Expected.” Instagram, 25 Sept. 2020. https://www.instagram.com/p/CFjmvyBA-Y9/?igshid=17xcax0h1b3t1