There is something about getting married that can make us do crazy things. Crazy things. Like spending hours on Pinterest pinning photos on to all manner of boards, supposedly with the aim of planning a wedding but really just getting lost in one huge fantasy wedding.
Or reading about every single celebrity wedding that you hear about and swooning over what they wore and what they did, wishing you could wear what they wore or do what they did.
Or turning into control freaks, who become nail-bitingly obsessed with every aspect of your wedding, so that you need your honeymoon just to escape from your own mania and bridezilla-ness.
Jeez, weddings have got us crazy. That is a fact.
Thankfully, most of this wedding stuff that has us a little crazy is also really harmless and generally by the time the wedding comes and goes, most people return to their ‘normal’ selves.
But one thing, that is beyond crazy and not even in a funny way, is this situation of women (and some men) radically losing weight, even dropping a dress size, for their wedding day. This is just crazy. Crazy, crazy. Period.
When being yourself isn’t being yourself
Okay, so let me start by saying that of course I know that everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day. Of course they do. It’s a huge day, where you will be the focus of attention and so you want to present the best image of yourself. I get that. But does presenting the best you really mean presenting a slimmer you?
What does losing weight for your wedding day actually achieve? What purpose does not looking like how you usually look, serve? Why do some women (and men) feel they have to do this? These are questions that often pop into my mind and which I would love to ask anyone who thinks they need to go down this road. Why?
On social media, I follow a lot of UK and USA wedding magazines. I like to keep abreast of the wider wedding industry and to keep up to date with trends and new thoughts, but one common theme that I often see re-occurring are posts, articles and features encouraging weight-loss for wedding days.
Some posts are absolutely blatant and completely unapologetic with titles that scream ‘top tips to lose weight for your wedding,’ others are a bit more subtle and talk about getting fit or getting in shape for your wedding day, but when you stick your nose in, you’ll see it’s the same product with a bit of different packaging.
And just the other day, a UK wedding magazine was giving away a free weight-loss milkshake sample with its latest edition. What kind of thoughtless bullshit is that? What message are they sending to our young girls who already have enough perfect-body-image, weight-loss-pressures being shoved in their faces to last them a life time?
I’ve even seen adverts for plastic surgery and liposuction in wedding magazines too. And apparently some wedding fairs have weight loss and plastic surgery stands on offer. Talk about preying on women’s vulnerabilities.
This stuff is so damaging. Disgusting, in fact. Because no matter how they present their pitch, they are supporting the ridiculous idea that a bride can only be beautiful if they are glossier, slimmer, toned up versions of themselves. It’s so negative and so unhealthy.
Your wedding day is one day. For some, it might be a wedding weekend or a series of days, but the point is, it is a one-off event that is taking place to celebrate your love for each other and a new milestone in your relationship. Surely, focusing so much energy on making yourself slimmer for this event, is losing sight of what the bigger picture is?
The start of your marriage should be about you focusing on your relationship and what you plan for the future together. Not how flat your stomach looks or pert your boobs are.
Your love bunny fell in love with you just the way you are. You both may have gained a bit of weight during the course of your relationship or you may have always been like it, but so bloody what? Some extra body fat means nothing in terms of the who you are as the person they love. So why would all of this change for your wedding day?
Or is it the thought of being the centre of attention and under the gaze of so many others that makes you feel pressure to lose weight? Why would it? Surely all of the guests and people going to your wedding are your nearest and dearest who love you for being you, not because your arms look buff in a strapless dress.
How did we get here?
I don’t want to point the finger at any one institution but it doesn’t help that we are constantly bombarded through the media with images of perfect brides (ie slim brides) with their perfect teeth, perfect hair and nails and perfect faces. And it doesn’t just stop at perfect brides, does it? When you see something of the same thing enough, I suppose it makes you feel that that is the ideal, that that is the look that we should all be achieving on our wedding day.
Well, it bloody well isn’t.
Make yourself pretty, of course. Give yourself a nice hairstyle and put some make up if you want. But altering your body shape and size, is just not necessary. It is after all your prerogative to do what feels right for you, but losing weight for your wedding just feels wrong to me.
Any bride I have seen lose weight for their wedding and I’m talking about cousins and friends, people who I know well, have just gone back to being their normal selves after their big day. So what, I ask, was the point?
If you seriously have got an issue with your body weight then surely it should be something you should be working on under a long term plan, something that you want to do for yourself, because of how you feel about yourself, not purely to look good on your wedding day.
Your wedding day shouldn’t be an incentive to lose weight. It should be an incentive to make sure that the beauty within you (which everyone can see and knows of anyway) shines, and shines brightly.
And that my friends is the truth according to me, about weddings and weight loss.
And just before I sign off, let me just state for the record that I’ve not written this with the intention of making anyone feel guilty or bad who is currently in the process of losing weight for their wedding day.
But I am writing this in the hope that people will recognize that they are beautiful the way they are and loved even more for who they are, not for what they look like.