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Last week on the Sexist, we payed tribute to the wedding industry’s focus on women’s “health,” as evidenced through its tireless “BIG DAY” diet promotions, its images of women squeezing into too-small white dresses, and its total obsession with brides, not grooms. Commenters weighed in (GET IT?):
Shinobi on what wedding “health” looks like:
I remember one time a friend of mine was eating nothing but special K for two weeks before her wedding. (to fit into her dress, which she had purchased while on weight watchers.) Our conversations were pretty much limited to what she had eaten for the last two days, oh yeah, super interesting. When I failed to be particularly supportive she was all “Don’t you want me to be HEALTHY!?!?!?!?!”
And so I realized the error of my ways. The true road to health is crash dieting to fit into dresses.
Jess on the very healthy double standards of wedding “health”:
I am getting married in October, and I cannot believe the amount of pressure I am getting from family and coworkers about my weight. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, having met my goal a long time ago. I am a healthy weight for my height (5′9, 150lbs) and my wedding dress is a size 8. But all my coworkers and some annoying family members are telling me that I really should “tone up” or take off about 10 more lbs. Why? Why am I supposed to starve myself for a freaking wedding?! Not a chance!
Oh, and my fiance is about 25lbs overweight. No one has said a word to him about his weight and the wedding.
juicepockets on the beautiful moments that a focus on wedding “health” inspires between family members:
I was a fat bride three years ago (am still fat), and the amount of guff I got from my mom about it was alternately infuriating and heartbreaking. At one of my dress fittings, my mom looked at my reflection in the mirror and said sadly, “Your arms are so big.” Oh well, I wore the shit out of my sleeveless dress anyway!If you want an antitode to the People piece, take a look at the Museum of Fat Love.
Lesley of Fatshionista.com created the site to document ACTUAL EVIDENCE that fatties can and do find love and even sometimes GET MARRIED WHILE FAT. The gallery is full of adorable fatties in love.
PD on the media’s helpful focus on wedding “health”:
I was a fat bride two years ago. I’ve gotten fatter since—-the back of my dress kept popping open because I’d put on a few pounds right before the wedding, and my husband shed blood trying to pin me back into it. Frankly, I think I looked great on my wedding day, probably better than I ever have in my life including my high school days, when I was definitely at my most fit.
No one who knows me personally—-besides my mother, who does it all the time—-suggested I try to lose weight in the two years I spent planning my wedding. I was, however, inundated with weight loss advice from the numerous wedding-related magazines and web sites I immersed myself in. Everywhere I looked I saw ads for “GET FIT FOR THE BIG DAY” schemes, and everyone on the internet was really, really invested, apparently, in making sure I was as trim and toned as possible before walking down the aisle. HOW DARE I be fat on my wedding day, when EVERYONE IN THE WORLD would see those pictures FOREVER? How dare I look at those pictures and think about how happy everyone was and what a great time we all had and how great the man I married is instead of focusing on how flabby my arms looked that day?
Listen, I’m like 70 pounds overweight, I know this is not great and it’s not healthy. I’m down with that. I’m also down with my own body—-the body my husband has loved for 10 years, from 150 pounds to 230 pounds—-even if the rest of the world is not. The wedding weight loss thing is, like pretty much everything else related to weddings, a scam to make money and make women feel like they have to conform to a certain standard of what brides should look like. I’m pretty sure your “bridal white” yoga mat costs twice as much as a regular one because someone screen-printed some doves and “FUTURE MRS. ____” on it or something.
Photo via sylvar, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0