I am going to change my usual weekly post where I just go on and on about myself. Recently I read a great article in BRIDES Magazine. I’ve gotten really into this whole wedding planning chapter of my life and have dove head first into all cliches. To be completely honest, this article just really spoke to me. I believe there are two types of people in this world, the ones that read the entire magazine, every word, and every single character until there is no more to read, and there are those that just flip through and look at pretty pictures. I am the latter of the two. So for me to actually stop and read an article in a bridal magazine with no pictures is cray. So you know this article is good.
Anyways, I think this article can speak to every person at any time in their life that doesn’t feel beautiful. The article is entitled “Why I Didn’t Consider Shedding for the Wedding” and it was in the October + November 2018 edition of BRIDES Magazine. If you like my little review and opinion piece on the article, then I encourage you to read it. I have included a link at the end of this post for your viewing pleasure.
The author of the article is Lauren Chan. She is a plus-size model and a fashion editor. Think Ashley Graham, with those drop dead gorgeous and beautiful curves. She discusses her great displeasure with the fashion and bridal industry, who size-shame those that are not rail thin, like most fashion models, and what this does to the psyche of the average consumer, like her.. or me… or you. This all stemmed from a conversation that a “friend” had with her at lunch one day when she was eating a salad. Her “friend” wanted to know if she was “shedding weight for the wedding” and that caused Lauren to spiral into an internet frenzy to confirm that this was, in fact, a thing that was normal…and what she found pissed her off.
Lauren asks a question that I have indeed asked myself before, “why is losing weight a prerequisite for marriage?” And I don’t even just leave this question open for brides, but also for bridesmaids, mothers, aunts, or even just being a guest? Do you know how many times I’ve gone to dinner and ordered something sad and explained to my dinner guests “its wedding season!” What a dumb dumb.
Now that I am a bride myself, this has hit home in a whole new way. I have recently fallen in love with a new past time, wedding dress shopping. My friend Jessica said to me once that wedding dresses were made for our body type. First, I took this as a HUGE compliment because she has the best pilates body ever known to walk this earth. To describe Jessica’s body I would have to say its mine, but minimized on your computer screen many, many, many times, and a lot less of the cottage cheese. I once again digress.
Jessica was right in many ways, I do feel good in a lot of wedding dresses. Here is my complaint, and Lauren hits this in her article too, there is a huge lack of representation for any woman above sample size. First, you have the models in most bridal magazines that look to be the size of the flower girls or junior bridesmaids. Then you have the sample size dresses in most wedding shops. Good lord. You have never really gotten to know your body size until you have a square piece of fabric covering up your plumber’s butt. I think Lauren put it very well when she draws the picture herself for her readers:
Things you would’ve heard in my dressing room: “You can add a corset to make your waist smaller.” “Don’t worry, you won’t see Spanx through this fabric.” And “What if you buy a size down and lose some weight?”
What you would’ve seen: a dress four sizes too small gaping open in the back, an attendant trying to not break the zipper of said dress, and me sweating while holding back tears.
I don’t think I could put it better. It paints the exact scene, me putting my size 8-10 butt into a size 4 wedding dress, literally sweating and wiggling. I just experienced PTSD while I wrote the above quote. I held back the tears and instead made a hard left into my normal avoidance of feelings, I made a joke about it. Yep, that is a “Classic Laura Feelings Avoidance Method.” I hated hearing that if it was in my size it would look so good, or that I had to imagine the dress in my size. I mean, I have a great imagination, but not that great. If I did I’d be in another line of business and be in a lot more debt!
Lauren eventually got fed up with her feelings of self loathing and instead decided that enough is enough:
You got engaged, learned to love yourself, and will get married at your heaviest. If the best things happened when you were bigger, what would being thin get you?
She went on to say, and this is what really brought it home for me:
…please remember that the person who asked you to marry them- to be legally bound to them, to take on the role of forever roommate, to maybe have their kids or at least adopt a dog, to share their debt no matter its magnitude, to fight and make up, and fight and make up, and fight and make up- fucking LOVES you as you are. So don’t you dare let anyone- or any dress or Google search- tell you to shed for your goddam wedding.
A-fucking-men. Hallelujah. I rejoiced and got excited just typing that out. Its so true. I have this deep seeded fear that one day Kevin is going to look at me, take off his rose-colored glasses, and think to himself “oh shit” because I don’t look the way he thinks I look in his head. That is ridiculous. He’s never ever made me feel for a single moment that I wasn’t beautiful. Crazy? Yes. Ugly? No. Controlling? Absolutely. Fat? No. Loud? Every day and twice on Saturdays. Thats it. Why do I have this unreasonable fear that he will think otherwise? Cut to me in the wedding dress with an extra fabric added to my butt. Bam.
When Kevin and I met I was actually at my skinniest. I was just out of another relationship and was back on the market after almost 3 years of being put on a shelf. In my past relationship, I stopped taking care of myself because I didn’t feel like we were really giving our best to each other. So once I was out of that relationship, I started to take care of myself. As the same friend Jessica dubbed post-break up, “don’t call it a comeback!” I was back and better than ever.
Then I met Kevin and I put on my happy weight. You know that weight… the weight that is one bottle of wine each a night, cooking dinner to impress him with my skills (which mostly consisted around pasta this and pasta that), going out all the time, eating out all the time, and doing whatever people do when they fall in love. Then I woke up late August 2018 and you, my faithful follower, know the rest.
Okay so I am not 143LBs, but I can tell you that right now I am the strongest I have ever been in my life. I am also more in tune with my body then ever before, and I am making me the priority in my personal life. So which one is really the better Laura? Ha! Eat that 2014 Laura!
MIA BELLA LOTTA’S CALL TO ACTION: Let’s take Lauren Chan’s words to heart. We all have someone in our life that loves us. This doesn’t have to be a significant other, it can also be a friend or family member. Remember that this person loves you for who you are right now. There is nothing you need to do to yourself to change what others see or think about you in order for this person to continue to love you. You are beautiful. Also, do yourself a favor and read the entire BRIDES’ article. Its good.
WEIGH IN/MEASUREMENTS: 158.8 LBS, Chest 36.5, Under Boob 30, Belly Button 31.75, Below Hips 38, Largest Part of Butt 41.25.
SONG OF THE WEEK: “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
No matter what we do (no matter what we do)
No matter what we say (no matter what we say)
We’re the song inside the tune (yeah, oh yeah)
Full of beautiful mistakes
And everywhere we go (and everywhere we go)
The sun will always shine (the sun will always, always, shine)
And tomorrow we might awake
On the other side
Cause we are beautiful
No matter what they say
Yes words won’t bring us down
FOR THE FULL ARTICLE: