Body Conscious Brides

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Photography Credit: Light Master Studios

I have never been one to fad diet or weight watch and I am not going to start now that I am going to be a bride either – no matter how many ‘weight loss ads’ are thrust upon my Facebook page, since I changed my status from being ‘in a relationship’ to ‘engaged’. (You’ve noticed it too!)

The main reasons being:

1. Because I am lazy (sometimes wonder how on earth I got through three years of professional dance training!)

2. Because I have been blessed by a ridiculously high metabolism

3. Because I have decided to walk down the aisle with all my imperfections just the way I was when my fiancé proposed to me.

Don’t get me wrong – I have and continue to battle with many insecurities, we all have them, but I have come to a place where I truly believe that self-worth and beauty has to start from within. So that’s what I am working on right now and some days are easier than others, let me tell you!

Lots of women (and men!) have commented that they want to / did lose weight for their wedding day out of pressure. Why? Where is this pressure coming from? Why do we feel its necessary to do so, is it for health or lifestyle reasons? Is it the thought of being in front of lots of people for the day? Wanting to be a certain size for your wedding pictures?

Image source: Las Vegas Weddings

Being engaged is a wonderful, wonderful thing, it is a gift. We are lucky that someone has found us, fallen for us, loves our lumps, bumps and bony bits and chosen to spend the rest of their lives with us and yet it seems that this period can be marred by the sudden obsession to create a perfect version of ourselves. Really?

Frantically calorie counting, going out for meals and scanning the menu like an MI5 secret agent looking for any calorie sins. Sifting through Weight Watcher calorie counter books to find meals that are ‘allowed’. Who says it’s allowed or not – will we get arrested or be sent to boot camp by Weight Watcher police if we decide to eat an extra BBQ rib?!

There is an excellent piece on weight loss for weddings on Rock and Roll Bride which has already generated over 100 comments – another great post on the pressures of looking perfect for your wedding day, by Emma aka The Wedding Reporter is featured on Love My Dress blog about undergoing painful and invasive cosmetic dentistry through fear of judgement and fear of what her teeth would look like in her wedding pictures. Clearly so many of us can relate to these body conscious issues in some way.

Photography Credit: Light Master Studios

Alas – I have always been very petite since I was a little girl and as a result I was nicknamed ‘marga gyal’ lol! (english translation – skinny girl) I have accepted that this is my structure and shape that God (and mum and Dad) have given me. Sure I would like to put on another stone – but hey-ho – no amount of obsessing over it will ultimately change my bone structure. Trust me, I can eat like a pig, just ask my brother (he was never good at sharing! ;o) ), but the weight just doesn’t go on.

Whilst standing in the confinements of a fitting room feeling vulnerable with nothing more than skimpy knickers on, I’ve been told by bridal consultants (whilst contorting their faces); “urgh, you are too thin, you will need to put some weight on” ……I was stunned – a bit rude, I thought. Needless to say, I did NOT buy my dress from there. But suddenly everyone seems to get vocal when it comes to weddings and everyone has an opinion about whether you should be losing weight or not!

Photography Credit: Nommos Images

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need and the want to remain fit and healthy and to be comfortable on your wedding day, but I am a firm believer that feeling good about the way you look has to come from within first. Not from a reflection in a mirror or a wedding photograph. Preparing for your wedding day didn’t suddenly create these feelings about the way you look. These insecurities were more than likely there before.

Joyce Connor : Rainbow Bride Photo Shoot | Photography Credit: Fo Photography

The mainstream bridal industry is in the foreground, wedding dresses come in a variety of styles and sizes yet we are invariably saturated with models advertising dresses who all look the same; same size, same shape, same ethnicity, more often than not even the same hair colour. Tedious. Where is the variety? We live in such a multicultural and eclectic society – why is this not reflected in the industry and by the models that are used? We come in all different shapes and sizes – it should be the norm that we see an array of choices when seeking inspiration for our wedding day. Instead it is continuously communicated to us, whether intentional or not that we all must look the same, that slim means sexy, slim means beautiful and anything that diverts from that is not the ‘norm’ or not acceptable.

This is just not the case – readers please start to make your own rules – don’t bow to pressure and stick to what feels right for you. Until we start changing our mindsets – what is presented to us in the mainstream bridal industry and media won’t change. I believe what makes us all beautiful is our individuality and our imperfections.

We are all perfectly imperfect and THAT should be celebrated!

What do you think readers – do /did you feel pressured to look a certain way on your wedding day, if so why?

Header image: Babb Photo

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4 Responses to “Body Conscious Brides”

  1. BelleNoirBride
    June 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    A very thought provoking post. I have to admit that I was one of those brides who hit the gym before their wedding, for me it was about wanted to look my absolute best on my wedding day coupled with the fact that all of those people would be looking at me. As bad as it may be going to the gym really helped with my self esteem and helped me to feel more confident on the day when all eyes were on me. I think the problems really start when brides-to-be or any women for that matter take it too far. When you are focussing (read obsessing) with things it can be easy to lose perspective.

    • Nu Bride
      June 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

      I agree! I absolutely believe it’s about doing what is right for you and no-one else and being true to yourself. Its very easy to lose perspective in the wonderful world of weddings!
      Thanks for commenting Nicola. ;o)


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