One of the side effects of all the perfection-focused wedding junk is personal. Somehow this wonderful celebration of love and family begins to shatter the foundation of who we are as people. There's the bridezilla image, where planning a wedding suddenly eliminates all personality and normal priorities. Details and flowers and paper become the center of the universe. It becomes all about the magazine-worthy photos. Which: a)90% of weddings won't make it into magazines, and not many more will be spread all over blog land. b)who cares about what random strangers think? For me I want pictures to accompany memories. I have a terrible memory for the most part, they will be a way for us to remember and reflect on that day. For the photographer to capture moments from a different perspective. Random strangers won't have the same reaction to these photos, the true purpose behind them is the celebration itself. I'm not get married so that people I'll never meet can ogle or criticize what we did.
And then there's the blushing bride image. Who apparently has to look like an airbrushed photo? The teeth whitening offers and bride workouts are aggravating. I'd like to look like myself. I've struggled with confidence since I was a teen, and I feel like only this past year have I really made progress. I went from being a scrawny kid to a curvy 15-year-old. My 14 years of ballet have given me substantial muscles. I'm 5'2" with an hourglass figure. When I began to discover the "art" of airbrushing and the modeling industry I started to get really frustrated. I had to go out of my way to surround myself with images of REAL people. Embrace companies like Dove, who even though, yes they're still selling us "beauty" products, they're at least using real people of all shapes and sizes. Having to find photos of real size models. Finding women who are considered fashionable wearing clothing that flatters their curves. Wedding dresses are advertised on size 2 models with perfect teeth and tans. engagement rings somehow signal personal trainers instead of excitement. Bridal magazines tell you how to pose to achieve the best photos. when to start your facial regimens to prepare.
I feel like there's been a lot of movement toward embracing womens bodies with icons like Christina Hendricks but the wedding industry has yet to truly see that. There's a girl on "say yes to the dress" right now who is a beautiful southern belle with bright eyes and a size 0. She lost 120 pounds recently and she has no self-esteem trying on all these dresses. That doesn't give other women much encouragement if a beautiful woman who could be modeling these dresses doesn't even feel pretty. I think even our counter-cultural wedding blogs are struggling with overcoming it.
One of my bridesmaids told me "I hope you aren't planning to lose weight because you're perfect just as you are right now". I think we need to be saying this to each other every day. And there's a HUGE difference between wanting to be healthy versus wanting to lose weight to look a certain way for your wedding day. I'm not in the best shape of my life right now, college has made eating healthy and a regular workout schedule difficult. But my fiance is absolutely convinced that I have an amazing body and shape. It's a confidence booster for sure. But it also must come from within. Buying a dress 3 months ago was also another subtle way to embrace who I am right now. Buying a dress that fits my shape and looks good on me now discouraged any ideas about drastic body changes. I can't afford major alterations later on. I'm not buying another dress. End of story.
Whoever said "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" was a smart cookie. I will not let the advertising agency define beauty for me. They don't know me. I define it for myself. I have amazing people around me who love me for ME. My fiance is the only one I'm dressing up for. And I know it'll blow him out of the water, me looking like me. not changing myself so I can look like some other person because "that's what brides are supposed to do" (?).
Now on "say yes to the dress" one of brides calls an emergency right before walking down the aisle because there's a CREASE on the torso. OMG. call the fire brigade. seriously? Knowing me I'll spill something on myself, I'll get a zit, there will be hairs out of place, I will trip. I don't care. I will be too excited about seeing and being with fiance and my family and friends. I will be eating food and not worrying about the fit of the dress. If there's a crease I won't even notice.