Pink Weddings Magazine Spring 2017 PinkWeddings SpringSummer 2017 - Page 39

‘ When couples should be worrying about venues , flowers and seating arrangements , they start to fixate on their bodies instead .’

HealtH

Body positive

Time to ditch ‘ shedding for the wedding ’ and celebrate our differences , says Alice Hiley
The body positive ( bopo ) trend is taking social media and the fashion and beauty industries by storm . Brands like Dear Kate and Dove are taking on plus-sized models for their advertising campaigns and catalogues , and Instagram is being flooded by # selfiesforselflove .
But when it comes to weddings , crash diets and workouts are still very much ‘ in ’. After asking to see the ring , many people immediately go on to ask if the happy couple will be losing weight . Campaigns trying to sell crash diets , slimming tummy-tucking underwear , weight loss pills and waist trainers are all part of this culture of ‘ bridalplasty ’ and ‘ shedding for the wedding ’ that ’ s still as popular as ever .
Scientists have proved that losing dramatic amounts of weight before the big day can actually be incredibly harmful for a variety of reasons . There ’ s nothing wrong with dieting if it ’ s done safely and in moderation , by making small steps towards a healthy lifestyle , which you continue following into married life . But if you make massive changes to your food plan and go overboard on the cardio and lifting on day one , you risk dehydration , a weakened immune system , and heart problems such as palpitations and cardiac stress .
Even more worryingly , Dr Ira M Sacker , a professor from the NYU Medical Centre who specialises in eating disorders , found that ten per cent of women who start dieting in preparation for their wedding day end up developing a long-term disorder .
Planning a wedding is already stressful enough , without the added pressure of squeezing into a dress or suit one or two sizes smaller than your initial weight . So are we finally beginning to tackle the misconception that you ’ ll be happier on the happiest day of your life if you ’ ve suddenly become skinny ?
Instagram user thechristinecho recently did an interview with The Strut explaining her decision to be a ‘ fat bride ’ at her wedding in a few weeks ’ time . In the video she explained why wedding dress shopping has been even more stressful for her than the average bride : ‘ I feel like if I wasn ’ t a fat bride , the consultants would be open to me trying on whatever I wanted . But because I happen to be fat they assume that I want to cover up and I must be really insecure .’
Other plus-sized brides have unleashed their frustration at the lack of choice available in bigger-sized dresses . Many are steered away from strapless or figurehugging numbers towards the standard empire waist
with long sleeves by staff at fitting appointments . Though probably well-intentioned , these comments begin to seep into our view of ourselves .
When couples should be worrying about venues , flowers and seating arrangements , they start to fixate on their bodies instead . Society drills into us the idea that we should hide our socalled ‘ problem areas ’ – our big stomachs , chubby arms and round necklines – from a young age . But if a woman has reached this stage of her life without wanting to change the way she looks , why should her wedding day be any different ?

‘ When couples should be worrying about venues , flowers and seating arrangements , they start to fixate on their bodies instead .’

It ’ s all too easy to fall into the rabbit hole of Photoshopped , posed , perfect images when searching for online wedding inspiration . Instagram and Pinterest are full of brides with professional makeup , flawless hair and ‘ million dollar ’ dresses . But this ideal just isn ’ t attainable for the majority of women , and the bopo community is doing a brilliant job at reminding us that most of these photos are very different to the reality . And even if one woman really does look that slim and shiny while she ’ s getting married , who ’ s to say that everyone should look the same ?
Let ’ s change the meaning of ‘ wedding goals ’. Instead of aiming for a certain number on the scale , let ’ s find someone who doesn ’ t think we need to change , and celebrate the ways we look and love and live differently with them .
pink weddings magazine 39
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