It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the moment you get engaged, questions about what diet you’ll be following inevitably follow – just like a dark cloud moving in front of the sun.
Societal expectations, particularly within the wedding industry often has us believing that the only look you should be wearing on your wedding day is elegantly skinny, with a side of eat-nothing-but salad until your big day.
But here’s the thing – that way lies misery, particularly if you’ve never been inclined to lose weight before and the suggestion for losing weight comes from outside influences.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight – particularly if you want to do it for you and you alone (and in the healthiest manner possible) – but if your self-esteem and value are tied into an ideal created by aesthetically styled magazine shoots and layouts, then you might want to take a step back and consider just who it is that you’re changing for?
Because I think you’ll find that the answer is: not you.
The problem as always is that society has entrenched in us the idea that the only way you can look good – whether it’s a casual function or a formal affair – is to project an image that’s appealing according to runway standards.
In other words, you’re only beautiful if you’re thin.
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We’re not skinny shaming here at all – no, what we’re talking about here is the exclusion of the concept that fat women are equally deserving of being seen as beautiful without the caveat that they should lose weight to be seen as such.
I remember a few years back I came across an article that highlighted a new and disturbing trend that involved the process of using feeding tubes to lose weight.
This controversial method involved bypassing eating all together and getting sustenance in drip form, which consisted of a mix of protein and fat, mixed with water, which according to Time.com, amounts to about 800 calories.
It’s apparently a 10-day program designed to make you lose weight very quickly – except it’s definitely not a healthy and sustainable way to achieve weight loss, especially since other dietary staples such as fibre has not even been included in the equation.
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Refinery29 has also previously reported on how easily we buy into the dieting hype and that just doing a Google search alone yields a number of related results on a) how best to lose weight b) best bridal diets to follow and c) how to lose weight in a record amount of time.
In a follow up piece, Refinery29 also suggests that millennials, in particular, are prone towards perfectionism because of social media. And again it’s easy to see why when you scroll through wedding hashtags.
I’ve reached out to a few women and posed the following questions:
- did people ask you if you were going on a diet?
- did you feel any kind of pressure to lose weight?
- did you refuse to lose weight and were criticised for it?
At one of the first stores I visited to find a wedding dress, the very lovely, very elegant assistant, while zipping me into a dress I loved, said "Are you going to lose all that weight for your wedding?" and "Does your husband want a fat wife?"
I think I wrote about that here
People did ask if she was going on a diet.
And she tried to lose weight at first.
I decided that I wanted to lose weight on my own and have never regretted my decision:
So there you have it.
The point is that the wedding day belongs to you and your partner alone. Yes, family and friends make up a big part of your day, but no one should get to dictate the terms of how you should celebrate your day.
If you do want to lose weight, the only person who should be deciding that (and without anyone offering their helpful advice unless you actually ASK THEM) is you.
It’s time we stop thinking our well-meaning questions about diet is anything more than concern trolling.
Did you lose weight for your wedding? Were your experiences good or bad? Share your stories with us and we could feature in a future article.
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