No Shedding for This Wedding

 Feeling trapped by an industry and consistently assumes losing weight is your end goal? It doesn't need to be that way.

Feeling trapped by an industry and consistently assumes losing weight is your end goal? It doesn't need to be that way.

No Shedding for This Wedding

I’m here to rant. I’m just saying that upfront so we all know what we’re getting into. By the title and the photo, I’m sure you now know that this rant is wedding based. It is specifically related to the entire process around finding a dress and the expectations that come from society. I’m am pretty ‘over’ the entire process (and I’ve only just begun).

It all started when I was looking for my dress. Small comments from stylists and those pulling the dresses saying that typically women order a size below what they are currently wearing because “you’ll want to shed those lbs before the big day”. Um. No.

The foul taste in my mouth only grew from there. A few weeks ago, I called to book my first appointment for alterations on my dress. I let the seamstress know that I had purchased a dress off the rack (this means only there is typically one or two sizes left and only the floor model is available). The only remaining size just happened to be a full size smaller than I currently wear. I let the seamstress know she’ll need to take out the seams to grow the dress from a size 10 to a 12 and that there is excess material I’d like to take off the ends which will allow for applique to be mended on the sides, if necessary. She promptly followed up with the statement, “Sure - but you’re planning on losing weight anyhow, right?”. Um. No. Again, no.

Allow me to clarify - I don’t mind if people think I need to “lose weight”. That’s their perception of me and I don’t allow that to influence my action. What I have an issue with is the absolute certainty that ALL WOMEN are trying to be smaller than their current size for their wedding day.

WHY? Why is this ok to assume?

This woman on the phone had never met me. All she has to go off is the size I said I was currently and the size I purchased. Let me also preface with the fact that I don’t think she was trying to be malicious; there was simply no thought put into our conversation.

I’d love to give her the benefit of the doubt and say she assumed I was looking to lose weight which is why I bought a smaller size, but I specifically noted that this wasn’t the case. “You will need to let the seams out”. Those were my instructions. This automatically assumes no weight will be lost.

I also completely respect that this woman is dealing with brides day in, day out. Afterall, she’s specifically a bridal seamstress. But to assume something like this has SO MANY repercussions. I have struggled with disordered eating in the past. It consumed my thought process from the time I was twelve. It ruled many of the decisions I made. I have since done a lot of work to dissociate food from feelings and am continuously learning to love myself through a few non-negotiable acts of self-love. But for someone with a similar past who hasn’t reached this point … this is incredibly triggering!

Thoughts like: “Oh no! I thought I looked great. Why does this woman think I need to lose weight? I knew I should have considered cutting carbs?”

 

Or maybe: “Shoot … I knew wine with my girlfriends this week was an awful choice.”

 

Sometimes it’s: “I knew I should have gone to that extra spin class this week.”

 

And the classic: “I knew I was lifting too much at the gym. I should have stuck with the lighter weights; now I’m bulky.”

 

These thoughts are all too real for many women on a daily basis. I think I have grappled with each and everyone of these thoughts in my own process. Someone who pops in with triggering comments like the ones I experienced dress shopping end up stir up a shit-storm in women’s heads. I’m here to say it simply isn’t cool.

This is a call to women who have experienced something like this in the past. Ladies - perfect strangers do not have the power to call your well-being into question. Your weight is not a reflection of who you are as a person. It is simply a number on the scale (I’d urge you to throw away your scale if you haven’t yet) and it absolutely DOES NOT determine your worth.  You know what is best for you. Please do not allow a number on a scale, or better yet, an industry that is built on appearances and expensive dresses, tell you otherwise.

This is also a call to women & men alike who work in the wedding industry. There are people fighting a continuous battle with their weight and appearance every time a comment like “yes, but you plan on dropping 10 lbs pre-wedding, right?” is made. Don’t be that person who assumes. Because, while we know it may be cliche, assuming really does make an ass out of … well, just you, the person who just assumed the woman you were talking to was looking change who they are to fit into a dress for one single day of their life.

Needless to say, no, I will not be ‘shedding for my wedding’. And I am perfectly ok if you’re not ok with that. A dress can be made to fit these hips. Because, after all, they’re the same hips me (and my fiance) fell in love with.