Does the wedding industry think they’re doing us a favor by doing editorial coverage on bridal gowns with headlines like “Here are 4 body types and the wonderfully wearable gowns that play up their positives” (thanks for that one, Brides Magazine) or “Small on top, ubercurvy down below? Bring balance with an awesome A-line”.
Please. These types of features make me want to puke. Or starve. Or both. It’s no wonder women have body issues. The photos of the women above have been labeled on line and in magazines as “plus sized” brides. Both of these women are probably a size 10. They look beautiful and glowing to me–not like the typical gown ad with a hunched over, pale faced bride who looks like she’s recovering from a nasty bout of diarrhea cramps. Who wants to walk down the aisle with her?
I’m going to be a bridesmaid in August, and I just picked up my dress and brought it to my seamstress for what I thought would be a simple hem. I stepped into the size 8 dress (I wear a size 6 in regular clothes) and the zipper stopped right at my bra and wouldn’t budge any further. There was no place to fit my natural 36 DDDs (yeah, it’s true!) in that little number. So, in addition to the $200 I paid for the dress, I now have to have it completely rebuilt to accommodate me, because that dress is not a true size 8!
How about dropping the labels? How about stop overcharging for larger sizes, and how about the industry stops singling out women for their curves –they might as well just call us “pleasantly plump”, “big boned” or “more to love” and title the article “Fatties Get Married Too”–which let’s face it, is what they’re really thinking!
The features in magazines that show perfectly toned, 5′ 11″ models aren’t titled “How to Find a Dress To Fit Your Perfectly Toned 5′ 11″ Model Shaped Body“. Yet, the articles for “plus sized” brides are clearly indicated as such and targeted specifically at hiding flaws and accentuating the positive.
The only real flaw I see is in the fashion industry’s skewed approach to broadening the spectrum of represented women. The magazines won’t get a pat on the back from me for their efforts. In my mind, these attempts do the complete opposite of what they are apparently intended to do–they deflate my confidence and remind me that I don’t look like the girls in the magazines.
I realize that not all bodies are created equally, and I’m not suggesting at all that one shape is better than an another. I don’t resent that other women are thinner and taller than me, have perkier breasts than me, or straighter teeth than me, or whatever. I just want all women to feel good in the skin they’re in and I think the media has a responsibility to help promote that feeling in women.
What are your thoughts on the subject? I’d love to hear all angles in the comments below.