I was scrolling through Instagram stories earlier when I came across one of my favourite body-positive bloggers and her new advice column, where she answers reader’s questions. But one question, in particular, caught my eye. The reader had written in something along the lines of:
“I’m new to the body positive movement and I’m trying to embrace it- however I’m also getting married and finding it hard to remove myself from the pressure”
And hey hello wassup gurl. Speak to my soul!!
Because I have been struggling with this exact problem for the last few months now- so I thought I’d vent out my feelings in the only way I know how… a blog post.
I got engaged on September 11th, and when I first got engaged I wrote a post about why I wouldn’t be pressured to lose weight for my wedding. I wrote about my eating disorder, about my reluctance to fall back into bad behaviors and how I wouldn’t conform to the societal norms of needing to ‘slim down’ for my ‘big day’.
I’ve also written a lot lately regarding the new journey I’m making towards learning about body positivity, about body acceptance and a healthier mindset… which is why I feel like such a damn hypocrite right now.
Because, bless lil past Rach, weren’t you so cute to assume that the pressure that’s born down on every woman wouldn’t get to you? Adorable how naive you can be eh?
Well, it turns out that 6 months down the line (how did that happen?!) and with 8 months to go (again wut) – I’m really starting to feel the pressure to diet, to lose that little bit of fat that is hanging around my tummy and to be as slim as I can get in time for the big day.
The worst part of it, is that I know that it’s all to do with the way that I’ve grown-up and the things that I’ve been conditioned to learn.
As BodiPosiPanda says, ”getting married and having babies are both events that we’ve been conditioned to see as quintessential moments of womanhood- we’re supposed to plan the trajectory of our lives in relation to them and I think it’s very telling that both of these events get distilled into and somewhat overshadowed by how our bodies look during them.”
Christ woman, I couldn’t have put it better myself- because I can’t lie and say that I’m sticking to the body positive mindset right now. Diet-culture has fully sucked me into its snakey little hands and is slowly tightening my grip and making my jeans cling to my already chunky thighs.
I’ve begun to feel more and more conscious of the way that I look and probably will look in the coming months. I’m starting to anxst about my shape, the way my dress will hang and if people will make comments about my body.
I’m turning down treats, I’m counting my calories… I’m making an effort to walk around more… HELL, I’ve even considered buying a bike so that I can get a bit more daily exercise into my system.
So I am in fact, totally throwing away everything I learned lately in favour of bowing to society and trying to become a skinny bride.
The only reason that I can justify this in my head is that I (hope) that I’ll only ever do this once and if this day is one of the most significant of my life, I want everything to be the way I want it.
So much of our self-worth is placed on looking nice and I’m such a woman of my time because everyone and everything is screaming at me that I should be as slim as possible when the moment comes that I walk down the aisle.
But why?? And why is it so damn hard to shake that conditioning, say fuck it- and enjoy my life and wedding day as a happy and (slightly curvy) bride?
It’s a question that I’m afraid I still don’t have the answer to yet.
It’s becoming apparent that there is a very large part of me that does want to look a certain way on my wedding day, but I kind of hate that it’s all down to society and the pressure of other people- rather than a decision I personally wanted to make.
I guess I can only write and update this again when it comes to November and we shall see if the pressure got to me or not.
It’s a tough one to balance. I guess I’m trying to unlearn 23-years of conditioning and perhaps my wedding day is just one of those ones that I’m going to have to shrug and accept that diet culture and media pressures got to me?