I said I wasn’t going to post about wedding stuff, because it’s very personal to me and my fiance and I are very private about that kind of thing.
But in looking for inspo, especially in the realms of The Dress, we came across a lot of graphics. They go something like this:
“What to wear for your body type:
Pear shaped? Wear XXXXX sihlouette.
Apple? Wear XXXXX sihlouette…”
And so it goes…
And it’s not just weddings. Magazines and online articles tell you the ‘best slimming outfits’ or how to ‘dress to flatter your body type’.
Why am I kicking up about this?
BECAUSE YOU SHOULD WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD.
WHAT IS ‘FLATTERING’ IS WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. PERIOD.
PS. FUCK ‘SLIMMING’. Just… don’t even start.
The problem with these cookie-cutter guides is they’re basically assuming a normative beauty standard (let’s call this societal ideal the ‘norm’ for ease) and by saying ‘if you’re a pear, wear an A-line dress to emphasise your waist and cover up your big hips’, what they’re implying is you need to create the illusion of a different body because yours isn’t good enough as it is.
Yes, this is a subtlety. But it’s there. And it’s insidious.
If they’re talking about black clothing being slimming or horizontal stripes NOT being slimming, they’re preying on insecurities and pushing the societal ‘norm’ and obsession with losing weight and being slender down our throats… and by recommending ‘slimming’ clothing, they’re undermining curvy and fat bodies, and suggesting they too should be ‘fixed’.
And they’re doing this so subtly with helpful ‘advice’ and tips that even little girls can come across in magazines… (during my EDs I consumed massive amounts of this rubbish, and it definitely helped fuel me putting my fingers down my throat… how terribly sad and twisted is that? But I didn’t even realise because it’s the ‘norm’, right?!)
Darling… let’s get something fucking straight. Your body IS good enough, exactly how it is.
If, like me, you’re technically a pear shape (you gain muscle and/or fat most easily on your legs and hips, and your skeleton likely has a slightly wider pelvis than shoulders – so take note, no amount of dieting is going to change this!) and you want to wear a fishtail/mermaid sihlouette for your damn wedding dress, but these graphics and articles imply you shouldn’t because you should be trying to ‘hide’ or ‘de-emphasise’ your lower body…
Now, hold on, you might be thinking… but I am self-conscious about *insert body-part here* and I do want to de-emphasise it…
A couple of things: firstly – that is TOTALLY NORMAL AND OKAY, we all have insecurities. This is about dressing in a way that YOU feel confident and at your best. My issue is with a cookie-cutter approach that ASSUMES you want to do certain things, as this implies that you should, to conform to the ‘norm’, and if you don’t, you look ‘wrong’ somehow.
However, I’d also encourage as a side-note to explore WHY you feel negatively about that body part – chances are you’ve been affected by messaging we’re bombared with EVERYWHERE about what our bodies should look like. When we’re born, we don’t hate our thighs, or our stomachs, or our chest or arms. We get hungry, we get happy, we sleep, we live life. Our insecurities are LEARNED.
And if you work on it, you can UN-LEARN them too. Case in point: I used to long for skinny legs. I’d repeate the 90s Kate-Moss-heroin-chic mantra ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ while I threw up the 1 apple I’d eaten that day. Because I felt like being skinny, like models, actresses and magazine imagery that I saw as a young girl, was what I should be.
Now? I have wide hips, and I have strong quads, and it’s still where I hold more fat and muscle, while my mid-section doesn’t gain so easily. And I am more than OK with that. I love my body now. In the words of Shakira, lucky I have strong legs like my mother / to run for cover when I need it…
(But I do appreciate that its tough to get to that place of self-love. I know you can’t flip a switch. It took many, many years, therapy, briefly medication, reading anything and everything, soul-searching, a supportive boyfriend and a LOT of effort plus a Harley Street Nutritionist and a million positive instagram influencers to help fix me! To get started on your journey to accepting your body the way it is, click here for some life-changing stuff with Mel Wells…)
You’re allowed to want to emphasise the parts of your body you like most.
You’re allowed to want to de-emphasise or downplay the parts that make you feel less confident.
The only thing you should be wearing is whatever you freaking want.
The wedding dress issue is neither here nor there – the same is true for ALL outfits at ALL times.
On your wedding day, though, not only again do you want to feel confident and happy in yourself (so you don’t need helpful ‘advice’ about what society considers most flattering for you because f*ck the norm, f*ck general opinion, YOU are the one wearing it!), but you’re marrying someone who loves you AS YOU. You don’t need to look like anyone but yourself, or to try to fit into some constructed ideal.
Just wear whichever damn dress you please.
And if it happens to align with the advice? It doesn’t matter at all, that’s totally cool, as long as the advice isn’t the driver. If it’s genuinely what you want, go for it.
And if, as in my case, you’re likely to be breaking all the rules? Well, I’ll leave you with this babes: