Seven years ago today I married my husband in a tight wedding dress.
Hi readers! Today is mine and my lovely husband’s 7th Wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary honey! So, naturally I’m casting my mind back to that beautiful November day in sunny Perth. It was hot as shit. We got married at a winery in the Swan Valley, as many in Perth, Australia do. It was a day full of love and happiness. It really was. EXCEPT. I hated my wedding dress. That fucking dress. When I sat down, because of the boned corset, I could not breathe, speak or eat. It was so freaking tight, tighter than a billionaire’s wallet, tighter than a duck’s clunge, tight tight tight. The dress was off the shoulder, with little arm caps to hide my arms. It had a sweetheart neckline that frankly did not fit my boobs. It was long, it was heavy, it was hot. And it was shiny. And it was tight.
I ate a lot when I was pregnant.
Seven months previously I had given birth to our first child. I basically ate everything in sight during both my pregnancies. I gave ZERO fucks. Bread, pasta, ice-cream, chips…I ate it all. It was almost like something wild snapped in my head and I thought well, my body’s growing anyway, toot toot! Let’s get on board and enjoy the fuck out of it. No self denial! I wasn’t drinking, or smoking, or you know, enjoying life, so I thought well, I may as well eat whatever I want. And I did. Ohhhh yes I did. When it came time for the birth, my best friend was surprised they didn’t wheel me into hospital with a Cornetto hanging out my mouth.
I was supposed to lose that weight for my wedding.
And afterwards, I knew I had 7 months to lose weight before my wedding but I also had my first baby. And why must we all be thin brides anyway? There is good feminist discussion and thinking about the “Marriage Industrial Complex”. It’s interesting – why do we all buy into the fantasy? I get it. But I’m also not immune to the conditioning that’s been perpetrated on me throughout my life. The princess fantasy, the pervasive idea that it’s “the bride’s special day”, the pressure to have photos taken that you’re then supposed to display forever, the fact that everyone else I knew made damn sure they looked the best they ever had on their wedding day.
I did not lose it.
So I went ahead with the (ridiculously expensive) purchase of a dress that I hated. And I lost a bit of weight, but I didn’t diet or even exercise much. I had a new-born baby! How does anyone do this immediate losing of the baby-weight thing anyway? Actually, ok, I get it if you were skinny to begin with; it all just sort of snaps back into place. There’s no shame in that, I don’t shame anyone’s body type. In fact, if anything, I celebrate all of us. But there’s definitely pressure on women to look a certain way. (Thin, small waist). And there’s definitely women for whom that comes easily as a result of their genes, their behaviours, or a combination of both.
I love you food.
I’m just not that woman. I’m just not. Genetically I’m designed to be able to survive a long cold winter. I am soft, I am rounded, I was born that way. I have genes that evolved for cold weather. For me to be what is deemed “acceptably thin” requires a considerable amount of self-restraint and commitment to exercise. The exercise bit…ok, sometimes. The self-restraint? It does not come naturally. I have strong feelings! I feel strong desires for foods that taste good! And I give in to those desires, sometimes I give in every day.
Let’s love each other sick.
You know what? If you are naturally thin, or thin because you work at it? Good for you. I am genuinely happy for you. I love looking at beautiful women. If you are naturally round and soft and gorgeous? Good for you, I think you’re beautiful too! If you don’t care about how you look because you’re into other things? Awesome, I get that. If you love exercise and love being fit and strong? Brilliant. I know that can feel amazing too. Let’s not compete. How about we don’t put ourselves or anyone else down for the way we look? Lets love ourselves and each other ladies!
I still hate that dress.
And I’ve learnt something I wish I’d known before my wedding. I didn’t have to squeeze myself into that fucking dress. I should’ve worn something I felt comfortable and beautiful in. Something that didn’t require the removal of a rib in order to sit down. Because, guess what fat shamers and body police? I’m still cute! I have a poochy tummy, cellulite, tuck-shop arms blah blah misogyny blah – and I’m still cute! Furthermore, I just don’t deny myself anything these days.
I love myself! And my husband.
I do what my grandfather did and what my mother does. When I look in the mirror I say “You’re a fine figure of a woman.” I practise self love. I let it all flow, I enjoy my life. And I threw out my wedding dress. Happy anniversary husband! Still going strong after 7 years of wedded life. Sorry about chucking out the expensive dress that admittedly had some sentimental value. Love you!