Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bulging brides?

By now, unless you're not a frequent reader of the wedding blogosphere, you've almost certainly seen Sarah Haskins's brilliant skewering of various crappy wedding shows like "Bridezillas." (Full disclosure: I do not get cable, and thus cannot vouch for the crappiness of all of these shows, but just based on the clips, I'm willing to go out on a limb and guess that the shows do in fact suck.)

See, aren't you annoyed already? Image from

My favorite bit in the video is when Sarah shows us clips from a show called "Bulging Brides." The show opens on a charming note, as a trainer enters the bridal salon and says, "Jennifer is looking like a chubster in that wedding dress!" while his nutritionist sidekick emphatically nods her head in agreement. Poor Jennifer is then dragged off to have someone show her all of the places where her dress doesn't fit right, and is then forced to confront all of her bad food choices in the "Aisle of Shame" and is shown an image of what she could look like in 3 years if she doesn't change her ways.

The best part? Jennifer looks like she wears a size 4. And her horrible future? Size 8 at the biggest. Also, no one seems to consider the option of ordering a dress in the correct size, which is the real problem with our "bulging bride."

Ick. What is it with "wedding diets?" Ever since I made our engagement "Facebook official,"'s targeted advertising has shown me hundreds of "skinny bride" ads that promise to make me slim by my wedding day. Like the diet industry doesn't make enough money, now they have to sell engaged women on the idea that only women who starve and exercise themselves to two sizes below their normal weight are allowed to get married in public?

And, as Jennifer the size 4 "chubster" proves, already being slim is no guarantee you'll escape the pressure. Remember, you can never be too skinny! If you're a size 6, you should be trying to get down to a size 4. Size 4 already? Why not try for the 2? And if you're a size 0, well, that's great and all, but you still need the diet industry's help, because your arms have no muscle tone and your butt *could* be perkier.

Well, bite me, "Bulging Brides," Facebook, and any other wedding-related diet ads. I don't plan to lose a single pound for my wedding day.

Look, if brides use the wedding as motivation to make a lifestyle change they've wanted to make for a while, that's awesome. But the pressure to crash-diet and do 3 hours of cardio per day every day until the wedding in order to look like a "hot bride" is ridiculous and should be ignored. Jennifer would have been a hot bride even without the "intervention" of that obnoxious trainer. As women, we're already faced with almost constant pressure to lose weight, no matter what size we are. Do we really need to scoop on an extra helping for brides-to be? No.


Ruthie said...

Thanks for this post. I know this, but its easy to get down on yourself, wedding or no wedding.

Anonymous said...

hear hear. Wedding industrial complex, indeed!

Bride in Exile said...

Apricot, I'm more scared of the diet industrial complex than I am of the wedding industrial complex. The WIC loses its grip over you once you're not planning a wedding anymore. The diet industrial complex has us ladies squarely in its sights for life. After the "skinny bride" diet there will be "newlywed diets" and "lose the baby weight" diets and "the thirtysomething diet" and "the fortysomething diet" ... it never stops! I've started giving all the diet ads on Facebook the "thumbs down" and marking them as "irrelevant" or "offensive." Insane? Yes. But I'm cranky and it must come out somehow!