On bridal body policing

It started with the Facebook ads that assumed I was trying to lose weight the second I changed my status to “engaged.” It continued with my mother announcing that any wedding dress I chose required her stamp of approval and showing  me pictures of dresses she thought were “ugly” — or that would look ugly on me, in particular.

… Soon, people were gasping when I mentioned the simple act of getting my hair cut (apparently a no-no between engagement and wedding because long hair is “more bridal”). “Short hair just doesn’t look right on a bride,” they say, wrinkling their noses. Britney, girl, I feel  you.

… After I posted a picture of my new martial art belt on Facebook and of the giant bruise I acquired earning it, a friend texted me to say “Congratulations! Better take a break one month before the wedding, so bruises aren’t your ‘something blue’ lol.”

… I returned from an amazing, physically challenging, adventurous trip abroad last month (and looked like it), and a coworker said, “So I guess that’s your last hurrah before the wedding huh? You wouldn’t want to be all sunburned and roughed up for the big day. Nothing but mani-pedis and facials for two months prior to walking down the aisle, understand?”

… When I mentioned I had picked out my wedding jewelry, I was informed this was a rebellious act, to just pick out my own jewelry without anyone’s input. Several women in my fiance’s family have told me I “must” wear a giant necklace even though it would look ridiculous with my dress, because a bride can’t be “plain.”

… At a pool party, someone remarked at my feet (warped, scarred and twisted from tight dancing shoes and martial arts mats) and told me I “better” get a pedicure before the “big day.” “You’ll want close-up photos of your feet in your wedding shoes,” she explained, as if that’s a Thing I would ever want — a photographer taking pictures of my feet.

… People ask me if I’d like a recommendation for a good “brow person.” And a trainer who will make me “toned” rather than “muscular.”

… I am constantly reminded that my fiance is “only” two inches taller than I am, so I need to “be careful” about my shoe height.

… My mom is obsessed with the idea of me wearing a flower crown and wearing my hair up. When I say I’ll be wearing it down, sans wreath of any kind, she says, “I’m not sure how I feel about that.” As if she, or anyone, *should* feel any certain way about how I choose to dress myself.

…Oh yeah, and then there are those fucking assholes who jokingly ask you if you should *really* be wearing white. Ya know, because you’re a dirty whore, having the pre-marital sex.

So, for all you motherfuckers who think it’s just A-OK spiffy to tell a woman how her she SHOULD look on her wedding day or how she should dress herself, I’ll say this:

Leave the bride ALONE.

Stop body-policing. Stop. I don’t care if you think your opinion matters. It does not, unless you are asked for it. To marry legally, the bride must (usually) be an adult. She has been dressing herself for years. She knows what flatters her, and she might actually prefer to wear something that you think doesn’t “flatter” her body. Or that doesn’t look like it belongs in a bridal magazine. If you give one, single fuck about any of this, you are creepy. And need a hobby (besides telling me I need to quit mine for the sake of looking perfect on the day I marry the person who loves me for my flaws).

I tell you what: You can wear whatever the fuck you want to my wedding. You can look like yourself, or give yourself a glamorous make-over. You can eat as much as you want before my wedding and continue the hobbies you enjoy, no matter how bruised and sunburned they leave you. And you damn well better respect me enough to let me do the same.

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