During the summer, there are three things that cause women to have anxiety about their bodies: bikini season, summer clothing and wedding season.
'Tis the season for fewer clothes, more revealing looks and trying to maintain a rockstar appearance without revealing major swamp ass.
We are currently in the throes of wedding season, and many of us will or have bought dresses to look our best.
Although, ideally, weddings are really supposed to be about the celebration of marriage between the bride and groom, they tend to breed self-confidence and body image issues like no one’s business.
Whether we’re bridesmaids standing at the altar, the brides themselves or just guests who are going to see friends and family, we all feel society’s pressure to dress to impress.
Here are a few thoughts we all face during wedding season:
1. “I have to get in shape before the wedding.”
I understand we are a vain society, and we want to look our best. However, isn’t the whole goal of marriage to celebrate the fact you can watch Netflix in sweatpants while eating cold Chinese food without judgment from your other half?
Of course, people feel they need to look their best on this particular occasion. If you’re just trying to get into shape because of the wedding, you’re already setting yourself up for failure later on.
If you don’t make a habit of being healthy, you’ll soon lose it as well as your newfound svelte shape. If you want to get fit, get fit for you.
Brides, if you’re doing it for the wedding, remember your other half wants to marry you for who you were before the ring, not because a hangry, celery-eating bridezilla turns him on.
2. “What if I don’t fit in my bridesmaid or wedding dress?”
After the holidays, people tend to gain a few extra pounds. That is what living is all about.
If your bridesmaid or wedding dress is tight in all the wrong places and shows off all of the wrong curves, it can easily make you feel self-conscious.
For those looking ahead at the wedding in a few months or year, do not buy a dress smaller.
Yes, it’s tempting to get a smaller size and fall into the trap of fantasizing about being your “perfect weight,” but it’s unhealthy, unrealistic and unsatisfying.
When you shop for your dress, focus on how it fits rather than the number on the tag. If you don’t like the number, rip it out.
This is a wedding celebrating two people falling in love, not your feature in next week’s tabloid addition.
3. “I’m never going to find someone if I don’t lose weight.”
Weddings bring the best and worst out in people. A wedding not only captures a beautiful moment, but it heightens stress, anxiety and insecurities.
We already worry about the perfect dress, who's going to catch the bouquet and when to show up on time and where.
People with body image issues view their perceived flaws as preventing them from having what they want.
So, for example, if you’re a single curvier woman who doesn’t feel good about your body and wants to be in a relationship, you may feel like a few of your extra pounds are preventing you from having that relationship.
People with body image issues often feel like once they have the one thing they want, their body image and self-love will improve significantly. In actuality, they're only filling one missing gap of self-love with another one of codependence.
The saying goes, "You cannot love someone else until you love yourself." You can't be in a relationship until you're happy being on your own. A keeper will enhance who you are, not make you whole.
Focus on doing things that are better for your physical and mental health, and make yourself happy. Life is too short to hate on yourself.
Being confident and having a healthy body image comes from knowing who we are and owning it.
At the end of the day, no one knows what size we wear. They only see if we’re comfortable in our bodies or not.
Whether you're a size 0 or a size 24, you have the choice to exude confidence.
Be proud of your curves, frizzy hair, longer toes or bigger ears and play up your best features that make you feel good about yourself.
We need to stop beating ourselves up for the things we cannot change and celebrate the things that make us who we are.