Remember this post about how to be an offbeat bridesmaid in a traditional wedding and where to draw the line with changing your look to suit the bride's wishes? We've got some follow-up real talk from reader Vanda that we needed to share…
I think that the heart of this problem is the question of what physical appearance/beauty/personal grooming actually mean. Are they simply aesthetic — in which case the bride has as much right to dictate them as she does the colour of the stationery? Or are they outward markers of personal identity — in which case, why would the bride even want to shoehorn people who are supposedly her friends into looks which are incompatible with their deep-seated identity?
For people who feel that their external appearance is a fundamental part of who they are — and who may have carefully and thoughtfully modified it, from hair colour to tattoos to piercings, or who may simply have made a conscious choice to not modify it with makeup or hair removal — the idea of someone telling them what to do with their appearance is at the very least infuriating and at worst actually quite hurtful in its implications. But if you feel that external appearance is just an aesthetic then there's no issue with changing it for the day at someone's behest — after all, the spray tan and the makeup wash off.
So maybe if the bride and bridesmaids are a bit clearer with one another on what their underlying assumptions on physical externals actually are, this dilemma could be explored more easily.
Ultimately, it should come to communication on what your aesthetic means to you, if you fall into the camp of your look being more a part of who you are than what you wear. That discussion may be a tough one, but it's important if you value both your identity and your friendship with the bride or groom.
Are you changing your appearance or toning things down to be in a wedding party? What advice do you have for us?
Catch up on the discussion: changing your look as a bridesmaid: