I’m a fat bride

Guest post by hannahisdead
Offbeat Bride “Fat bride” t-shirts were available for a limited time, but no longer

My identity as a fat woman is no secret, and I'm not ashamed of it. I bear my body with pride. However, not everyone feels the same way.

I recently posted on Facebook that I want anything emblazoned with “bride” to be changed to “fat bride.” This was met with a myriad of comments and calls, all from people who know my stance on my body.

My mother in particular always supports my fat pride, but clearly she's still very fatphobic and ashamed of fat bodies (herself being a plus sized woman) and wondered why I would want to label my self that way. I told her because it's part of my identity.

But still, within two weeks of being engaged, I was asked by numerous people how I intended to “shape up” for my wedding.

Yep, still fat.

I work at a bra boutique. (I definitely recommend getting sized by professional bra fitters before you go to any dress fittings! Chances are you're not what bra size you think you are.) Recently a soon-to-be-bride came in the day before her final fitting. She and I are similar in size and shape (26/28, tummy heavy). She wanted a basque, and she wanted to look like the plus size models in magazines, which, as much as she wants to, isn't going to happen with shapewear.

I spent over two hours with her trying everything we could, but in the end she wasn't totally satisfied with anything because she wasn't satisfied with herself.

When she learned I too was getting married, she asked what my plan was to “look better.” I shrugged and said, “Nothing. I'll be fat the day before my wedding, the day after my wedding, and during my wedding. I don't give a fuck anymore. Why should I? I am fat and beautiful. You can be both.”

She couldn't wrap her head around it, and it made me really sad.

Another time, a little girl was in with her mom, and since someone else was helping her mom, I was keeping the little girl busy. She saw my ring and started asking about my wedding. She then noticed my stretched lobes, and she was pretty freaked out by them. But her first reaction was “Did you do that for your wedding?” This seven-year-old girl already knows people go to extreme lengths to transform their bodies for their wedding. I was so horrified.

I understand wanting to look your best, but I don't understand wanting to look like someone you're not.

I guess I am so far along in my body positivity that I don't really understand just being able to move on from hating yourself. But I wish that more people could accept themselves, and accept that I am okay with me.

Comments on I’m a fat bride

  1. I love you and I love this article. I am a fat bride. My mom is plus sized and is the same way.

    I just really appreciate this article and I can’t explain it.

    • Thank you! It’s really hard when you’re like YEAH I’M FAT AND AWESOME and people around you are like yeah!..but you could lose some weight and be prettier…
      And this just gets amplified by the wedding process and bridal stuff. It’s important to speak out and be posi no matter what.

      • I don’t really like the ‘lose weight to be prettier’ stance either. I am just wondering how you’d feel about the lose weight to be healthier argument. I lost about 40lbs from just being more conscious about portion sizes, not eating sugar..and mainly having veggies, salads and protein, with controlled carbs. Sure, I was hungry for the first week, but then everything felt great! I have a thyroid condition that kick started my weight gain, and since extra fat percentage is very tough on your body (and can lead to further complications such as heart disease) I tried to combat it by eating healthy. I am still not one hundred percent happy with my body, because I can feel how the extra fat affects my health. I am completely disgusted by weddings shows that host a variety of ‘lose weight solutions’ booths, for pre wedding slimming down. That is just terrible. It has to do with skinnier=prettier. However, I don’t think we can ignore that losing some weight=healthier. What do you think?

        • If you want to lose weight for youself that’s awesome. Go right ahead. I’m not saying losing weight is bad, I’m saying that you shouldn’t feel pressured to lose weight or look thinner or anything to please other people or to be “better or prettier,” your fine the way you are. In the end the only person you should lose weight for, health reasons or otherwise is yourself. It’d not an issue of being lazy or prideful or anything. It’s being ruler of your own body.

        • I completely agree with you. I think the problem is that society doesn’t accept plus size women so plus size girls and women don’t accept themselves. But then you have women like us that say FUCK THAT, I am beautiful no matter what. This is the most important part. Loving yourself is the key to having a healthy mind. There is a thin line between being a healthy weight and being overweight because it can mean something different to everyone and BMI is just complete bullshit.

          I think that plus size girls should be taught to love themselves but also to take care of themselves. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and we should be aware of that. Skinny doesn’t equal healthy/pretty either though. I think we all know that it’s okay to indulge every now and then but our bodies are not meant to be starved nor are they meant to be over indulged. Binge eating is just as bad as bulimia and anorexia. Binge eating is an eating disorder and is accompanied by unhealthy mind and self-hate. It all starts with the mind.

          Love yourself for who you are at the size you are now, and then teach yourself how to have healthier habits. Eat what’s good for you and exercise because you want to take care of yourself. Do not think that just because you love yourself the way you are that that gives you an excuse to binge eat McDonalds. If you really loved yourself you would take the actions you need to take to take care of yourself.

          Healthy body, mind, and spirit all go with one another. You will be happier if you are healthy in all aspects. Yes you can be a size 18 and still be beautiful and healthy.

          Do not give one damn about what the world thinks about you. The only thing important is how YOU feel. Look deep inside yourself and if you are satisfied with yourself and you feel healthy then stop worrying and start living your life happily! If you are unhappy because you know you are not healthy, do not let your weight and eating habits kill you, because it will if you don’t control it. That’s not a judgment, it’s a fact. You need to find your balance in life that makes you happy. If you can do that then that is all that matters.

          There is nothing wrong with being a plus size woman. The number on a scale does not define who you are, you define who you are. You have complete control of your happiness ladies.

        • Being fat and being healthy are not mutually incompatible realities. Neither is being fat and being athletic. I’ve done two triathlons now and didn’t weigh less than 240 pounds for either of ’em. Research is hugely (har) contradictory, and the only thing I’ve found to be particularly consistent is that exercise is good for you. I’m fat. My blood work/labs are fine, my blood pressure is perfect, I can run fivish kilometers in around a half hour, I can swim for all day if plopped in a pool, etc.

          And I still get people who are “concerned about my health” telling me I need to lose weight. I have a hard time not being hostile to them, and I found myself being highly reactive to you as well. Less weight isn’t synonymous with more health, it’s just another one of those variables that tend to co-occur. The more I train, I tend to weigh less, and if I slack off, I get bigger, but I don’t think I’m any more or less healthy either way, overall. Thems my thoughts. 😀

          • Yea, I really hate how fat-shaming is thinly disguised as being concerned for the health of the person, especially if they are a stranger on the Internet. Really, unless you are my doctor, you should be getting my permission to talk about my body and health like that.

          • I stumbled upon this article. I really hate body shaming also. Being “healthy” is a relative thing. Personally, I have a condition that even dieting and exercising, it’s nearly impossible to lose weight. My fiance fell in love with me this size, he doesn’t expect me to look like someone I’m not for our wedding. He wouldn’t want me to. When I explained that to people, it usually shuts them up without me losing my cool with them. Haha. Loving yourself and not relying on other’s views of you to regulate your internal happiness can be the hardest thing you do, but it’s also the most freeing.

        • I think it boils down to this: if you feel you need to lose weight for your health, then do it. But losing weight for your wedding has nothing to do with health. If you were losing weight for your health, then it wouldn’t take a wedding to jump start it.

          Losing weight for your wedding is about thinking you need to do it to feel beautiful. And we should be able to think we’re beautiful at any size.

          • Honestly, my wedding HAS kick-started my desire to lose weight and get healthy. And it’s because on the day of my wedding, I’m pledging to spend my whole life with the most amazing man I’ve ever known, and I want to make sure that life is as long as possible. Your wedding can be a reason to get healthy. Anything can be a reason to get healthy.

          • Your wedding can be a reason to get healthy. Anything can be a reason to get healthy.

            Absolutely, although be careful with conflating weight loss and health. Sometimes they go together, sometimes they don’t.

            The issue here isn’t that anyone should ever lose weight for their wedding (or any other reason). The issue is that many brides are pressured to feel like the wedding SHOULD be a reason to lose weight. As Psychology Today said: “It’s estimated that 33% of women are advised by someone important in their lives (e.g., parents, friends, even fiancés) to lose weight before walking down the aisle, with heavier women hearing these comments more often.”

            So by all means: lose weight weight for your wedding if YOU want to, but recognize that it can be hard to determine what you actually want when you’re being pressured to do something.

  2. THIS, THIS and more THIS when getting yourself prepped and dolled up for your wedding. “I understand wanting to look your best, but I don’t understand wanting to look like someone you’re not. “

  3. Wedding industry, and it IS an industry, creates fear and loathing of fatness worse than the media, in general, does. It disgusts me. We are in this industry and I have NO qualms using heavier girls as models in our booth at wedding shows and putting their photos in our “book” or on our wall. Ladies of EVERY size get married. Society needs to get past their ignorance. In fact, another vendor at a bridal show came up to me THREE times to ask me to try their skinny wrap thing. I was offended.

  4. Confidence in who you are is always the sexiest, but finding a dress that fits your own personality and body shape helps if you want to look your best on your wedding day (or ANY day for that matter!). As a dress designer/maker (yes, I’m a part of the wedding “industry”, but I’m 100% against brides feeling pressured to change themselves for their wedding), I see way too many women that want to be something they’re not (not everyone can be a rail thin model you see in the mainstream wedding magazines and ads), and they try desperately to squeeze into a dress that’s just all wrong for them. I believe EVERYONE can look and feel beautiful if they dress for their size/shape, and most importantly, accept and love themselves!

    Please NO more self hate!!!

  5. I have gotten the same questions and I’ve told people, I was fat when he met me and I will be fat when we get married. I love me no matter what and so does he. I don’t plan on changing myself.
    The whole idea of “losing weight for the wedding” is shoved in every brides face. I saw it a lot at a Bridal Expo I went to this past weekend and it makes me sad

  6. I LOVE this for so many reasons!

    I own a plus size bridal shop, and I know first hand just how awful this industry treats plus size brides. We have to fight to get our sample gowns in plus sizes and some manufacturers flat out refuse to work with us. I do think however, that the wedding industry is slowly (very slowly) catching on and becoming more plus size bride friendly, and I like to think that shops like mine and blogs like this are to thank for that.

    It’s our goal to have every woman leave the shop feeling beautiful just as she is, however, we encounter many hurdles… Sometimes we need to overcome the bride’s own insecurities, sometimes it’s negative body comments from a member of the entourage etc. The world needs more body positive bridal blogs and posts like this. Plus size brides deserve to have amazing and confident bridal “roll-models” like you. Bravo!

  7. When she learned I too was getting married, she asked what my plan was to “look better.”

    “Better than what? I’m already fabulous!” 😉

    I’m a fat woman and will probably be a fat bride–I do work out and am trying to eat better, but if I lose weight, it’s not ‘for the wedding’.

  8. I absolutely, totally agree with this. I’ve been plus sized for most of my life, and funny enough, I like it that way. I can’t say I don’t want to change at all ever, but I’m happy with how I am now. My fiance praises my body every day, and in the end, all that matters to me is that I’m happy with it and he accepts it. I got all sorts of fitness questions thrown at me, and even now with only five days until the wedding, my mother (also plus sized) is near-starving herself to fit into the dress she bought. I’m over here all like, “He proposed to me looking this way, why change what we both already like?” I can totally get on the “fat bride” shirt idea. Loves for being real!

  9. I am the mother of “hannahisdead”, and love her and am so proud I could bust. I was thin till I hit thirty, then a major job changed started adding pounds on. In truth I did not fight it the extra weight helped me do my job. My job was around the clock and heavy construction, and yes the extra pounds helped. But Hannah is right, I never was comfortable being heavy. Everyone I ever knew thought “I was so pretty”. And ask what diet am I trying. Even at plus 50 years it hurts. And makes you wonder about old friendships.

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