This is not a blog to make you feel sorry for big girls. Rather, this is a blog to challenge your stereotypes, no matter how buried they might be, and maybe even reevaluate how you treat others. I guess the best way to start is by telling you that I’m a big girl. I’m tall, strong and muscular. But there was a time when I was big, but not strong. I was overweight and unhealthy. During that time, I don’t think people treated me as nicely as they do today. Actually, I know they didn’t. . . That said, I don’t think people were less friendly consciously. I just think that we all treat people differently sometimes based on their appearance.
A Friend’s Plight
Recently, I was chatting with a fellow wedding photographer — a really successful, outstanding photographer. This is a woman who I admire so much. She’s a mover and shaker and she is a force to be reckoned with. The photographer, who is considered heavy, was telling me about how badly people (and clients) sometimes treat her. Groomsmen, especially after tipping back a few drinks, will call her names. Without fail, it always comes back to her weight. I’m sure you can imagine the names she is subjected to. This treatment is so commonplace that she’s actually had to create a different persona to block out the negativity. I feel lucky that this is not my story, but sad that people think it’s OK to judge another person so abusively.
I know I said I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for big girls, but the whole thing makes me sad. Her situation also got me thinking about judging others based on their appearance and the lengths we take to be “perfect” on wedding day. Even the the thinnest people I know go on a diet the second they get engaged. The thing that is the most disheartening is that the first thing women think when the person they love asks them to marry them is that they’re not good enough. But the person who loves you doesn’t love you because of the number on the scale. They love you because you’re you.
The idea of “shedding before the wedding” kills me, because it sends the message that being thin is the most important thing. It sends the message that women aren’t good enough as they are and that love is conditional: Only if you get/stay thin; only if you’re pretty; only if you’re perfect. But remember, there’s only one you and there’s no wrong way to be yourself.
There is no perfect body type or shape, no perfect number on the scale. A wedding is about love — the love you have for each other, your families and friends. It’s about starting a new chapter together. What a wedding is not about, has never been about, and will NEVER be about is the number on the scale. What’s important is that you’re healthy and in love. And that, my friends, is all that should matter.
I hope that my friend can find love within herself enough not to change who she is, because she is beautiful. I hope that when the time comes, if it hasn’t already, that you’re engaged, that you too can enjoy the season without stressing about the scale.