In the months leading up to our wedding, despite the fact that I do have a brain, and most of the time it functions, I thought I was going to be able to transform my body into something lean, toned, and taut. Let’s be real here: I’m a short, curvy lady, with something of a bottom. My hips are 44 inches around, and I have a little pooch of a belly. My legs are pretty solid. I am not, nor have I ever been, lean. My arms will probably always jiggle a little bit.
I’ve had a pretty solid fitness routine going for the last few years, but for some reason I thought I’d be able to amp it up even more in order to achieve this mythical bridal body. But real life happened, as it does. And besides, I don’t really want to exercise more than an hour a day. I have other shit to do. So the months passed, and I kept thinking this super-body would appear somehow. But the fact is, I’m pretty much the shape and weight I’m going to be. If I wasn’t willing to take extreme measures, nothing was really going to change.
And I don’t want to take extreme measures. Because that aforementioned brain is a feminist one, and I knew in my heart that all this bridal body stuff was a myth, and offensive, and mentally unhealthy.
But that’s just the thing. Even though we know it’s not healthy to obsess over our bodies, to obsess over what we’re eating or how often we’re exercising, we can’t stop. Ok, maybe I should only speak for myself here, but…I know I’m not only speaking for myself. I knew that an impending wedding, during which I would be the center of attention and have hundreds of pictures taken of me, was guaranteed to increase my stock of body woe and self-consciousness. And I didn’t really know what to do about it.
Now I’m less than two weeks out from the wedding, and I look pretty much the same way I did the day my partner proposed to me. A part of me is disappointed. I have to be honest about that. But…it’s only a tiny part. Mostly, I feel the kind of self-acceptance that has eluded me for most of my life. Because I look pretty much the same way I did the day my partner proposed to me, and guess what? He proposed. He certainly wasn’t waiting until I lost a few pounds, the way that I have put off too many things in life because of some twisted idea about what I look like, and what I should look like.
It’s odd, these mixed feelings. I doubt I’m ever going to completely shake the desire for a firmer bottom, but realizing that I’m going to look the way I look at my wedding, and that I’m going to look beautiful, that has done more than a lifetime of reading feminist body acceptance pieces and trying to think positively has ever done. It feels like all of the body-positive thoughts I’ve had before have just flitted on the surface, but this time, this feeling is sinking a little deeper. It has settled in just a tiny bit more.
Two weeks from now I’ll be on a beach in Hawaii in the first bikini I’ve worn since I was 17. And I won’t look the way I imagined I’d look. But I will look like me, and I’m sure I’ll be having a great time.