Photo Credit: Kristine Foley
According to a new British survey conducted by Slim Fast, one third of women said they would prefer overweight bridesmaids to make them appear slimmer as they walk down the aisle.
You need look no further than the booked-up bridal bootcamps available in every major city or the wide assortment of bride reality TV shows lined up in your DVR queue to understand how important looking thin on one’s wedding day is to American women as well.
Brideorexia looms large, and she’s sporting a very unforgiving size two Monique Lhuillier mermaid gown. A 2008 study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee looking at brides-to-be showed that 70 percent wanted to lose more than 20 pounds in the six months prior to their wedding day; another 20 percent remained vigilant in monitoring the scale to ensure they did not gain even an extra ounce. Many women reported starving themselves, abusing weight-loss pills and laxatives and even vomiting to drop pounds.
But why bother with bride-to-be bulimia when you can simply flank yourself with porky friends?
"If you're a bride, all eyes are going to be on you on the day and this can make a lot of women very self-conscious,” Slim Fast nutritionist Fiona Hunter said. "Women are obviously feeling such pressure to look good on their big day that they are resorting to selecting bridesmaids larger than themselves. It’s very sad and a real shame."
My question is: Exactly who are these wildly egocentric, self-serving brides? I mean, really -- a full third of women admitted to selecting their bridesmaids based on size? I cannot even fathom the type of mentality that would drive such a decision -- and I’ve suffered from an actual eating disorder. I should be the guilty party here! But when I married my husband six years ago, I found myself actually fretting about the style of dress my bridesmaids would wear, because I wanted them all to look and feel gorgeous. Not once did I wonder, "Hmmm…will so-and-so make me look fat because she’s so tiny?"
That said, I have been on the other side -- a bridesmaid forced to stand next to a fellow bridesmaid who was about 75 percent smaller and shorter than I. We looked like Big Dog, Little Dog up there: I am 5’11”, she is 4’11”, and about 50 pounds separated us. I felt like an Amazonian monster -- until I realized that no one was looking at us while a radiant bride took center stage.
If women truly are factoring bridesmaids weights into their decision, rather than basing it on friendship, trust and honor, I hope they’re able to snap back into reality and recognize their superficiality. Then again, if they’re living on Slim Fast in an effort to drop wedding-day weight, the ensuing hunger-induced haze may continue to cloud their judgment.
What's the worst Bridezilla story you've heard? Chime in below.