I grew up in a very body-positive household. My mother is a ballet teacher who spent a lot of time thinking about these things and in turn, how she would talk about them to us.
My first experience working wardrobe for a ballet company I was a twelve year old intern. I had teenage girls with eating disorders asking me to tighten their costumes until the hooks and eyes strained. I saw that it didn’t matter what the ballet company put in its mission statement, these girls were still getting the message they should hate their bodies.
I was hired at a bridal shop when I was sixteen. The business carried a huge range of sizes, had plus-size models and mannequins, and made every effort to be accepting. However, similar to ballet, everyone comes with their own ideas of how they should look and feel and I could see how body shaming culture effected each person.
I heard all sorts of “innocent” suggestions to lose ten pounds here or there (even to a fifteen year old prom girl). People would talk about hating their arms, their tummy, or their back fat. I had brides who cried because their dress didn’t fit perfectly at the first fitting. I even had a bride’s mother suggest a tummy tuck because the bride didn’t fit into the gown she bought eight years ago, before two kids.
When it comes to your wedding, every emotion is heightened. If you are someone who already struggles with body-positivity, this might mean you have to work extra hard to fight those feelings.
If you are my client and you struggle with body image issues, I am here to support you. I want to reassure you that it’s my job to make your dress fit you and create the design and shape you desire. I hope you’ll be open and honest with me about where you are in your journey. I don’t expect you to be 100% confident all the time, but I want to help you get there.
To finish off on a happy note, one of my favorite experiences was with a bride who chose a HUGE ball gown. The skirt was layers upon layers of fluff and it was gorgeous on her. She was one of the most outwardly confident people I’d met and upon seeing herself in her newly altered gown she exclaimed in joy “Oh, I look like I cream puff!.” Her happiness and absolute love for her gown is what inspires me to work in a field that is known for bridezillas and body-shaming.
I hope we can work together to create your Cream Puff moment. You deserve to feel amazing in your dream gown. If you're interested in more blog posts on how to approach body-confidence during wedding planning, comment below!
I highly recommend this article about one bride's experience with body-insecurity:
These are also good tips from The Knot:
NOTE: I don’t recommend buying your dress online (support small businesses!) but I do think that calling or emailing a bridal shop ahead of time to see what they carry in your size, is a good idea! You’ll get a sense of whether or not they will be supportive of you during your appointment.