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Archive for March, 2009

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A few weeks ago this article caught my attention, Dating 101: Four Things Never to Utter Around Him and I thought #3 was fascinating of course.

Turnoff #3: Your Bad Body Image and Food Issues
“First it was the grapefruit diet. Then it was Jenny Craig. Now it’s the Fatkins thing. My girlfriend tries a new diet about once a month, and she explains how she’s convinced that this is the one that’s going to help her lose weight. I always remind her that the reason I asked her out in the first place is because I think she’s beautiful. I wouldn’t be attracted to her if she looked like a string bean.” — Derek, 29

Now, I’m not one to put a lot of stock into internet dating tips but I thought this one had a point. Assuming that you are in a caring relationship, your man is with you because he thinks you are beautiful and wonderful the way you are. And more than that, he’s probably not too interested in hearing you trash the love of his life. So, do yourself and your relationship a favor and start caring about and loving yourself the way your loved ones do. Here’s a healthy alternative: look at yourself in the mirror and try to see yourself the way that those who love you do. Make a list of what makes you beautiful. As simple as it sounds, this is not an easy thing to do. Believe me, I know. However, once you start seeing yourself the way those who love you do, a whole new world of freedom begins to open up.

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A while back, one of our readers mentioned that there was a new Canadian reality show called Bulging Brides. You can just imagine what this show is about. (Think Biggest Loser meets Say Yes to the Dress.) The synopsis reads:

Here comes the bride, all dressed and…wide? After months of stressful planning and bank-breaking expenses, the real test of a bride’s nerves is the stroll down the aisle in her wedding dress. She knows that all eyes are trained on her, examining every inch of her body in that revealing, ultra-fem gown. No woman wants to be a bulging bride! The bride has her wedding dress, but it doesn’t fit. Racked by tension from the bridal arrangements and petrified by the thought of looking chunky on her big day, the bride-to-be has turned to the Dream Team as a last resort to lose her flab and look breathtaking in her gown.

Our last post that dealt with the pressure brides feel to be super thin on their wedding day generated a lot of great feedback and revealed how real this pressure really is. But I think this Show takes it to a whole new level. The title of the show alone is ridiculous and infers that somehow being “bulging” on your wedding day is a horrible fate that no bride would ever want. I looked up the definition of bulging and here is what I found:

Synonyms: bulge, balloon, belly, jut, overhang, project, protrude
These verbs mean to curve, spread, or extend outward past the normal or usual limit

So the show is basically taking women who are seen as extending “past the normal or usual limit” and trying to make them thinner so they will be the “most beautiful” they can be. The whole concept of this show makes the assumption that thin=beautiful and bulding=ugly.

And then to say that brides are “petrified by the thought of looking chunky on their big day” is just a little too much. I’m not saying that the pressure to look thin on your wedding day is not real. But to capitalize on women’s insecurities by making a reality show out of the pressure brides feel to be thin is just not right.

I really do hate that our society is so obsessed with weight and weight-loss to the point that we will tune in every week to see a person’s deepest insecurities exploited on national television as trainers and nutritionists belittle them in order to “help” them lose as much as they can.

Why do we watch it? What keeps us coming back for more of this garbage television? I think part of it is that we are fascinated with self-improvement, and weight loss is the ultimate form of self-improvement. I think we find a sense of satisfaction when we see another person losing exorbitant amounts of weight right before our eyes. It’s a form of vicarious life (as all television is).

But in real life, we must learn to accept our bodies and love them for what they are. And in real life, we must accept the fact that we are not meant to look like the bride on the cover of a bridal fashion magazine; we are supposed to look like the woman that the person we are marrying fell in love with.

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