The make-up. The hair. The bouquet. The heels.
The wedding dress.
At some point, many of us have imagined what we’ll look like on our wedding day. It can be fun to imagine all the different ways we can elaborately decorate ourselves for such a special occasion, but too often we get caught up with the idea that we have to look perfect. We worry about how our guests will perceive us when we finally reveal ourselves in all our bridal glory; everyone should be in awe of our beauty.
“There she is,” they’ll say, “perfection in every sense.”
In trying to look perfect for their big day, many brides turn to special weight loss campaigns. These can include malnourishment, excessive exercise, and starvation, and can lead to eating disorders and body dysmorphia. In their desperation to fit the stereotype of the perfect bride, they put their long-term mental and physical health at risk.
[bctt tweet=”We feel as if the wedding was incomplete.” username=”wearethetempest”]
Alongside a perfect waistline, a bride’s entire outfit must also be perfect. The make-up has to be transformational, making her look nothing like her true self. Her heels must be uncomfortable and feel like daggers in her feet.
But most important is the wedding dress.
If done correctly, this will attain the bridal seal of approval. It cannot mix in with the crowd; it must stand out. Some go so far as to invest huge amounts of money, stretching themselves way beyond their financial means.
There is no cost too high for perfection.
Wedding guests also force the stereotype of the perfect bride. We attend weddings expecting to be blown away by the bride’s looks. But if the bride fails to score high on our bridal perfection scale, we become disappointed. We feel as if the wedding was incomplete.
Many times I have overheard people commenting on the outfit the bride wore. Did it suit her? If not, how could she have done better?
Even more shocking, they emphasized the complexion of the bride. The whiteness of her skin somehow equating to her beauty and her worth.
[bctt tweet=”Many times I have overheard people commenting on the outfit the bride wore.” username=”wearethetempest”]
The expectation of perfection places an unfair burden on the shoulders of every bride; a burden that perpetuates gender inequality in the married couple’s relationship. If the bridal look is one condition of perfection the bride must meet, then how many conditions of perfection must she have to meet as a wife?
I have really felt this in the Desi community.
As a single woman looking for marriage, families of prospective partners expect me to uphold certain values in education, family, manners, and maintaining the household. Trying to build a new relationship is hard enough, but I am also expected to consistently meet the high standard of “wife material.”
Often these standards are not placed on the man in the relationship, therefore placing the burden on the woman’s shoulders again.
As a bride, why should your special moment be clouded by others expectations of having the perfect bridal look? The purpose of a wedding day is not to create a jaw-dropping spectacle for your guests and even your husband. In fact, your husband’s jaw should drop from seeing the inner you – the true you – and in having an amazing person like you to share his life with.
How could he be so lucky?
A wedding’s focus should not be on how perfect the bride looks, it should be on sharing and congratulating two people in their commitment to love one another.
A wedding is a celebration!