Body-sham­ing brides­maids must stop

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - SH­ERYL NADLER Sh­eryl@sh­eryl­

Ladies. As wed­ding sea­son creeps up on us, some of you might be fuss­ing and primp­ing, pre­par­ing to stand up for a friend at her wed­ding.

If this is you, I im­plore you to heed my ad­vice.

If your friend, the bride, has asked you to lose weight for her wed­ding, please, please, please ditch that chick like Leonardo Di Caprio dump­ing a model ap­proach­ing her 30th birth­day.

Sure, she’ll be an­gry and mean­girl you. She’ll rant to the other brides­maids about your sup­posed self­ish­ness and a mil­lion other ad­jec­tives she learned from her mother over a mil­lion guilt-trip-rid­den ar­gu­ments. But I prom­ise, she is not your friend. She is not worth keep­ing around.

Why do I bring this up? Be­cause the New York Post re­cently re­ported on the new­est trend in Bridezilla-ing: forc­ing brides­maids to lose weight for the big day. Be­cause, as the Post puts it:

“Thanks to so­cial me­dia, look­ing pic­ture-per­fect is the lat­est pres­sure on bridal par­ties. Get­ting in shape, los­ing weight, at­tend­ing well­ness pro­grams and hav­ing cos­metic pro­ce­dures along­side brides are of­ten en­cour­aged — if not down­right de­manded — by the brides them­selves.”

The story in­ter­views brides-tobe and brides­maids alike, who are all on board with this non­sense. One bride in­sisted her bridal party sign up for a clean-eat­ing food ser­vice at $410 for a five-day meal plan. But be­cause said bride OWNS the food ser­vice, she of­fered her brides­maids 15 per cent off coupons — y’know, cause she’s gen­er­ous like that.

An­other bride, 30-year-old Ash­ley Bar­ton from Brook­lyn, is tak­ing one of her brides­maids for Bo­tox in­jec­tions a week be­fore her big day. And is en­cour­ag­ing an­other brides­maid to cos­met­i­cally fix her ear­lobes so that she can wear the chan­de­lier ear­rings she picked out.

“I can’t have her in studs,” Bar­ton told the Post.

And just in case you’re think­ing these are sim­ply a cou­ple of lone nut cases who man­aged to sur­round them­selves with women who are so in­se­cure they are will­ing to play along with this ab­sur­dity, stop. Be­cause the story also re­ports that bridal party body-sham­ing has be­come so pop­u­lar, fit­ness stu­dios like SoulCy­cle and Pure Barre have jumped on the trend, of­fer­ing pri­vate ses­sions for bach­e­lorette par­ties and such.

Re­mem­ber when bach­e­lorette par­ties meant hand­ing the bride-tobe a rub­ber pe­nis on a stick, feed­ing her flam­ing shoot­ers and en­cour­ag­ing her to pre­tend to hit on ran­dos in a bar like a proper lady? What would you do if you were in­vited to a bach­e­lorette on a Satur­day night to ex­er­cise be­cause the bride wants you to lose weight be­fore her wed­ding?

I know I rant about Bridezil­las at least once a year. But clearly, my ob­jec­tions are fall­ing on deaf ears. So please, hear my words now: if the bride asks you to lose weight for her wed­ding, just say no. Walk away. Run. You do not want this woman in your life.

Be­cause when does it stop? Where will it end? Re­mem­ber when it was con­sid­ered ap­palling to force your brides­maids to wear a spe­cific colour nail pol­ish to sup­pos­edly help you cel­e­brate your love eter­nal? Body-sham­ing your brides­maids in such an overt man­ner is just next level. (Pas­sive-ag­gres­sive brides have been bodysham­ing their friends for­ever by forc­ing them to wear slip­pery dresses in beige, sil­ver or mint green — NO ONE looks good in shiny dresses in those colours un­less you’re Sarah Jes­sica Parker or Rihanna.)

You see, this hap­pened be­cause we as a so­ci­ety did not rise up and smite the Bridezil­las and their ridicu­lous de­mands. No. In­stead, you played along (yes, I’m blam­ing you be­cause aside from be­ing forced to wear peau-de-soie gowns in sil­ver and beige, re­spec­tively, at two dif­fer­ent wed­dings, I’ve never been sub­ject to any truly ridicu­lous de­mands. At a wed­ding. As a brides­maid.)

You de­cided to be the nice girl who doesn’t rock the boat. The nice girl who gets along with ev­ery­one. Be­cause that’s what nice girls are, right? Agree­able? Ac­com­mo­dat­ing? Sac­ri­fic­ing our sense of self so as not to make oth­ers un­com­fort­able?

No. Enough. Stand up for your­self. Tell her she’s gone too far, this time. Take back con­trol. Sum­mon your in­ner Bey­oncé and un­leash her.

Be­cause chances are, if she’s re­ally that un­rea­son­able, her mar­riage won’t last more than five min­utes any­way. So there’s no point in spend­ing oo­dles of money be­ing a brides­maid when you’ll just have to do it again in a few years. Right?



Brides have been body-sham­ing their friends for­ever by forc­ing them to wear slip­pery dresses in beige, sil­ver or mint green — no one looks good in shiny dresses in those colours un­less you’re Sarah Jes­sica Parker or Rihanna.

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