Y’all. I’m about to lose my damn mind.
When I got engaged, it took my (well-meaning) friends all of maybe 12 hours before they started asking me what has become, seemingly, one of the most important aspects of wedding planning: what was my beauty plan? Fitness plan? Pure barre, perhaps?
It never ended. In every wedding magazine I’ve picked up in the 15 months I’ve been engaged, a hefty section is dedicated to fitness. Okay, sure, I get it – we all want to look our best on a day when hundreds of people are going to be staring at us, snapping pictures, and our “friends” on Facebook will judge us incessantly for months to come. (Full disclosure: Marshall and I have been letting the stress eating and sleep deprivation win us over these days, and so we’re both training for big fitness goals and trying to get back into our fighting shape. Does it have to do with the photographs and the Facebook judgement? Yes. A little. Will I ever call it a “wedding diet”? No. Kill me first.)
HOWEVER. In the past few hours alone before I started writing this post, a friend responded to a text of mine about a recent run I had gone on with “#sweatingforthewedding!”, a Facebook friend who got engaged just a day or so ago posted that her wedding diet had begun, and three separate wedding-related social media accounts posted diet dos and donts, the pros and cons of a juice cleanse before your wedding, it goes on. AND THEN THIS:
Let me just ask one question: why do we all have to work so hard to look like, um, ourselves? Your partner already wants to marry you. Getting braces before you say “I do” won’t make your partner say, “oh thank GOODNESS, when I proposed I was so worried you’d have that snaggletooth forever and I just can’t stand to look at it any longer.” We want to look like the best version of ourselves, sure, but what does it say that we spend months or years before a wedding trying to change everything about the person your partner wants to commit a lifetime to?
I spent a day filling out a contract for the folks who will come to the hotel to do hair and makeup for myself and my woman-possè before the wedding. I’m excited about it – I do want to get a little pampered and look awesome, obviously. But then I was confronted with all these questions: fake eyelashes? Airbrush makeup? Hair extensions?
Even when I ordered my wedding dress, I got asked, “how much weight do you think you’ll lose before the wedding?” (NOT something you want to be asked by a woman who has just seen you braless, jammed into Spanx for an hour).
Which parts of me are acceptable for public consumption, and what needs to change before everyone sees me? What do I need to lose, gain, enhance, detract from, falsify, eliminate before I’m worthy of feeling like a bride?
It’s too much. And, of course, we all have to look the same. There’s one idea of what a beautiful bride is (it changes with the popular stereotypes – currently bohemian, with flower crowns that probably would wilt the second you stood outside for your ceremony and start to droop into your eyeballs and the flowy dress that would NEVER actually cover your nipples in real life the second you busted a move at the reception but works on Pinterest, but I digress). But she’s thin, of course, and traditionally beautiful, and has white teeth that have been newly crafted because now it’s all about veneers and real teeth are for peasants or WHATEVER, and she has all the fake hair (and NONE of the real body hair) and is on the cover of magazines.
First of all, it’s gross and sexist as shit. Do you know what advice men get on wedding sites, blogs and in magazines? Well, none, because they get all of their information from their bride who spends hours scouring the world for the perfect suit that looks like every other suit…
And then there’s that damn Pinterest bride. The one who is so tiny and delicate that her partner picks her up and spins her around in nearly all of their wedding photos. You know exactly what I’m talking about. She makes us all hopeful that we’ll look like that on our wedding day, because when you look that beautiful and perfect, what, you’re destined for a perfect, loving marriage, right? Or is it that we are so blinded by #sweatingforthewedding that we forget that we should be #gettingexcitedashellforthemarriage and sometimes that involves a 5 mile run with your soulmate but a lot of times it involves champagne and donuts?
I’m just going to say this: my relationship, my marriage, my intelligence, my attractiveness, is not determined, changed, or validated by the number of likes I get on my carefully selected and cleverly captioned wedding photo on Instagram. Luckily for me, and the rest of planet earth, nothing is. Yes, I like a clever hashtag and am all about throwing a good filter on a selfie for that extra little something…but I think about sitting down with my husband the day after my wedding and checking my Instagram feed to see if I’ve hit 100 likes yet…and what would I feel if I didn’t? Disappointed? Maybe I should have looked more casual…or, shit, I really should have gotten those Invisalign after all…
The carefully curated life-trap is everywhere. I fall into it all the time. But I’ll be damned if I start my marriage to the most wonderful partner on this earth by worrying what people on the internet think about it.
I want to look like a rockstar, Elvin queen, goddess on my wedding day. But I want to look like me, not a woman on the cover of a magazine who has put so much effort into looking perfect for one handful of hours that she forgets to enjoy the (very few remaining!!) months between now and the wedding day, and doesn’t forget the importance of what comes after.
So, as for my priorities in the next 100 days leading up to this shindig? Keep my sanity, get excited to eat cake with myfamily and favorite people all in one place, look and feel like the best version of myself…while practicing a LOT for the champagne toast and enjoying time with the man who is making this Insta-worthy day possible.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about 16 months behind my Ultimate Bridal Beauty Timeline.