top of page

Girl you look GOOD! The Body Dysmorphia epidemic affecting women and future brides.

*Note: Names in this blog have been changed to protect the anonymity of the individual.

Queens, we all do it. There are days where we look in the mirror and we're disappointed by what is staring back at us. We nit pick over our "flabby" arms, the bags under our eyes, how plump our booties are, etc. It's depressing, heart breaking and a severe detriment to your mental health. In today's blog we'll be tackling the issue that everyone is ashamed of and no one wants to talk about: body dysmorphia.

Body Dysmorphia is defined by our friends at the Mayo clinic as "a mental health condition in which you can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in in your appearance - a flaw that appears minor or cant be seen by others". Do you feel personally attacked by this statement? Because SAME. In today's society we as women are programmed from a very young age to believe that skinny is pretty. We all have unrealistic expectations placed upon ourselves that end up with the belief that if we aren't super models, it's not good enough. Mothers, specifically, have this insane pressure to "bounce back" after giving birth. I had a friend once who miraculously dropped all of her baby weight in two weeks and everyone around her was so impressed that it became the norm. "Well so and so lost this much weight in TWO WEEKS, meanwhile this person seems to have let herself go after having her second baby." Like...…let's take a step back and talk about how fucked up that is. Yes, Renee's genetic structure, metabolism and body type allow for her to lose weight quickly. However, we should not compare Renee to Ella or expect for Ella, as a new mother, to lose 20 pounds in a incredibly short amount of time. It's insane. If you ask any physician they will tell you no two bodies are the same. What worked for Renee will not work for Ella because they are different. The societal expectations placed around women are brutal and in my personal opinion, a crock of shit.

Body dysmorphia is something that I personally have dealt with the majority of my life. From a young age I had always been itty bitty. I spent the majority of my adolescent and college years in the 100-120lb range but even then I could list about 20 flaws I could find with my appearance. My eyebrows weren't thin enough, my hair was in a constant state of frizz and my teeth weren't straight (this was something I was SO self conscious about until I was finally able to afford braces in my 30's - thank you Invisalign.). I genuinely thought I was the most hideous person in the world. I would go to festivals and bars and look at other women and think "If I could just look like her my world would be set." The worst part about this terrible thought process was there was nothing I could do to make myself feel better. There was no amount of make up or hair products that would fix how I felt about myself and how I thought others perceived me. I didn't breach over 120lbs until I was well within my 20's and that was 100% attributed to alcohol consumption. When I reached my 30's the dysmorphia amplified by a million. Not a ton of people tell you this, but once you hit your 30's your body starts to change. We see this on television, but we never expect it to happen to us. One day, after I turned 32, I woke up and realized that my non existent booty had somehow became the size of Jupiter. I had gained weight on my hips, my thighs and my arms. Devastation doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. I was so disappointed in myself. Looking in the mirror was no longer an option unless I wanted to spiral into a anxiety attack.

So when my husband Mike proposed to me, one of my very first thoughts was "Crap, I have to go wedding dress shopping". Not just wedding dress shopping, but wedding dress shopping with a whole gang of people. My anxiety went into over drive, I started saying the silliest things to myself like: "I hope my bridal consultant doesn't see me naked and think I'm a whale". Let me put your minds to ease future brides around the world - your bridal consultants absolutely 100% do not care what you look like. They don't care if you're 115lbs or if you're 725lbs. Their job is to make sure you find your dream dress and that you feel absolutely drop dead gorgeous in it. Your family and friends don't tag along with you to point out your flaws, they are there to support you and to offer tissues when you inevitably need them. The moment when you pick out your wedding dress is supposed to be a magical experience. Don't take that away from yourself by hyper criticizing that beautiful body of yours. There is a reason why bridal dresses come in all different shapes and sizes: petite, plus sized (which I absolutely hate that word but I digress), big bust, no bust etc. Every woman is different, which is the most beautiful part about us. As a side note, please trust me when I say: every bride has to have alterations done on her dress. Yes, even super models and the girls you see on Instagram have to have their dresses modified to fit them correctly. It's not because they're over weight, or because their arms look weird or any of the things we internally criticize ourselves about - it's simply because the dress needs to be altered to fit you correctly and so you're comfortable on your special day.

Like every bride around the world, once I found the dress I absolutely burst into tears. I went into my appointment telling my consultant that I didn't want a specific style of dress because I was worried about my arms looking fat. She gently nodded and had this small smirk on her face before she went back to grab around 6 dresses for me to try on. The first two were great, but they didn't have the wow factor I was looking for. Dress #3, however, was the same style I had told my consultant that I absolutely did not want to try on. When I realized she had snuck it into my dressing room, I asked hey why she pulled it. Her response was "Just humor me, I want to see how you look in it". Spoiler alert: it was my dream dress. As soon as she zipped me up in it I started bawling. I walked out to my family in tears and all 7 of them lost it. After I had paid for my dress I pulled my consultant aside and asked her how she knew to pull that particular dress, and her answer was very simple: most brides have an idea of how they want to look, but their perceived reality of themselves is normally skewed. It was her job to think outside of my insecurities and to show me how absolutely gorgeous I looked outside of my own brain. She then high-fived me and said "Girl you look GOOOOOOOD!" and for the first time in my life, I agreed with her.

So, my sweet queens, please trust me when I say you are going to look absolutely gorgeous in your wedding dress. No amount of societal pressure or insecurities can take that away from you. The only thing you should be worrying about on your wedding day is feeling absolutely and incredibly happy. Body dysmorphia unfortunately happens to the best of us, I still struggle with it to this day. After a couple of years of intensive therapy I learned to look at myself without bias and judgement. Do I still nitpick about the fat in my arms? Of course, but, it is a part of me that I have learned to love. Dysmorphia happens, but it doesn't have to control your life. You are more than your perceived image of yourself, and trust me girl you are gonna look GOOOOOOOD on your wedding day!

If you or anyone you know suffers from body dysmorphia and suicidal thoughts, please contact the national suicide & crisis lifeline, available 24 hours a day, by texting 988. You can also talk to someone immediately or chat online with a representative. Please see this website for more details: click me!

5 views0 comments


bottom of page