It’s fascinating to examine who and what defines ‘beauty’, but whether or not your shape fits into ‘Western ideals’ is irrelevant. How you feel about yourself is dependent on you. In order for your self-esteem to be at healthy levels, your self-esteem has to be nurtured and you’re the only one who can encourage it to grow. ‘Happiness comes from within.’
Unfortunately, we all have to withstand the negativity towards certain body shapes that the media inflicts upon us.
In particular, there is a negative attitude towards bigger sized women: they don’t fit ‘conventional Western ideals’ of beauty so, therefore, they are not worth our time. Fashion is interested in the skinny probably because our culture has programmed us into thinking that skinny means healthy, wealthy and glamorous and, therefore, this is the image and associations every bridal designer wants next to their name.
But, there is a problem. Surely by widening the market you are widening your profits and your market share. So why don’t bridal boutiques open up their stock and provide a wider range of dresses to suit plus-size women? You start to wonder if catering for the more ‘average sized woman’ is seen as not elegant enough in a world obsessed with Western style looks and glamour. It can make your heart sink.
A salesperson working in Hollywood has even stated that ‘the bridal industry fails brides who are larger than a size 16.’ She then admits just how far her boutique failed to cater for plus-size women: ‘Our salon featured about 300 gowns and, out of all of them, there were about 12 in a size 16 or larger.’
To make matters worse, a bride who is size 18 and upwards is also faced with an added surcharge between 10% and 15%. One might feel punished for being a certain size. And, of course, if the bridal gown doesn’t come in the bride’s size then an immediate dialogue springs up, ‘you could lose weight’ or ‘All brides lose weight before their wedding!’
And, before you know it, an insane belief creeps up: the belief that you’re not a TRUE BRIDE unless you go through a starvation period. It’s apparent that this Western beauty ideal of being thin is dominating the beauty industry to the point of elitism.
It’s absurd. Curves are gorgeous. A certain style can accentuate and flatter a shapely body which can generate many admiring glances. It’s time to get real. Curves should be something to be proud of. Queen Lativah, for example, has had big film roles where she plays sassy and sexy characters. The public want these types of women to be on their screens, women who are proud of their shape. The bridal industry can’t ignore this. Every bride should have a choice of what to wear on their wedding day.
If the Bridal industry were to encourage women to have healthy levels of self-esteem then the bridal industry should offer a wide range of dresses to plus-size women because that would mean all women have a choice. And choice is the key to every bride’s happiness and contentment.
Sources of information:
Queen Latifah: celebsbios.com