CarrieP from Big Fat Blog sent me the story of 34 year old bride-to-be Samantha Clowe, who died of heart failure this summer after following the low-calorie LighterLife diet for 11 weeks. Said Clowe’s mother, “She said she wanted respect at work and didn’t want to be a fat bride.” I wonder what was happening in Clowe’s workplace.
I know the pressure she faced as a woman about to be married, because those messages are all around us. Women are bombarded with advertising and advice, encouraging them to be the most beautiful (i.e. skinny) they can possibly be when they walk down the aisle. And in some cases, the most beautiful they cannot possibly be…
Grooms are expected to come as they are, but women almost have to prove themselves worthy of marriage by conforming to a narrow beauty standard. At my cousin M’s wedding a few weeks ago, her maid of honor told me she’d ordered herself a pizza that morning because M had basically been fasting for the days leading up to the wedding. “What’s she been eating?” I asked. “Cigarettes!” I was floored. So that’s why M looked so drastically different than she had last winter, after having a baby. I resent the fact that women are not only expected to treat their wedding days as THE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF THEIR LIVES (no room for “error” or “imperfection”), but to treat themselves like products on display.
How many times a day did the world tell Samantha Clowe she was inferior? She died in pursuit of weight-loss; that her wedding was the finish line is a sad reminder that fat is a feminist issue. On a happier note, CarrieP also sent me a link to a photo pool she started, called Here come the Fat Brides!, which celebrates radiant fat ladies on their wedding days. Enjoy.