The fantasy of a perfect wedding is infectious, a spindrift dream of puffy skirts, relaxed but efficient event management, and best of all, the bride’s perfect body – forever preserved as a replica cake-topper (see the image echoing Atwood’s Edible Woman) and of course, the photos and videos.
She can’t eat any of the cake, though! With all this pressure, it’s no wonder that feeding tube diets have become quite popular to help the crash diet bride (she probably crashes at the end, too). It’s very confusing that a ceremony about a beginning is viewed as the end point – crystallising your body at that moment in time, rather than maybe “We both decided to be healthy as an investment in ourselves and our future together”.
Someone asked me recently, “So will you be losing weight for your wedding, then?”. I was too shocked to answer, but I spent the rest of the day spiralling into quick diet plans and fixating on how fat I looked, and trying to contradict myself by remembering that I can probably deadlift the commenter’s body weight. Not only is it rude to assume that someone is unhappy with their body (ahh, thanks for telling me I had a problem! I didn’t realise!), it is also dangerous to comment without context, given the high incidence of a history of eating disorders across a range of age groups. We are doing everything else outside of the norm, so it would be nice to skip these interactions as well.
I comfort myself with the fact that I’m not marrying a contortionist and adopting their diet of coffee and a small meal a day (1940), or parting with someone because of stale bread (1908), or a weight cruelty contract (1930). Thank heavens for the anti-divorce diet (1938). The perfect wedding is one where people care about you beyond your body.
Image from: Novel wedding cake. (1935, May 29). Examiner(Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), p. 8 Edition: Daily.