I am not sure what is more disgusting (a) having a feeding tube inserted in your nose for 10 days (b) the fact that women, brides-to-be specifically, are seeking out this extremely invasive and expensive diet plan to shed a few pounds before finding their wedding dress.It’s real, I swear. The diet involves a carbohydrate-free “puree” fed through the tube, providing the woman with 800 calories a day. Just to put this into perspective for those of us who skipped out on the nutrition 101 elective in college — according to the Mayo Clinic, a woman that is 30 years old, 5’6″, 170lbs, and somewhat active needs 2,050 calories per day. On average, it is said that women need around 1,700-2,000 calories per day. Well OF COURSE these brides are losing weight fast.
It makes me really sad to read about this new diet plan being sought after by so many brides. The diet, despite being monitored by a doctor, is not healthy. It is not healthy nor safe to lose 20lbs in 10 days. Plus, many women are losing weight faster than that. And for what? So they can go to the bridal salon, stand up in front of their girlfriends, mother, and grandmother and feel… skinny. Really? That’s where our society has led us?
I’ve been playing this scenario in my head.It can go two ways.
“Honey, I’m going to go on a diet so I can fit into my wedding dress.” – Bride-to-be
“Sweetheart, you do not need to go on a diet. You’re going to look beautiful” – Groom-to-be
“No. I am going on this diet. I do not feel comfortable in my body.” – Bride-to-be.
(Bride is going to go on diet regardless of how much groom tells her she does not need to)
“Honey, I am going to go on a diet so that I can fit into my wedding dress.” – Bride-to-be
“That is probably a good idea.” – Groom-to-be
(Obviously this should be a huge red flag for the bride, but for simplicity, I had to keep it short)
Option A tells me that the bride feels so uncomfortable in her own body that despite her own soon to be husband telling her she is beautiful, she goes ahead with the $1,500 procedure and is on a feeding tube for 10 days. It tells me that she has been so inundated by pictures of “what a woman should look like” in the media that she cannot possibly slip into a wedding dress until she loses 20 lbs.
Option B tells me that well, obviously her husband to be is a jerk. But it tells me very similar things as option a. Her husband has been extremely influenced by the media’s portrayal of ‘beauty’ that he needs his bride to look like that on their wedding day. Despite the love and commitment he displayed in asking for her hand in marriage, that commitment is actually contingent upon her fitting the mold of beauty.
Who do I blame for this? Society. We openly welcome pictures, advertisements, movie characters, music videos, etc. to show tall, big-chested, flat-stomached (a popular trend on Twitter today was #flatstomachappreciationday — no, I could not make that up), tan, blue eyed, blonde hair, toned arms, legs, abs, and ass women. I would even go as far to say that it is expected. And this goes for both men and women. I will be the first to admit that Zac Efron and Justin Timberlake are two very attractive, easy-to-look-at celebrities, just as my boyfriend would gladly admit that Megan Fox and Jennifer Love Hewitt are attractive women. But my boyfriend looks nothing like Zac or Justin and dear lord, I look nothing like Megan or Jennifer. Yet we can still be in a loving, committed, non-judgmental relationship because we acknowledge that the looks of these celebrities are not the be-all-end-all of someone’s self-worth and value. They are not objective characteristics, they are socially constructed traits that society has taught us to find attractive. Yes, our attraction is rooted in social constructions.
I am an avid Pinterest geek, but I am so disappointed in the amount of pins on fitness, body toning, and weight loss. People are no longer working out to stay healthy and somewhat in shape. They are working out to mold their bodies in Barbie-esque figures because that is what they have been told they need to look like.
This is what the media and society are defining as beauty:
It worries me that these brides cannot see past the social construction of beauty and that their marriages feel as though they are depending on how well she fits into her wedding dress. It boggles my mind how doctors are applauding this treatment and welcoming women to participate. Well, it doesn’t completely boggle my mind. The procedure is extremely expensive and therefore the medical field is profiting greatly from this. But at what cost to society?
So brides-to-be: Stop basing your judgement of yourself off of what you read in People or US Weekly or what you see on television. That is crap. It is fake. It is socially constructed and it is no way to guide your health and your well-being. If you have a man that will not accept you until you stick a tube up your nose, you should be walking away from him, not down the isle toward him. If you have a man telling you not to do the diet because you are beautiful, you should be running down that isle. Listen to him. You are beautiful. Find your beauty in places outside of magazines and movie screens.