All Sizes Fit One

{commence rant}

I’m not sure what initially drew me to Say Yes to the Dress, Bridesmaid-zilla edition, but I’ve seen several episodes over the past few weeks. I don’t usually watch SYTTD, although I did watch the “Big Bliss” segments featuring plus-sized brides. I enjoyed those episodes for showing that pretty brides come in every size and shape.

Anyway, in the Bridesmaid version of the show, we see bridesmaids of all sizes, shapes, and disposition, including a pre-teen bridesmaid who wanted to wear the exact same dress as the older and curvier bridesmaids, a lesbian maid of honor who was completely uncomfortable in the girly-girl frilly dresses her twin sister (a.k.a. the bride) seemed to favor, and a big and bold drag queen who was having trouble fitting into any dress. In between, we’ve had a whole assortment of dramatic moments, as wedding parties are usually made up of (mostly) women of all body types: busty and un-busty, thin and plump, short and tall. I’ve enjoyed seeing how the stylists find solutions that make everyone look good and feel good. Well, as much as anyone can look good in a bridesmaid dress.

So anyway, in this past week’s episode, I was struck (read: fixated) on one bride’s segment. There was some doubt as to whether a bridesmaid’s dress fitting was going to be successful, since she had been advised to order a size 10. The bridesmaid didn’t want to order “a dress that big” (!!!), so she ordered a size 4.

I don’t know (and probably don’t want to know) what she did to make it happen, but the dress did fit, and it’s a good thing because the bride was on record as stating the bridesmaid would be out of the wedding if the dress was too tight, saying, “I don’t want any sausages in my wedding.”

Really? This is how you speak about a (presumably) cherished friend who’s paying $$$ from her own pocket to be in your wedding? It doesn’t say much about their friendship, IMO, or the bride’s character. (Confession: I secretly hoped she’d trip as she walked down the aisle, but if that happened, they didn’t show it. And yes, I realize I’m probably going to hell for that thought.)

I don’t know why this story bugged me so much, but I thought about it a lot over the weekend. (It was a slow weekend.) I think I found my answer when I came across my “souvenir tags” in a box in my dresser.

sizes on tags

At some point in my weight loss process, I decided to save the size tags as I progressed into a new size. Mile markers, if you will. :)

While I’m sure it surprises no one that I didn’t collect size tags when I was wearing size 22s and 2Xs, I wish now that I had saved those tags. Not only were they part of who I was, they’re part of who I am now. To paraphrase an Anne Lamott quote, I am every size I’ve ever been.

I’ve been the girl/woman whose dress/uniform/jacket didn’t fit, whether it was too big or too small, and I’ve been the girl/woman who wasn’t chosen for this or that based on size or appearance or general geekiness. I know what that feels like–the embarrassment, the hurt, the shame. Despite my weight management (mostly) success, I can’t un-know those feelings.

What’s really odd is that in this moment, and for what I think is the first time, I am feeling grateful for those memories, because a) I may feel them again someday and my older wiser self knows my value to the planet isn’t related to my size or appearance, and b) I’m acutely aware of my power to cause someone else to have those feelings.

As for the bride and bridesmaid in question, well, we can only hope that they develop older, wiser selves soon.

And that they learn that a size 10 (or a size 20 or 30) is nothing to be ashamed of; dumping a “best friend” from your wedding because of the fit of a dress IS shameful behavior. But that’s just my opinion.

{end rant}

18 thoughts on “All Sizes Fit One

  1. My first thought was that I continue to be amazed at what’s on TV these days. Since I don’t watch TV at all, it takes someone like you to enlighten me!

    And I have also thought a lot about wanting to always use the lessons I’ve learned in a way that are helpful to others. Sadly to say, people are often just plain cruel. I also think TV (along with most other media outlets) does all they can to make it worse.

  2. They only find the worst of the worst for those shows. Never do they show the weddings were all goes smooth and the bridesmaids look lovely at any size and no tears/screaming/fighting. One of the reasons I hardly ever watch reality TV (Project Runway being the exception).

    I still feel all of those feelings as well. Amazing how I can still cringe at things from grade school, too. I kept 1 pair of jeans in size 24 and 1 shirt that is 3x so that I can look at them and recall how far I have come. Even if I never get down to a size 4 (or 6 even) and I would look like a sausage in that woman’s wedding – I know where I was and what I came from.

  3. You said it, Girl. That is one of the most shallow things I’ve heard in a long time. I wouldn’t want her for a friend.
    I love that saying, “I am every size I’ve ever been”. That one is new to me.

  4. Words of wisdom from Cammy. I’ve seen snippets of that show on the ads for it and wouldn’t watch it. I’d rather hang out with my wise bloggy friends.

  5. I agree… how shallow can someone be and wow I wouldn’t want to be a friend of hers in a million years.

    Love your tag idea and since I am still up in the bigger sizes I might just start doing that… thanks for your blog it is an inspiration.

  6. annnnd :) I cant believe they are doing this to men now too.
    and how on earth DO they vanity size “waist stuff.”

    husband wears a size 30 in a specific brand.
    it’s no 30 :-) not sure why they mess with it as I had to return the 34 then the 32 to get here.

  7. I can’t watch shows like that, spikes my blood pressure too high. LOL If my “friend” told me that, I’d say “how about we save my wallet and you the trouble of having a sausage in your wedding party and I’ll watch from the pews because I love you but not enough to put up with a bridezilla.”

    I was the girl whose graduation gown didn’t fit because when she met her future husband her senior year, she stopped dieting. Mmm hmm. So I had to go back and get a larger size. It was white. I looked like the Stay Puft marshmallow woman.

  8. Cammy – I love watching the brides shows – Yes to the Dress BUT I never got into the bridesmaid one – it drove me crazy last season when they first showed it & never went back…

    Very important post here & I love how you tie it all together about who we are as a person!

  9. I was watching those show but missed that one after my husband came into the room! I am appalled by the behaviour of many of the woman – brides and maids.

    Cute that you have your tag collection! I am with you on the sizes, though.

  10. thanks for this post I looovveee it :) ‘m still unattached but I love the tpic here.

  11. I saw that show and I had a very different reaction from you. I instead was thinking about the nerve of that bridesmaid to order a dress several sizes smaller than she was told would fit her. What if it didn’t!? She got lucky, IMO. Or she worked really hard to get into it. They didn’t say.

    I was telling my husband, who happened to see some part of the show and comment that the gals should have some say in what they are paying to wear, that with all the weddings I was in, I NEVER once got to give any input on the dress I wore. Zip, zero, nada. And let me tell you, there were some darn ugly dresses IMO. Most of them never even came home with me from weddings out-of-state. Wear them again?! Too funny. As for my own wedding, I also didn’t give my few gals any input BUT, we paid for their dresses.

  12. My daughter found Bridezillas, and on one episode the bride was parading out her wedding party at a fitting and pointing out every single thing wrong that she felt the person should then go out and work on because she wasn’t having any “ugly women” in her bridal party. Those shows are truly astonishing, and vulgar.

    I didn’t save the tags, but I think I saved actual clothing pieces! We spend too much time overlooking who someone IS while looking at their appearance. Yuck!

  13. I love that quote. I’ve come to the stage of my life where I see my weight gain as an opportunity to get to know myself and free myself of more than unwanted pounds.

    I couldn’t watch shows like that! Who raised these people?

  14. I actually agree with Karen… I was amazed that the bridesmaid would jeopardize her friend’s wedding over something so shallow. EVERYONE knows that bridesmaids dresses are sized in a parallel reality that has no bearing on the real world. Buy the size your measurements indicate, and get over yourself!

  15. I guess I will be going to hell with you. How shallow of the bride! To lose a friend over the size she is??? Really? Do you think people that think that way ever change? Mature? Look back at something like that and feel utterly ashamed of themselves???
    I had never heard “I am every size I have ever been.” I LOVE that!

  16. Jeez, what a terrible person that bride was. We don’t have bridesmaids here, just the maid of honour, and they wear whatever they want. It’s not the custom to color-coordinate everything and be all crazy about it.. but I’ve seen these shows and some brides are awful.

    Speaking of big sizes, I was a big bride (obviously), and I felt really beautiful and special. Being big wasn’t a problem, as there were dresses ALL sizes. And the lady in the store I wound up shopping at was SO honest with me. Told me what was flattering and what wasn’t, all in a very delicate way. I loved her.

  17. Good rant Cammy. I LOVE SYTTD, but don’t love the bridesmaid version. These women really seem awful….and shallow and I get sick of them all. I think Lori hit it on the head with her comment “they pick the worst of the worst” (I also hate the cheesy introductions by the consultants “XX is wearing a blue dress with a sweetheart neckline and dropped waist..etc, etc.” Um…we can see that…) Sure seems like some of those women need to be hit on the head too. I will now wrap up my ranting comment. Hope you are having a great week.

  18. “I am every size I’ve ever been” Yes…and every age too :-)

    I don’t watch TV…it makes me dizzy, literally. It didn’t always, but something changed in the past five or more years so I have to be careful. It’s funny because when I was at Green Mountain At Fox Run there was a TV in the common area and a marathon of Golden Girls episodes was on. I didn’t get dizzy. So it’s not just me…it’s how they film stuff!

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