Friday, 1 June 2012

It's ok to be you on your wedding day. (In which I come dangerously close to quoting Bruno Mars)

Some of you lovely people out there may know this already, but I am recently engaged. It's brilliant and I am very excited and happy, but that's another post.

This post is about something that doesn't make me happy. I've been engaged a matter of days and already the pressure is starting. As I type this, my Facebook ads are as follows:

Lose 2 Stone in 2 Weeks Lose stone and join the diet revolution like everyone else.

Lose 6 Kgs in 2 Wks Keep the kilograms off with these sneaky tricks...

Reach your Wedding Weight Lose the Weight in Just One Week at UKs Most Exclusive Weight Loss Retreats

It's not just offensive because of the crap grammar.

The pressure is always there from the media to look a certain way or break your heart trying but in my years of using Facebook, I have never seen a Facebook ad for weight loss. Now that I have decided to publish my happy news on there, what I get in return is a never-ending stream of confidence chipping. I can refresh and three or four ads will replace them. Lose 2 stone, slim down, learn this diet trick, no need to go to the gym, secret diet weapons, lose weight, lose inches... chipchipchip. This kind of aggressive advertising isn't meant to get you the first time you see it, or the second... it's unrelentingly there, in the corner of your eye.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, there's nothing wrong with being really slim if that's the way you are but I really object to constantly being told that I should lose weight at whatever cost. Two stone in two weeks? Are you kidding me?

Now, I am not in amazing shape. I had a baby four months ago. Maybe I could stand to lose a little, but I'm pretty happy in my own skin right now. What really hacks me off is people trying to create insecurity, not just for me but for any bride. Oh and I'm not saying that men aren't under pressure but I've seen my fiancé's Facebook and there isn't a diet ad in sight.

It just makes my heart sink. Aside from this having an effect on me as a bride, it also impacts on me as a wedding photographer. It's not just weight loss either.

Like when I get an email from a couple and before they're even telling me about their wedding, they're apologising. "I'm not that photogenic". "I'm not the prettiest". "I'm not the skinniest".

Please, let's set the record straight. We are so bombarded with advertising and  images and people trying to make money from putting us down that sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees.

All a bride and groom, or a bride and bride, or a groom and groom is is two people getting married. Aside from the legal criteria that is ALL YOU HAVE TO BE.

Don't apologise for it.
Don't torture yourself.
Just give me two people in love, being themselves and I am happy.

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