Wedding Bikini and wedding dresses

After reading a few wedding blogs in recent times (in an attempt to promote research! My PhD is my boyfriend’s, and we’re serious already), It’s been a challenge not to notice the underlying message that runs through the advice offered to prospective brides. Brides have to cover up “figure flaws” if they do not possess what’s considered to be the “ideal” body shape (an hourglass for those who play in the comfort of their home), and because the focus of attention is on her, she should appear “picture perfect.”

It’s not just that this “perfection” is necessary for her to fulfill her bridal role or bride herself, but it is also more important because she’s at the very top of her romantic story, and it’s also a requirement. This is the most important moment of her entire life (isn’t this?), and she must become the best version of herself. And if she’s not, then what’s the reason?

To prove that she’s worthy of being married? In order to “make her cousins jealous” (as one website for bridal fitness suggested)? To demonstrate her capability to succeed in this wedding ceremony as a part of society? Maybe any of these (cousins to be included).

To be your “best self” in the blogosphere generally involves dressing in a manner that reshapes her body to create a pleasing figure. Suppose there’s “too much” of the way she looks. In that case, she’s urged (in subliminally optimistic terms) to “channel her wedding planning stress into exercise,” which is not surprising given the added benefits of losing fat.

What she’s wearing in this image is wedding elegance. It is her responsibility to make decisions that enable her to achieve this image so that she doesn’t feel embarrassed when it comes to The Day. In the end, as the blog mentioned in a post, it was helpful to their readers that wedding pictures last forever.

Another type of clothing that we are compelled to wear is bikinis. For bikinis to look the way you “should,” we must have a flat stomach as well as hips that are slim and boyish or glide with a smooth curvature from waist to legs. We shouldn’t be too sexually sexy and should not show some “excess” flesh in wearing one.

Bikinis, even as short as they may be, conceal everything and use them “properly,” we have to create the “bikini body,” in which we reshape our bodies to fit and reflect the image we want to portray. Suppose we’re not able to look like this. In that case, there are plenty of “flattering” one-pieces that will, just like the perfect wedding dress, cover every one of the wearer’s “flaws”: that is, her inability to wear the bikini in a socially acceptable way.

This message is conveyed by the bodies of models in catalogs of swimwear as well as fashion magazines’ editorials on swimwear. We also uphold it in many ways, both as individuals and as a community, by keeping an eye on each other and also our own.

We are on diets, and we use fake tan in order to attain the slim, brown physique that we’re “supposed” to have and smile at other women on the beach who dare to “flaunt” themselves without upholding the nonsensical triplet that is Western female beauty being beautiful, thin and young. We hide the parts of our bodies we’re embarrassed by, seeing that the problem is an inherent flaw in us rather than an issue with our way of judging ourselves.

Of of course, no bikini or wedding dress is able to affect us in any way apart from altering how we appear. We entrust them with symbolic significance in our relationship to them as wearers. This kind of relationship goes beyond just wanting to appear “good,” as we consider that in order to be able to wear them, we need to change our embodied selves in order to fit into the image that we’re “supposed” to project when wearing them.

P.S. I’ll close on a stoic note by linking to a photo I shared via my website, Fashademic, at the beginning of this year. It is a rebuttal to the standard “How To Dress For Your Shape,” and I firmly endorse its wise advice: “how to achieve a ‘bikini body How do you get a ‘bikini body’? You can put a bikini on the body.”

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