This week, several websites took note of a particularly terrible Photoshop atrocity, in the form of this apparently organ-shrinking Vera Wang bridesmaid gown available from David’s Bridal. But that specific image is just the tip of the unfortunate iceberg; on the sites for both David’s Bridal and Vera Wang, many of the models are rail-thin (and, occasionally, teenagers), who have then been additionally digitally altered to the extreme. Because that’s what bridesmaids need. Another reason to feel bad about their bodies.
Here’s another winner from the site:
“Brideorexia,” which was frequently used to refer to Kate Middleton‘s weight loss prior to her wedding, is a concerning enough phenomenon, but what about bridesmaidorexia? Being a bridesmaid can be a supremely body-shaming experience. A handful of women, usually of different shapes and sizes, all getting fitted together, and then trying to fit into the same (or similar) dresses, knowing full well that they will be standing next to each other, in front of a crowd, where their bodies will be on display. It’s not awesome as-is…and with the addition of pages upon pages of 14-year-old models in tiny sample-size gowns making pouty faces, it’s enough to put even a confident woman precariously close to a crash diet or other extreme weight loss solution.
It also bears mentioning that, on the David’s Bridal website, plus-sized dresses are sectioned off separately and filed under “Mothers and Special Guests.” Because, you know, you have to keep fatties in the corner.
Of course, the dresses are by Vera Wang, which means the models are a little more high fashion (read: thin and young and sad-looking) than some of the other pictures on the David’s Bridal website.
But it’s upsetting that that comes with the territory. That, for your wedding, if you have the means and the desire to have designer gowns, you must also be subjected to designer body negativity. Using Photoshop to whittle women into oblivion has become standard operating procedure, but when you’re already feeling vulnerable (because you and 6 other girls are wearing identical tan-colored sheath dresses that flatter no one), it seems particularly gratuitous.
What’s wrong with leaving women’s bodies (which, like the models in question, are already so thin) alone? Are we really purchasing gowns for our friends to wear beside us on our wedding day because of how narrow the model’s waist is?
David’s Bridal offers a survey where visitors are encouraged to give feedback (though mostly about in-store experiences, but it still works). Now might be a good time to take them up on that.
Images: David’s Bridal