Feeling underconfident often becomes the default option when you don’t fit into the mould that society would like you to. When you’re a curvy woman who is not like the models or actresses seen on TV, a lot of people around you will tell you to change. Going shopping, and seeing that nothing is available in your size, feels like a sign that you are not deserving of living the life that thin people do. This gets amplified when you go wedding shopping.

Why wedding shopping can be traumatising for someone who isn’t a sample size

When you go wedding shopping, you realise that a lot of stores only carry sizes like small and medium. The problem with this is that people who are larger cannot even try the stuff on. You can only customise a lehenga you can at least put on, right?

If you have a large bust like yours truly, every time you went lehenga shopping, you’d be able to put on a medium-sized lehenga skirt, but wouldn’t be able to try on the choli because they only make them in medium sizes. Someone smaller can put on a big blouse and have clips added to cinch the blouses or skirts while trying on Indianwear. Someone bigger cannot do that. So why isn’t the sample size in stores larger? What sense does it make to have smaller sample sizes when few people can try them on?

The struggle of trying to force a tight blouse down your neck, or trying to zip up a kurta that just won’t fit, soon turns into a horror story that will put one off the idea of having a wedding. 

It’s important to remember that your body is beautiful despite other people’s opinions

You will hear a lot of things like, “Moti ladkiyon pe low-waist lehenga acha nahi lagta,” or “Large-busted girls look indecent in low-cut blouses,” or “Itna fitting wala kapda mat lo, tumhari body poori dikhegi.” From “well-meaning” relatives to aunties in boutiques and tailors, everyone seems to be on a mission to hide your body, like its size is something shameful to be disguised in a boxy tent. 

When you have a large bust and go shopping, it quickly becomes clear that the majority of clothing made for larger busts is actually an attempt to hide those bodies. All the blouses with fun necklines are in smaller sizes. For larger sizes, lehenga tops get longer, and turn into short kurtis. It’s a lot like what happens with bras: there are so many cute and fun bras for smaller busts, but very few options for bigger busts. As sizes go up, the options available shrink. Why do those making lehengas think bigger women want to hide their bodies?

But today, the fact is, we have a Sabyasachi doing an entire ad campaign with gorgeous curvy women wearing low-cut blouses. This proves that the visibility of breasts or big bellies does not take away from the grace, beauty, or charm of a woman. So ladies, it’s the mindset which is the problem, not your body. You should never feel that you cannot wear something because people think it’s not meant for your “body type.” 

Image credit: Instagram.com/sabyasachiofficial, photography by Farhan Hussain

It’s fine to want to lose weight for yourself and your health, but not the way the wedding industry pushes crash diets on brides

Nobody tells you how difficult it is to be a curvy woman who is about to get married, not just because finding clothes is tough, but also because of the pressure to lose weight. 

Image credit: Yash Raj Films

© Provided by iDiva
Image credit: Yash Raj Films

It’s very easy to fall into that trap of feeling like you need a crash diet or you won’t be able to have the dream wedding you see in magazines, because how else will you fit into any lehengas? How else will you get the kind of photos you see of fairytale weddings, where everything is big and fat, except the bride? This is what’s physically dangerous. Feeling like you need to go on a juice fast to be half your body weight, as the result of a shopping excursion, is not healthy. 

And honestly, for those of us who are multiple sizes away from being a sample size, there’s no way to easily lose weight in four months, if we are to believe that the argument here is about the health problems associated with obesity and not just a sheer disregard for curvy bodies. 

Yet, so many to-be brides lose weight just for their wedding, not their health. They lose weight just to fit into certain clothes, and to look “good” in photos. Are we really going to say that crash dieting for a month for a wedding is healthy? Forget healthy, it doesn’t even yield results that last a month!

In the end, those of us suffering due to this must ask ourselves: Why should I have to change my size in order to wear nice clothes? Even if someone “overweight” wants to lose weight, that should come from their own desire to do so, for their own health or fitness, and not as a result of them being defeated by the lack of clothing options available.

How one can balance the demands of looking a certain way with preserving one’s self-esteem

Practically speaking, when it comes to weddings, everything is so overwhelming that one has to pick their battles. Prioritise what matters the most to you, and don’t dwell on the things you cannot change in a matter of months—like your weight. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and being relaxed are very important in order to cope with the disturbingly intense pressures of wedding planning. You cannot be eating less, getting headaches, or feeling lethargic due to starving yourself—it’s just not healthy. 

Image credit: iStock Photo

© Provided by iDiva
Image credit: iStock Photo

It’s also important to love your body in whatever shape it is in. Your body is not an anomaly, and is in fact the norm if one looks beyond the pages of a magazine. If people are saying negative things about your body—and certain people always will—it’s not a reflection of you, but of them, and often a projection of their own insecurities. You have to ask yourself what makes you feel good about yourself, if other people’s views were not a factor to consider. That’s what matters. 

Your wedding should be a celebration of you and your partner’s love. Your body will change over the years. What matters is the smile on your and your partner’s faces, which you will look back at fondly. 

Lead image credit: Dharma Productions, Phantom Films, Yash Raj Films