Sarah Moffat has been blogging about fashion and beauty for years, and she had surrounded herself with a supportive, body-positive community online. But when she went to plan her wedding this summer, she came face to face with the negative, fat-shaming attitude she’d worked so hard to eliminate from her life since she was a teenager.
“On the one hand, you’re getting all these messages designed for women who are planning their weddings which are like, ‘This is your day. You can do whatever you want. It’s all about you,’ ” the 25-year-old tells Yahoo Lifestyle from her home in Edinburgh, Scotland. “And on the other hand, I was going to dress-fitting appointments at stores where I was being asked to try on a size 16 (U.K.) dress — I am like a 20-22 — and to make a judgment about whether or not I wanted to buy that dress based on trying on that sample that was clearly too small for me.”
Much of the media she saw reinforced the image of the slim bride being the only kind of happy bride. When Moffat, who blogs as Velveteen Femme, joined wedding-planning groups online, she encountered even more negative messaging. Women would complain about their bodies and share plans for extreme dieting before their big day.
“I’m just really sad that people feel that way about themselves and feel that need to change themselves, when really, on your wedding day, I think all you should be worried about is how loved you are and how happy you’re going to be in your future,” she said.
As you may be able to tell by her defiant Twitter post, sharing her wedding photos this week, Moffat does not buy into the “shedding for your wedding” mentality.
“The levels of body shaming & fatphobia in the wedding industry are WILD,” she wrote on Sunday in a tweet that now has 876 likes and 154 retweets. “To all the plus size brides out there: I looked stunning on my wedding day & so will you.”
Getting to that point still took some dedicated searching. Though designers like Christian Siriano and have added plus-size dresses to their collections, Moffat found the selection in the U.K. pretty limited.
“It’s a misconception, that looking your best means that you’re thin,” Siriano told Mic earlier this year. “That’s why so many brands think that a bride doesn’t want to see a plus-size woman advertising dresses for them, which is false.”
Some designers will make dresses in bigger sizes but add extra surcharges to their price.
After Moffat tweeted her frustration, she found a few bridal salons that carried her size. Still, none of them had much that matched her fashion-forward aesthetic, until she looked at the site of one of her favorite retailers, ASOS. By the time she was ready to say “yes” to the dress from the brand’s Curve wedding collection, it had sold out, but a customer service rep on Twitter helped her find one in France.
“I like that it’s really simple,” Moffat said of the draped, short-sleeve gown. “What I liked when I tried on this dress is that there’s no boning, there’s no structure. In photos you can see my belly rolls, and that’s OK.”
Both at her wedding in September and on Twitter, onlookers agree with Moffat that this gown suited her perfectly.
“Yeeeeesssssssss this is now my number one inspiration for my own fat wedding next year,” @raine_of_terror replied.
“Wow you look amazing and I love that you went for something you felt great in and was a bit different to the usual meringue,” wrote Tracy Brocking.
Moffat is pleased by the response, but said she’d be just as happy if she hadn’t received any at all.
“It’s really revolutionary for a woman to stand up and say, actually, I look really good,” she told Yahoo. ” Five years ago, I probably wouldn’t have been saying that. It took me a long time to get to the point where I don’t care. If every reply to that tweet had been actually you look terrible, I wouldn’t have cared, because I don’t think I do. I think I look amazing.”
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