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Monday, June 22, 2009

faux wedding dress shopping...

Well, Wedding Week is over. I miss it. I enjoyed starting every day with a specific task: "We've got a live hit in 30 seconds... standby!"

What a trip. Live TV is fun and exciting. It's also stressful. I didn't understand how much work goes into a story or a live shot before this week. The photographer and reporter have to work in tandem to get a creative and interesting shot. They have to be in constant contact with the station who tells them when their live shot will be and for how long. And before any of this happens, hours of ideas and research went into lining up each day's locations, etc. I have a very, very deep appreciation for the news biz now--one I could never have understood as I sat in my media classes in college or even as I relentlessly pitched the assignment/news desk when I was an intern at a PR firm. It's a crazy world--one that I am so grateful to have been a part of (semi-vicariously) last week.

Now that I have the good stuff out of the way, I have to dog the Friday shoot. Last week on Wednesday I went to find my faux dress for Friday. The lady who helped me, Shanna, was a doll. In fact, I spent 20 minutes telling her about the many bad experiences I had had at other area bridal gown salons. She was tactful, kind, attentive and very patient. I tried on a few dresses until I found one different enough from my real dress and that felt good on and that made me feel dazzling. It was pretty with all the sequins, lace and beads. I was done for the day and my fears were calmed by Shanna that I wouldn't be huge looking compared to the other three models.
elegant & intricate sweet heart bodess
lace & beaded skirt & train
Fast forward to Friday. I arrived at the Bridal Mart. Shanna greeted me warmly and immediately begin helping me get into my gown. She laced up the dress, put my veil in and found a necklace for me to wear and it was go time. They had each girl come out one at a time. I was last. Much to my surprise, the other three girls were all very tiny. Oh well, I was ready to go and I was feeling pretty good. I came out last.

After a week of driving all over the county to each shoot, I felt especially proud when the reported asked for Lindsay, the bride who's been with them all week, to come out. She then turned to the Bridal Mart consultant, whose name I don't remember, and asked her to comment on the dress. The consultant mentioned something about plus sizes. As soon as the photographer began filming the back of my dress, my glowing smile turned into a stoic look of disappointment. Plus size? Really? What a jerky thing to say on live TV. In fact, she could have said anything else. How about commenting on how this dress flattered my shape. Or how about saying at the very beginning of the shoot that the Bridal Mart offers a wide variety of sizes from 2-22 and that viewers would be seeing a variety of styles that look good on many different body types. Why the heck is it even remotely appropriate to talk about plus sizes when referring to me, a real person (not a paid model!), especially since all the other girls were twigs. Well, news flash: I AM NOT PLUS SIZED!!! I am a healthy, curvy, normal body type. I am appalled at the unprofessionalism of that consultant and I am equally impressed by the out-cry of friends and family who called and emailed immediately afterward to say what I was already thinking: YOU ARE NOT PLUS SIZED! For the other tall and curvy viewers out there, how did that make you feel--especially if you are "plus sized"? I didn't help either that by Friday all my friends, family, co-workers, friends of friends, friends of the family were watching! Sooo embarrassing!

Needless to say, I was very disappointed by the way the week ended. It wasn't Darsha's fault. It wasn't Shanna's fault (who was so thankful for my participation, she gave me a 25% coupon for a veil, shoes and jewelry). A thoughtless and unprofessional comment put a damper on a really neat experience. I should get over it. But I guess having been a tall and muscular girl my whole life, I am not okay with a normal, healthy person being labeled incorrectly. It's okay to be big and its ok to be healthy. The consultant at the Bridal Mart perpetuated the stereotype that anything over a size 2 is a plus size. I'm not okay with that. Being tall, strong, healthy and curvy is cool! My fiance likes me curvy!!! So Darsha, there's an idea for your next story: the myth of super skinny being healthy or "plus sized" people be treated so differently than others!

Curvy hugs & squeezes,


  1. I think you made a typo! It says "It was Darsha's fault."

    You know how I feel! I think it was really mean of that lady to say that. There was no reason to call you out and label you, especially for something you are not. Silly, really. Bad move.


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