Bless her (dieting) heart

Fitting into a dress should not require decided between having the money to add less than an inch of fabric and not eating for two weeks

Fitting into a dress should not require decided between having the money to add less than an inch of fabric and not eating for two weeks

I was at a wedding yesterday.  Very cute wedding.  Wonderful cousin getting married.  Beautiful service.  Amazing outfits.  Humorous minister presiding. I noticed throughout the post-ceremony chattering though that my cousin kept adjusting and shifting in her gorgeous dress.  Come to find out it was a tiny bit tight.  She had bought it over a year ago when she was having much digestion trouble and had lost buckets of illness-related weight.  Since then she has improved and has become an avid runner.  She runs 5 days a week.  Yet even that was not enough to keep the dress perfectly fit I guess.  Unless she was willing to pay more to have the dress let out about 1/4 or 1/2 an inch she would just have to Fit Herself into the gown.  So for the last 2 weeks?  My cousin has not really eaten.  (Or consequently really slept).  And still the dress looked like it felt pretty uncomfortable.  My religious Aunt, on discussing these events and relaying the information that my ordained minister of a cousin had pretty much just Not Eaten for over 14 days said “Bless her heart”.  And I could only just hold back how really freaking sad that makes me. That you would bless anyone for choosing to NOT EAT just to fit into a piece of cloth.  Makes me so frustrated and sad.   Here’s her Headless Thin-y picture on the right.  And I know part of what my Aunt was “blessing” was not so much my cousin’s Noble Choice to Starve, but the fact that she chose that over trying to come up with the money it would have required to add one simple 1/2 inch of fabric to the back of the dress (granted, being a sewing aficionado myself I know it isn’t actually “Easy Peasy” but still, simpler than the exorbitant cost would warrant).

Tights: We Love Colors.  Shoes: Target.  Dress: Etsy.

Tights: We Love Colors. Shoes: Target. Dress: Etsy.

When I told the hubby about all of this he just shook his head and said, “Guys have it so much easier!”  Yeah.  Tell me about it!

On the less sad  and actually much more fun note I wore a fantastic ensemble of bright colors, comfy fabrics and a new pair of red plaid shoes (yes, the only “fun” shoes I’ve ever bought in my life).

Yes, I DID wear bright orange tights and red plaid and brown all together and it felt awesome, fun and finally comfortable at a wedding in a way I’ve not really been for as long as I can think of.  I’ve always thought of weddings as yet another opportunity to be told how great I could look IF I would only lose some weight.  Well you know what?  I look pretty smashing just as is, thanks very much.  And no amount of heart “blessing” will get me to alter my size just so I fit into clothing.  Ever again.

What a crazy world that women find themselves caught trying to choose between fitting clothing to their bodies or fitting their bodies to the clothing in order to afford the clothing they desire.


18 thoughts on “Bless her (dieting) heart

  1. ugh! That poor girl. I wonder how much she really enjoyed her VSD (Very Special Day) having neither eaten nor slept well in weeks. Boo.

    You look fabulous in your orange tights!

  2. As I read your posts, I gratefully identify with your attitude of staying free of the common insanity our fellow humans subscribe to telling themselves that somehow being thinner will bring on some sort of happiness. Feh! I also feel the happiness and liberation and freedom from it in an intense way having myself subscribed to that “I am wrong, I am not enough, I could be so much more than I am” thinking. No more I say.

    Thanks for sharing this moment with the sphere… it helps me to enjoy my new found priorities!!!

    Ckeck out this preview of a soon to be completed documentary on this very subject… If you feel moved to tell others in your network about it. The film maker is so close to completion and is trying to raise funds $5 at a time to finish post production…



  3. Don’t begrudge your Aunt. Maybe she said it in a way meant to sympathize with her, rather than praise her. Obviously, I wasn’t there, but “bless her heart” to me means about the same as “That poor thing.”

    And yeah, the whole pre-wedding panic diets are really sad. But its just another symptom of this culture that insists you look “perfect” (based on the culture’s impossible definition of perfect), especially on the most important day of your life, when YOU are the center of attention.

    I understand why women do it. I just wish it wasn’t such a “have to” do kind of thing.


    • Shannon yeah I am giving my Aunt the benefit of the doubt here because it was more of a “Poor thing, isn’t it sad what we all do to make ourselves feel presentable for our Special Day” then a strictly “Jesus bless her for being so dedicated” but it really does bring up what you go on to say; that our priorities are so whacked when not eating for so long in order to fit a piece of fabric for a few hours is what is deemed “normal” or “acceptable”.

    • “Bless her heart”. […] I know part of what my Aunt was “blessing” was not so much my cousin’s Noble Choice to Starve, but the fact that she chose that over trying to come up with the money it would have required to add one simple 1/2 inch of fabric to the back of the dress

      Well … the Southerners I know often classify “Bless her heart” as a backhanded insult. Rough translations can include “she meant well but that was dumb”.

      And I say this as a woman who once wore an all-in-one girdle/bra combo to get into a size 24 bridesmaid’s dress (after I’d told everyone I’m a size 28) that was purchased without my knowledge or consent.

      • Ooo living400lbs that situation with the bridesmaid dress sounds awful. (Both inconsiderate and awkward). And it is very interesting to hear how the “Bless her heart” has that negative meaning without the religious slight-praise connotations. But thinking about it I know that I HAVE heard the phrase used in situations where the speaker was really indicating someone as being silly, or doing something naive in nature. The fact that my Aunt’s usage likely meant (and was taken by everyone listening) in a completely non-negative and supportive “Oh yeah, that poor (and yet so strongly will-powered!) child!” contrasts with the other possible uses that people are bringing up rather nicely. Words: they mean things (and yet those “things” are not set in stone, even within the same language!). “Fascinating” (to quote my favorite pointy-eared scientist. 😉

  4. My brother is getting married this Saturday. Both he and his fiancee are fat. He wears a 4X and she’s a size 2X. They will still look as great as other couples getting married who are thinner. Weddings should not be about weight, but celebrating a new marriage. It’s sad that our society places so much emphasis on the size of the bride’s waist as the determining factor for how pretty she will look.

  5. That reminds me, it’s probably time once again to bring up the subject of pre-wedding diets and why they suck over at Manolo for the Brides. We’re big proponents of fitting the dress to the woman rather than the woman to the dress.

    Also, look at you! That’s a fierce look and you rocked it to the rafters. Your cousin’s gown was gorgeous, too. I just wish she had been able to feel as good in it as she looked.

  6. Where I come from, the phrase “bless his/her heart” really means…

    “why, that’s the stupidest, most asinine thing I’ve ever heard of and that person is clearly a mouth breathing moron for making that decision, but I guess I am in polite company and have to think of something nice to say, so I am going to say bless her heart rather than what I really think”

    I always warn newcomers to this area that if someone says “well, bless your heart” to them that they have just been insulted 😉

    • according to sarah palin’s usage of “bless your heart,” it also means “youre an asshole, STFU.” its funny watching her use it, and knowing full well what she means based on the context (usually responding to a critic who was being, admittedly, an ass.

      as for the wedding dress situation…its always struck me as odd that you would pay that kind of money for a dress that you werent going to actually have to wear for 6 months to a year later…and that had to fit like a glove. this makes NO sense. really, its insane. i wish you could buy the dress the week before, and have your final fitting and alterations about 4 hours after you woke up, on your wedding day! cuz thats the only way its gonna fit! that, and a lace-up back.

  7. April, you look positively glowing! What a nice picture of you. Too bad that the Bride probably didn’t share this glow, after starving herself to get into the dress. Well, hopefully she’ll recover quickly and get down to the business of enjoying marriage 🙂

    • Thanks Birdyluv and I too hope my awesome cousin gets back to the matter of living and away from worrying about what’s on (or not) her plate. Marriage is trying enough at times without worrying about calorie counts and dress sizes! 🙂

  8. “It’s sad that our society places so much emphasis on the size of the bride’s waist as the determining factor for how pretty she will look.”

    Bree totally.

  9. I can also add, as a person with a disability, that “bless your heart” is very often used in a negative & sometimes even condescending way, so it is very possible that your aunt did not agree with what your cousin.

    • Heh. I do believe it Patsy about the sentences 🙂 And I’d be inclined to agree on the negative meaning except from the situation it was really a more positive thing with maybe a hint of “Oh that silly girl” to it. I say only a hint because my Aunt is really pretty Lose Weight gung-ho all the time so…. Sucks that you’ve been the recipient of the phrase in a really negative way…

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