Dealing with Fatphobia on your Wedding Day & Beyond

2020 always felt like it was going to be numerologically significant number, didn’t it? I think it’s fair to say that it’s really not disappointing us! We are living through a bizarre and surreal moment in history, one that could be straight out of a Hollywood movie. While I’ve been heartened by the rise in community spirit, and have been so grateful that technology has lessened the impact of isolation (the internet, as always, proving to be a creative hotbed for humour), I have found myself despairing at the onslaught of exercise videos, healthy cooking advice and the normalisation of fatphobic ‘jokes’ and memes.

My coaching clients have shared that it’s not just the people who they expected might share such hurtful, thoughtless ‘jokes’, but even close friends who they had thought would be more considerate and respectful. Let’s not even fall down the rabbit hole talking about poor Adele.

For a vast chunk of the population, it appears that dying a horrible death isn’t their biggest fear during COVID-19, but rather it’s putting on the ‘quarantine 15’.

While the body positivity movement has made some strong inroads into diet culture, the tendrils of the thin ideal and fear of fat run deep. There is, sadly, still a lot of work to do before the poisonous idea that gaining weight is ‘bad’ and losing weight is ‘good’ can be fully debunked.

Come on people, it’s 2020. The future is here! Aren’t we past fat jokes now? Can’t we see the hurt they cause? And moreover, can’t we see that fatphobia is a form of discrimination? And the worship of thinness, especially in the tabloids (again, poor Adele), keeps us thinking that this is what we should all be striving for.

For me, I’m also noticing a total lack of regard that ‘jokes’ about overeating, restrictive eating and/or binge eating could be incredibly triggering for people recovering from, or coping with, disordered eating or eating disorders.

So, why has there been such a rise in diet culture?

It comes down to people grasping at things they feel they can control in a moment of collective uncertainty within the construct of a social narrative that says we must all be shrinking ourselves to be happy.

Diet culture is so ingrained in our shared culture that even during a time of unprecedented crisis it still permeates into our behaviour.

We are sold the idea that our bodies are easy to control if we can only be disciplined enough. We are also sold the myth that there is one correct way to have a body via the beauty standard (which currently puts thin, white, able bodies at the top of the hierarchy).

We are unable to move, eat and live how we would choose to at the moment, and a lot of people are trying to counter this by creating content that gives them the illusion of control.

Make no mistake, ‘health’ is often diet culture dressed up in lycra. Today, we are meant to be striving for ‘health’, which is, let’s be honest, frequently equated with gaining the ‘perfect body’. In reality, true health is holistic and a far wider reaching concept than a number on the scales. You can be thin and unhealthy and fat and healthy. Health should also include our mental health and we know that diet culture is a shit show for that.

Every time ‘should’, ‘ought’ or ‘must’ pop up in your mind with regards to food – challenge them. Is it just your pesky inner critic beating you up? Tell that bitch to leave the room, because judgement has no place in the most stressful and challenging moment we’ve experienced in generations!

I know that putting on weight might feel like a disaster if you have a wedding coming up, but it really isn’t unless you let it take over in your mind.

What has brought me a lot of solace during this time is seeing lockdown as the ultimate collective act of love. We have stayed home to protect the people we love, to keep the key workers from being too overwhelmed and to keep ourselves safe. If you manage to have a wedding this year, don’t let any changes in your body get you down. Focus on the reasons you wanted to get married, focus on having your favourite people around you or being able to sneak off on your own…and focus on the love. Because, at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.

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Relaxed, No Frills Brooklyn Bridge Park Wedding

They say inspiration can hit you at any moment and Hannah and James were inspired to get married at Granite Prospects at Brooklyn Bridge Park by going on strangers’ wedding websites!

“We saw a couple getting married there and we thought it was a great place – plus it was cheap and easy!” explained Hannah. As a long-distance couple, getting married was particularly exciting for them as they often had to go long stretches of time living in separate countries. “It’s meant that now we can now live together in London with more sense of security and less fear of being separated again,” Hannah explained.

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Colourful & Artistic Australian Wedding with a Parade

With the dress code for the day ‘try to outshine us!’ you just know you’ve got a fun, colourful wedding on your hands! Anna and Alex were inspired by ‘everything and anything’ for their October wedding held in Redfern, Australia. “We only paid attention to traditions that we cared about and agreed with, so we left out a lot of things that people are used to seeing at weddings,” Anna said.

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Punk Princess Castle Wedding

Jonali wore her mother’s wedding dress from 1989 (with a few minor alterations) when she married Michael in September last year. She wanted to play homage to her mother while still making her look her own so she had the sleeves and a bow on the butt (so 80s!) removed which she then used to wrap around her handmade brooch bouquet. Other than that, their main inspo for the day was their venue, Hammond Castle, and wanting to have a dark, ’til death’ vibe.

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The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Makeup for Self-Identifying Men

Photography: Jan Galvan – Creative Direction: Luxe MediaSee the full feature here

It’s 2020 and thinking that makeup is “just for girls” is about as old fashioned as racing to blockbuster for 11pm on a Sunday to return your VHS tapes. But, if you identify as a man or non-binary, where can you go for the best advice? YouTube is obviously a great resource and there are plenty of influencers of all gender identities rocking the most incredible looks, but for your wedding day you may want something a bit more subtle. Plus, doing a face that looks great in a highly edited selfie is very different to creating a look that lasts all day. Makeup artist Natalie Flewitt has been working with male and non-binary clients for years, and today she’s sharing some of her top tips. Over to you Natalie!

Bridal magazines are, on the whole, aimed at women and while you may see plenty of great makeup tips and product recommendations, how do you know if they’ll work for you? While obviously any person can wear whatever the hell they like, if you don’t ever see yourself or your gender represented, it can be confusing.

There are a few differences between biologically male and biologically female skin. It’s not a con or a marketing ploy when you get skincare targeted at different genders. There is often more to it than them just smelling like a rich woodland rather than a flower garden. Biologically male skin is thicker and contains more collagen (so it stays bouncier and youthful for longer), it also produces more sebum so it’s oilier with larger pores, and often has more melanin so it can have more pigmentation… Then there is obviously facial hair. With all this in mind, nothing bad is going to happen if you use face cream aimed at a different gender, but you will get better results by using a product created with your skin type in mind.

Over the years, I have provided makeup services and lessons for many people from the LGBTQ+ community and here are my top tips:

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