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Fat Bridesmaid

Back in 2011, my best friend got engaged to her boyfriend and announced a wedding within the year.  I was overjoyed for her, she had found happiness after a rough ride with men and we all looked forward to a big wedding - or did we all?
My friend had asked me to be her maid of honour, I was (of course) honoured but the little fat girl in the back of my brain was screaming at me.  Being part of the bridal party meant that I needed to wear a bridesmaid dress, typically something in a shiny, non-forgiving fabric and would mean numerous trips to different shops to try on different garments until the bride was happy.  I, at a size 24, was petrified.
At 22 years old, I was not happy with my body.  My demons were well and truly in place, I hated my fat face, my huge belly and my heavy J cup boobs which were heading to the South pole faster than father fricking Christmas.... so the idea of playing dress up at Debenhams with my slimmer counterparts? No.
To be fair to the bride, she was lovely - being a larger lady herself she was not about to stick me in a silk body con dress and make me feel concious about myself.  But it didn't matter, because I was in that place that whatever I wore was going to make me think I looked like King Kong in a nightgown.
Every little thing became overplayed and over thought, stupid little things became something I would obsess about in my head - the cut of the dress, would it show my protruding belly? The  colour, would it make me look bigger? The hair piece, would it draw attention to my face?
By working myself up over 6 months, I began to lose sight of the overriding reason why I was putting this dress on in the first place and making fittings, which should have been a time of champagne and giggles, a miserable experience and hard work for the bride.  Surely, my love for my friend should have been my only focus.

It's easy to look back now, someone who has a whole lot more confidence than before, and say that it was silly to feel this way and I should love my body for what it is, but I'm sharing this with you because I know that there are people out there that feel this way still.  Maybe you've even stumbled across this blog by typing in some key words into a search engine, hoping that there's someone out there who can help you feel less like the fat bridesmaid that I felt like 2 years ago.  I'm afraid there's no quick fix for feeling this way, I've learnt that body acceptance is a journey - one which I'm still on myself.
I still have days when I feel like the fat bridesmaid, I roll out of bed and look at my hanging belly whilst waiting for the bath to fill.  I feel crap.  But then there are days when I feel amazing, like my curves are the symbol of womanhood and fill out my dress perfectly - I wish I could bottle up those days and apply it like a perfume to boost my belief in my own self worth.  I wish I could give it you, my little fellow bridesmaid.

When I look at these photos now (the few that I kept, because I hated how I looked back then) I can see my beauty.  I, ironically, love the dress and how I looked in it. More than anything, I love how happy I look, it reminds me of a day of love and happiness, which it was it should have been about in the first place.

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