7 Ways to Stay Body Positive While Bridesmaid Dress Shopping
When you’ve struggled with body image for most of your life, shopping for a bridesmaid dress can be nothing short of anxiety-inducing. While it might not be on the same nightmarish level as swimsuit shopping, you’re still going to be standing in front of potentially hundreds of people in your bridesmaid dress with the photographer snapping away.
If you struggle with body positivity, you certainly aren’t alone. In 2011, Glamour magazine asked women to record how many times they felt bad about their bodies over the course of their day. According to the results, a whopping 97 percent of women had at least one negative thought about their bodies in a single day.
Shopping for a bridesmaid dress should be a fun and memorable experience for everyone. Sadly, it just isn’t that way for many women. To help make shopping for bridesmaid dresses less stressful and way more enjoyable, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Get Your Day Off to a Positive Start
If you know that dress shopping makes you grumpy and negative, do your best to get your day off to a positive start. First, sneak in a small workout to increase your heart rate and boost your endorphins. Then, follow your workout with a healthy breakfast that refuels your body.
Keep the momentum going by looking in the mirror and telling yourself three things you’re grateful for in life. While it may feel silly, practicing self-affirmations (positive statements about yourself) has been proven to boost feelings of self-worth and respond better to stressful events.
Focus on What You Love About Your Body
Everyone has at least one body trait they like about themselves. Focus on this specific trait while you shop for bridesmaid dresses to avoid dwelling too much on things you dislike.
Sure, maybe you think your arms don’t look super flattering in that strappy bridesmaid dress, but perhaps it does an amazing job of showing off your gorgeous legs. Look for the positive wherever you can find it to keep your body positivity high.
If the bride decides to go with the strappy dress, it’s her decision and you’ve got to be okay with it. Just focus on your self-affirmations and try to find ways to play up your favorite features with bridal accessories or makeup tricks.
Suggest Styles That Flatter Everyone
We all have different body shapes that deserve to be shown off with the right dress. If you do a little research beforehand, you might be able to steer the bride-to-be in the direction of certain styles that will flatter everyone.
For example, A-line dresses are a classic dress style because they are universally flattering on most body shapes. If the bride is open to it, she can also create a unique look for her bridal party using bridal separates, which can be flattering for different body shapes as well.
Finally, don’t forget that the bride can always take advantage of the mix and match bridesmaid trend. This look is popular because it allows bridesmaids to choose a unique style that flatters them, so long as it’s the same color.
Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up
If the bride is polite and reasonable, she will want everyone to look and feel comfortable in their bridesmaid dresses. While you should still put your game face on and be open to trying on what she hands you, don’t be afraid to give her some valuable input.
If you don’t feel comfortable in a certain dress style, let her know when she asks for your thoughts. Speaking up could give another bridesmaid the courage to voice their concern about the dress as well. As long as you’re careful to give constructive feedback, the bride will no doubt appreciate the guidance.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Bridesmaids
Teddy Roosevelt said it best: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Just because the other bridesmaids have hourglass figures and you have a pear shape doesn’t make your body any less beautiful than theirs.
When all the other bridesmaids have hourglass figures and you’re apple-shaped, it can be difficult to avoid negative comparisons. But while you’re busy fretting over not having a tiny waist, the rest of the bridesmaids could be lusting after your luscious blonde locks.
It’s important to remember that everyone has something that makes them beautiful. By constantly comparing yourself to others, you’ll only be robbing yourself of the chance to celebrate your own unique beauty.
Know Your Triggers
One minute, you’re scrolling on Pinterest for the latest bridesmaid dress trends and the next, you’re feeling awful about yourself. What happened? Unrealistic beauty standards, that’s what.
Pinterest and Instagram are valuable sources of wedding inspiration that nearly every bride uses to help them plan their dream wedding. Unfortunately, these social media platforms are full of images of women who have been heavily edited to create a picture-perfect ideal that most people can’t attain.
These images can take a huge toll on a person’s self-esteem. If you’ve been researching bridesmaid dress styles as part of your maid of honor duties, consider taking a break from it all until you’re in a better spot mentally.
Resist Buying a Smaller Dress
So, you caught sight of yourself in the mirror and you’re now swimming with negative thoughts. You decide to order a dress that is one size too small because you swear that you’re going to lose weight by the time the wedding day arrives.
Not only is this unrealistic, but it’s also an unhealthy way to motivate yourself to lose weight. Besides, if you don’t meet your goal in time, you’ll be stuck with a bridesmaid dress that you can’t wear.
If you want to lose weight to be healthier, by all means—go for it! Just don’t let a friend’s wedding be your main source of motivation.
Creating a Body Positive Atmosphere
As you shop for bridesmaid dresses, do your best to keep your negative thoughts in check. Try to create a body positive vibe from the start by dishing out compliments to the other maids.
By setting a good example, other bridesmaids will hopefully follow suit and be supportive as well. With a positive and supportive atmosphere, the entire bridal crew will be much happier as they shop for their dresses.