June 26th, 1991…
I got married in a black dress that was handed down by a friend who lost weight. I wouldn’t have dared wear a white dress not just because I was no longer a virgin (we already had our 2 kids by then) but because black was slimming and flattering and I had to look beautiful on my wedding day, right? I didn’t feel so beautiful, though.
I look at pictures of that day and cringe for the young woman I was then… absolutely no confidence, marrying a man who had taken advantage of my lack of self-esteem and would continue to do so. I didn’t believe I deserved any better, having been raised by a mother who constantly reminded me that no man would ever love a fat woman.
How different would life have been had I listened to our 3-year-old son, Jason, who yelled out “NOOOOOOO!” when Pastor Jones said “if anyone objects to this marriage, let him speak now or forever hold his peace”. Jason was fidgety and wanted to get away from our friends and run around the church. Hindsight often made me wonder whether it was an omen. Would I have gained self acceptance sooner? Or did the next 10 years and our marriage ending the way it did (NOT pretty or amicable) give me the strength to finally love and stand up for myself?
Some may ask why do I bring up the past? It’s so I’ll never be doomed to repeat it; also to show others that it’s never too late to take that first step towards confidence, self love and acceptance.
It was a long journey but, 26 years after my wedding, I love the woman in the mirror, know my worth and refuse to settle for less than I deserve. I’m fatter now than I was then but no longer hide my body. Two weeks ago, for the first time, I wore a white dress for the All White Cruise during Full Figured Fashion Week…. and felt absolutely beautiful.
If you’re on your own journey towards self acceptance and body love, please follow my Facebook and Instagram pages for affirmations, inspiration, information and fashion,…. thanks!!
8 thoughts on “All Dressed in Black”
Great story, at least with the ending being happy! Your mother was like millions of others, and the myth that no man will look twice at a fat woman is propagated to similar millions of vulnerable young girls. And so it has been going, at least since 1920. I have never dated, married, or partnered with any large woman who didn’t go through this with their mother (or in one case, her father, instead), which helped make a size acceptance activist out of me, by the way. And to rise above all that, as you did, can be a lifelong struggle, which all too often is never surmounted, even late in life! I am so glad you did, and that some great support groups exist to help make it possible!
A typical communication between a mother and her daughter, if she was someone I was dating: “I don’t know what Bill sees in you, but I guess love is blind!”
Thank you, Bill. I do appreciate your words but sincerely hope you’re wrong about millions of other mothers being like mine. What she did to me… some of which I wrote about in previous posts… was abusive. How many mothers are you aware of who locked their daughter in their rooms during summer vacations and school holidays so they wouldn’t eat any more than a bit of lettuce, tomato and cottage cheese?
That is extreme, for sure. What I am more familiar with was physical abuse such as hitting or scratching, emotional abuse (“no man will ever look at you”, etc.), extreme embarrassment about their daughter’s size so attempt to keep her from going out in public, refusal to help with college or wardrobe expenses, giving away her bicycle because “I don’t want the neighbors to see you riding your bike with your fat ass hanging off it”, awakening from a sound sleep at midnight for forced weigh-ins, buying padlocks for pantry food storage cupboards, fat shaming at the store when shopping for clothes, etc.
Powerful post, powerful story, Emmy.
Honestly, this brought tears to my eyes. I’m so proud of you, what a beautiful piece, Emily! You are so stunning and I’m glad you are sharing what it is to come to see that fully. BTW you rocked the cruise girl-I love that dress on you! ❤
What’s up, all the time i used to check webpage posts here in the
early hours in the morning, as i enjoy to find out more and more.
bookmarked!!, I really like your blog!