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.