Saturday, April 30, 2011

Some Concerns for Randy, Star of "Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss"

While watching a re-run of the royal wedding, I saw previews for "Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss" and I think there needs to be some discussion about the contradictions of even having a show like this exist on our televisions. This interview with Randy Fenoli on "Why Plus-Size Brides Deserve Extra Love" brings up many of the issues I raised in my last post.

Here are a few highlights:

-Randy says that the point of spotlighting plus-size women is because they have received such poor treatment from other bridal stores. My problem is that by putting them on the television screen in a separate show aren't you just further "othering" them?

-He then goes on to declare that his "plus-size brides" are comfortable in their own skin, yet they should avoid certain patterns or dresses that are unattractive for their figures. A bit of a contradiction? I was watching the regular show "Say Yes to the Dress" a few weeks ago, and a "plus-size" bride wanted to wear a mermaid-style gown. Randy came in and told her that it was unflattering over and over again, yet the bride was set on that design.

Another important issue this article raises is that dresses at bridal stores do not come in sizes above a 6 or 8. The average size for a woman is a size 14. When the average woman walks into a bridal store, she won't find a dress in her size. Yet, women can't be "average-looking" can they? I think the fact that these stores won't carry sizes above an 8 is another way that women's bodies are controlled and made to feel uncomfortable. Is it telling women that they need to be a size 8 to be a happy bride in the gown of her choice? I think the bridal industry can change this by offering more and better choices for all brides.

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