As noticed by a tipster who's knee deep in organizing her upcoming wedding, The Knot has made some changes to its popular, personalized wedding planning feature. The "ultimate checklist" they've long provided to help brides stay on task has a bold new emphasis on your smoking bridal bod, naturally.
Until last week, this is what the fitness part of the checklist looked like.
Okay, no real problem here. You want to have nice skin, probably, so maybe start taking off your makeup every night. And unless you're planning on DIY hair or makeup, you traditionally have to start thinking about that stuff in advance. If you want to tone up or drop a couple of pounds, there's nothing wrong with that either, so long as you're going about it in a healthy way. I realize this sounds a little hokey, but you should feel beautiful on your wedding day. What that means, however, is up to you.
But The Knot's made some changes and they're cracking down when it comes to brides getting with their specific program. And that program includes an increased emphasis on your fitness plan. The old "beauty" to-do item has been separated from addressing your figure.
This might seem like a minor change, but let's not overlook the messaging here, which is strong: Getting in tip-top shape isn't part of your beauty strategy, it's a project unto itself. It is of standalone importance; you are forced to at least acknowledge that The Knot thinks your figure is Something to Be Addressed.* (But be careful! Lose too much weight and you're "brideorexic," because we just can't win here.)
As if brides don't get enough of this shit? As if the deluge of suggested wedding diets and fitness plans haven't already successfully made us feel like crap or, at the very least, unleashed unnecessary pressure during a time that's stressful enough as is?
If you're not on board with what The Knot implies you should be doing, you have to actively say to yourself that no, no you are not going to start getting in shape. Say that out loud; if it doesn't make you feel a little bad or indignant, I tip my hat to you because the refusal to pursue some sort of body-oriented self improvement goes against cultural norms, and those norms run deep. It's like this thing is trying to make you feel guilty if you don't get started on your tricep dips.
*And lest you think I'm railing against pre-wedding fitness or being unrealistic about many brides wanting to slim down, I'm not: I worked hard to lose what I called The Jezebel 10—weight gained during my time helming the site—before my wedding. But it was because I wanted to look like my old self, not because I HAD to, and I sure as hell didn't consult any wedding-specific diet or fitness plans.