Thursday, September 3, 2015

What He Said To me: Floral jacket + white dress

I had a conversation with an acquaintance that really disturbed me the other day, and I wanted to share it here. It went something like this:



Him: You look nice today. That's a pretty dress.
Me: Thanks. It's actually my wedding dress.
Him: Really? How long ago did you get married?
Me: About eight years ago.
Him: Wow! So you can still fit into your wedding dress? That's great. Not a lot of women can say that.
Me: ....
Him: I can see why your husband married you!

I didn't say anything to him about it, just walked away. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. And here is what I wish this person would know:


I am not just a body.
My worth as a human being, a woman and a wife is not measured in inches or dress size.

My marriage is built on more than looks. 
Physical attraction is one part of what brought my husband and I together, but it does not in any way form the foundation of our relationship. Our aging, changing bodies do not threaten our marriage.


There is nothing magical about a wedding dress.
Special as it is because of the fact that I wore it to get married, this dress is not any meaningful measure of my size, shape or beauty. In fact, there is nothing remarkable about the fact that I can continue to wear a stretchy, sleeveless, empire-waist dress with a full skirt through various stages of my life.

The shape of my body has changed and will change again, but that does not define my beauty or worth. 
Some dresses I've had for years still fit me. Some dresses I could wear two years ago don't fit anymore. This is neither good nor bad; it is not cause for celebration or sorrow. It just is.


I can imagine someone reading this might say, "Oh, come on. You're making too big a deal of this conversation." But you know what I kept thinking about? I kept thinking about this man's wife, and his children, and wondering how many times they had been subjected to this kind of casual, thoughtless chauvinism. I wonder how much they have been made to feel like the shape of their bodies is a determinant of their worth.

So even though I took the coward's way out instead of confronting this narrow-minded person. I am smiling today. Because I know that I am worth more than this person could ever imagine.

8 comments :

  1. Saying "I can see why he married you" after remarking that it's amazing you still fit into your wedding dress definitely takes it too far. If he had just stopped at "oh wow, not many women can fit into their wedding dresses", it wouldn't have been so bad. But then to add he can see why your husband chose you, as if your body was the sole attraction? Yeah. NOT COOL.

    But on a more sartorial note, you do look pretty, and I like the pleats in your dress!

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    1. Thanks! I guess part of it is lost in translation because this is just someone who ... I don't feel comfortable with him commenting on my body, you know? It just crossed a line for me.

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  2. You are so right on! I'm glad you have a blog to use as a platform to get your views out there. Even if that guy can't read it, I hope others will be able to and learn from it.

    Hannah | The Outfit Repeater

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    1. Thanks Hannah! It feels hard to talk about this stuff sometimes but it also feels important.

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  3. Thank you for writing about this! I think most women (myself included) have had similar interactions that left us tasting rage and disappointment. The perpetuation of the idea that women are just here for their bodies is harmful in so many ways. Thank you for being so honest about your feelings (even the ones about not confronting him!).

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    1. Thanks! It feels easier sometimes to just shrug off these interactions, but this one really got under my skin, and writing about it here really helped.

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