Feeling Large and Not in Charge
The women in my family have been carrying on the tradition of wearing my great-great-great-grandmother’s wedding dress for several generations. It is now my turn, and I’m beyond excited to marry the love of my life this summer. The only problem is that I’m quite a bit bigger than most of my female ancestors, and the dress is two sizes too small for my frame. The dress is too old and delicate to get altered, and my mom expects me to lose the necessary weight out of respect for our family heritage. What do I do?
— Feeling Large and Not in Charge
Dear Feeling Large and Not in Charge,
My high school boyfriend was on the varsity wrestling team, so I’m very familiar with fast-acting weight loss strategies. The most impressive diet plan I ever witnessed was carried out by a man named Arthur who had to lose ten pounds in a week in order to compete in a certain weight class. It was a well-known fact that Arthur had a searing gluten allergy. Whenever Arthur ate gluten, he would contract violent diarrhea lasting several hours. One week before his competition, Arthur emptied his home of anything gluten-free. He spent seven days eating nothing but bread, spaghetti, and white flour straight from the bag. His digestive tract promptly evacuated everything he put into it, and Arthur managed to lose fifteen pounds. If he hadn’t been in the hospital at the time of his match, he certainly would have been able to compete in his desired weight class.
What I’m saying, dear woman, is that anything is possible with enough conviction. Your mother knows this, and so did Arthur. May he rest in peace.
He Can’t Sit With Us
My boyfriend of four years finally popped the question, and now it’s my turn to pop the question to the close friends and family that I hope will join my wedding party. One of my dearest friends — let’s call him Peter — fully expects to be a groomsman, and until recently, I thought he would be too. In the past few months, however, he’s adopted an exercise and diet regimen that has done wonders for his skin, his figure, and his overall mojo. I used to be cuter than Peter, but he’s become a total ten lately and is no longer someone I want standing next to me on my wedding day since it’s very important to me that my future hubby and I are the best-looking dudes at the altar. How do I tell Peter he’s not going to be in the wedding party without ruining our friendship?
— He Can’t Sit with Us
Dear He Can’t Sit with Us,
Wow! You just described my worst nightmare! I’m the prettiest girl in my friend group, but I know all too well how unpredictable life is, so I’ve given this scenario a lot of thought. I hate to ask the hard-hitting questions, but why would you want to save this friendship? Every friendship has a unique dynamic that makes it beautiful, and it sounds like Peter has rendered your friendship’s dynamic null and void. You were the hot one, and now he’s the hot one. Peter committed the ultimate betrayal when he decided to put his health and happiness over your personal insecurities, and you need to stop excusing him for this. If you can’t be up-front about how you feel, I suggest cutting him slowly out of your life. When I decided I didn’t like my friend Tiffany anymore, I would shout “TIFFANY WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT” every time she started to speak. She ended up removing herself from my life after a couple of weeks.
You and your husband deserve to be the hottest guys at your wedding. If Peter can’t respect that, you need to get this toxic relationship out of your life.
Free the Nipple, Just Not at My Wedding
My fiancé and I have opted out of the traditional black-tie wedding and are encouraging our invited guests to get creative with their outfits. One friend, a rabidly anti-establishment feminist, has informed us that she intends to show up wearing nothing but large, white underwear. I wholeheartedly support her right to live life in the nude, but Instagram has a strict policy against the female nipple, and I’m afraid my friend’s nipple will find its way into several posted pictures, rendering them at risk of getting banned. Frankly, I don’t see the point of having a wedding if my guests can’t Instagram every second of it. Do I tell my friend she has to wear clothes? Or should I suck it up and hope that she stays off the dance floor and away from the cameras?
— Free the Nipple, Just Not at My Wedding
Dear Free the Nipple, Just Not at My Wedding,
Clothes were originally invented by the patriarchy to keep women from seeing the breasts of other women, a strategy they presumed (correctly) would foster the fear and insecurity necessary to maintain the domestic status quo for hundreds of years. Your friend is right to embrace nudity — she’s an inspiration to women everywhere. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs was born, and now Instagram likes are more important than our shared history of oppression. You may have given your guests permission to wear whatever they want, but you didn’t give anyone permission to ruin your social media presence! Try gifting your friend a pair of fun, flirty nipple tassels, and request that she use them to cover herself during peak picture-taking hours. If she refuses, look up the laws regarding public nudity in your state. If female nipples are illegal, discreetly call the cops on her before the reception. If they aren’t, call the cops anyway — most of them don’t know the law.