My friend was recently invited to an LDS bridal shower, and the invitation came complete with the bride’s personal measurements and sizing. Call me old-fashioned, prudish, and conservative, but I found that troubling.
While some women would probably herald this young bride’s embracing of her body, the feminist in me wants to remind her that she has a great mind, a kind heart, and many talents. I would tell her: “Be glad you’re a woman. Celebrate your female body. Just don’t forget the rest of who you are.” The feminist in me also can’t help wondering if a man would ever include his measurements. I’m frustrated with our culture’s fixation on an almost-impossible, ultra-slim, well-endowed female body, and I’m frustrated that girls soak up that fixation.
The mother in me wants this bride to know that anyone with a lick of sense will love her whether or not she remains an XS all her days. I’m proud of her for working and maintaining a trim figure, but it’s just not the most important thing. I believe that Heavenly Father sees beauty in all stages and phases of a woman’s life, as well as in all the sizes that his daughters may be. The mother in me also hopes that this bride didn’t include her sizing to brag or make others feel jealous, since that wouldn’t be very nice.
The Miss Manners in me thinks it’s tacky to include such information. If someone doesn’t know you well enough to know your bra size already, then he or she has no business buying you lingerie.
The thirty-seven-year-old in me is shocked. Apparently I’m old and out of touch and on the verge of falling into a generation gap. I’m a short step away from an “in my day” sentence that will date me forever.
The older sister in me feels like offering two bits of advice on sex. I would tell the bride a giggle-inducing bit of advice I heard at a different bridal shower: newlyweds should fight naked. From that, I learned that sex is an important part of marriage; it can both create and help resolve tensions. Sex is a big deal, so I’m glad she’s excited. But I also remember standing by the kitchen counter when my mom decided I was old enough to learn why some family friends were divorcing. She stopped her dinner preparations and started crying as she thought about her friend facing life with five children and no husband. She told me, “Sex is enjoyable. It’s fun. But it is never, never worth losing an eternal marriage, an eternal family. Nothing is worth that.” I hope that this bride’s focus on the sexual part of marriage is balanced with other vital aspects of a covenant relationship.
The friend in me isn’t too troubled. If I know the bride well enough to buy her underwear, then I’ll go ahead and run down to Victoria’s Secret. If I’m a more casual friend, I’ll bring a blender—despite her blatant hints in another direction.
I’m not there yet, but the mother-in-law (to be) in me has no idea what to do. I only met my mother-in-law once before my own bridal shower, and I have a hard time imagining that I would ever want to buy lingerie for a young woman that I barely know—however much my son loves her. Maybe if the bride has been a longtime friend or girlfriend, I’ll feel differently. I don’t know.
I am not a man, so perhaps you of the male persuasion can fill in your own comments. How would you feel if this not-so-blushing bride were your wife-to-be, daughter or friend?
All in all, I am—as I said—troubled. Do I think including your bra size in a bridal shower invitation is immoral? No. Scandalous? Not really. Edgy? Out of my comfort zone? In bad taste? Definitely. I sure hope my daughters and future daughters-in-law choose not to.
——P.S.—- A few friends who have proofread this blog for me said it is missing one thing: the bride’s actual measurements. They say I should let my audience feel the same squeamish shock that I felt when I saw it printed in black and white. Sorry, I’m sure I’m losing some impact, but I just can’t spread it further. I already have too much information about this bride—more than I ever wanted to know—as do dozens of others. I’ll leave it there.