Women Are Trying to Lose Weight for Their Proposals—and It's Going Too Far
Photo: Nikonaft / Shutterstock
When I got engaged in 2014, I knew the proposal was coming. My now-husband and I had been together for six years and, like any rationally thinking couple, we had talked about marriage, so we both felt confident about where our lives were headed. And, because I’m obsessed with documenting all of life’s big moments (I want pretty photos to hang up—sue me), I told him that, whenever he did it, it’d be cool if a photographer or friends were on hand to capture the special moment on camera.
But let’s get one thing clear: Just because I wanted photos of the proposal does not mean that I was thinking about how I would look. Sure, I wanted to wear something cute—no proposing while I’m in sweat pants, please—but I didn’t ramp up my fitness routine or reel in my diet as soon as I thought the big moment might be coming. I simply wanted to have documentation of that special moment; something that encapsulated the excitement, joy, and happiness I knew I would be experiencing when I said yes, in case I blacked out during the exact moment. (Spoiler: I totally did.)
Unfortunately, both men and women are getting sidetracked from that notion and instead seem to be succumbing to pressure to make sure they’re in “proposal shape.” No idea WTF proposal shape is? I didn’t either, but according to a recent report from Moneyish, it’s the latest fitness trend that encourages people to double down on their usual workout and diet habits so that they’ll be “fit enough” for the proposal.
Let’s just say it: This is a fitness trend that needs to die a million deaths, ideally before it ever becomes a bigger thing than it already is. I’m all about wanting to feel like your best, most confident self, and I’m obviously not here to bash anyone looking to make healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes. But if you start scheduling two-a-day workouts or jump on the keto diet simply because you anticipate an engagement ring coming, then we need to have a chat. I mean, what happened to just getting a mani?
For decades, women have been feeling pressured to start shedding for the wedding as soon as they set a down-the-aisle date. Between fitness programs that are specifically geared toward engaged women (bridal boot camp, anyone?), advertisements for juice cleanses, and dress consultants asking what size you want to be on your wedding day (not what size you are now—yep, that happened to me), the pressure is already too much. Setting the stakes even higher just fuels the cycle of crazy when we need to be breaking it and, better yet, embracing our bodies exactly the way they are.
Plus, when you get engaged, the commitment you’re making isn’t to your fitness instructor, the treadmill, or your Vitamix blender. It’s to your new fiancé, the person you’re saying you want by your side as you deal with all the crazy shit life throws at you. Come on, wouldn’t you be pissed if your partner said, “Will you marry me…so long as you lose X amount of weight or have Y percentage of muscle mass?” Exactly. And if it’s not acceptable for someone to do that to us, then why is it acceptable for us to do it to ourselves?
I understand people using a proposal as a catalyst for setting lifestyle changes in motion. Truly, I do—we all have something that initially motivated us to make healthy choices day in, day out. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best. But if you start to feel pressured to look a certain way for a certain event, remember that you are enough. Right now. Anyone who thinks otherwise, well, I hope you cross them off your guest list faster than you can box jump.