Somebody- a friend who is at the start of wedding planning (let's call her Cleopatra (why? well, why not!?!) said to me that she really wants to be the 'perfect bride' and because she fears she wont be' the perfect bride', she doesn't want to be the centre of attention for the day. I was deeply saddened by this.
I'm not suggesting for a minute that I have never used the term 'the perfect bride' and I don't for a second think that if at all this 'perfect bride' does exist, that Cleopatra could not be it - but the truth is, deep-down, just as I don't think there is such a thing as a 'the perfect wedding', I don't think that there is such a thing as 'the perfect bride'.
There I said it - I have never seen a 'perfect bride'!
Surely there is no definition of the term 'perfect bride'. If there is, then 1) Its not in my dictionary and 2) I obviously failed miserably in being 'the perfect bride'! I woke up on the morning of our wedding with a spot on my face!
My skin had been clear for MONTHS before the wedding and it certainly wasn't there the night before, when I stood in the hotel mirror grinning at myself and saying "you're getting married tomorrow - eeek! yey! wow!" But when I woke up on the 2nd January, with the spot smiling back at me, I just thought "how ironic" and laughed. After all, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it anyway! Why let it ruin my day!
So on the day, it was easy to deal with such 'impefections'. But what about the months leading up to the wedding? How do girls deal with the 'I must be the perfect bride' syndrome. I guess you either develop a formula for obtaining 'perfection' and try to stick to it or you just scrap the whole ideolgy of 'perfection' and JUST DO YOU!
So, what did I do? Well, initially, I opted for the 'develop my own formula' to ensure that I was 'the perfect bride', this looked something like:
"perfect dress + perfect hair + perfect make up + perfect skin + perfect nails = perfect bride"
How exhausting this stupid formula turned out to be. My hair wasn't growing quickly enough, I changed my mind about my dress and got a new one, I couldn't decide on 'diva' or 'natural' make-up and suddenly 'perfection' just seemed distressingly unobtainable. It made me think, what the heck is 'perfection' anyway?!
I have seriously struggled with this concept over the past year and have made a conscious choice to reject it. Seriously, whenever I feel the urge to stress about my shortcomings, imperfections or general flaws, I just say -
"I reject perfection, I embrace my imperfections and I'm just going to be the best version of 'myself' that I can be at this precise moment in time - period"
I truly believe that every woman can be the very best version of herself within her own money/time constraints. Perhaps, you don't have time for a skincare regime that involves pre-cleansing, steaming, exfoliating, washing, toning and moisurising but you probably could buy an all-in-one face wash and achieve great results. The point is that you can only do the best you can do and what others are able to do at any point in time is irrelevant. There will always be someone in a 'better' or 'worse' position than you - why use them as your barometer when you set your own!
I suppose my post really is to say, girls (and I'm talking specifically to you Cleopatra) - you are not 'perfect', neither am I, none of us are in fact and that's OK. There really is no reason to be perfect and perfection is boring anyway. Trust me! Our flaws make us who we are and our bodies will unlikely change shape just because 'our big day' is coming up. God meant to give us big hips, a jelly belly, broad shoulders, a big nose and/or one boob slightly bigger than the other! There is NOTHING we can do about these things (assuming surgery is not an option!) and there is no reason why you should obsess over these things. Actually, it's our 'flaws' that make us perfectly imperfect. You can read that as 'perfect' if you want to! : )P Of course, there is always something that you could do, no matter how big or small, to make yourself look and more importantly, feel better, but know when to stop girls! It's important that your groom recognises you on the day, right?! He fell in love and asked YOU to marry him, so its only fair that YOU are the one walking towards him on your big day.
Cleopatra thinks that no matter what I say, people will always criticise a bride. OUCH! I'd hate think that anyone criticised me, but hey apparently it's 'natural' for women to critical of other women. I just think by doing that, we become more critical of ourselves. Maybe if us girls acted a bit more like men 'taking things as we see them', then we'd be less harsh others and less critical of ourselves too.
After all, aren't be all trying to be the very best versions of ourselves that we know how to?
Surely that should be enough....
'Cleopatra', you just try to be the very best version of yourself that you can be. 'Yourself' is beautiful, intelligent, happy and smiley - lots of girls would LOVE to be you! I know you will make a stunning bride. I just pray for you to enjoy the journey as much as the destination... xx