My mom and I were watching the TLC show “Something New, Something Borrowed” the other day and we started talking about me wearing her wedding dress. She told me that she didn’t want me wearing her dress because it wasn’t “the dress” for her. I just nodded in understanding.
But, today I figured out the real reason she doesn’t want me to wear the dress.
My mom didn’t like the fact that my dress form wasn’t wearing anything (don’t ask, I don’t even understand her some times), so she put her wedding dress on it. The first thing I noticed was how small the waist was. Now, I am a 39-40 inch waist and am pretty hefty for a girl my age, and my mother is about the same size as me currently. But this dress, this dress, has a 28 inch waist on it. I instantly thought about our conversation the other night and realized that I wouldn’t fit into that dress anyway. I got a bit sad over it, in all honesty.
My mom caught me starring at the dress and started talking to me about it. I didn’t tell her how sad it made me, but I’m pretty sure she could tell. She told me that she never liked the dress, as her father picked out for her because he paid for it. But then she got really quiet. She told me that this dress reminds her of the broken person she used to be.
My mom was raised by a Japanese mother while her German-American father was usually off to sea and was rarely home. She was told all her life, by her own mother, that she would be “fat like her father”. It also didn’t help that she was an outcast in Japan since she was a “konketsuji” (literally means “child of mixed blood”). Her mom even made her take diet pills when she was only 8 years old to make her lose weight. 8 years old.
Eventually, when she was a junior in high school she finally snapped. She became bulimic just to get her mother’s approval, who then died 2 years later after hiding her liver disease from the family for over 10 years. My mom continued being bulimic for years following her mother’s death, and was even doing it when she met my dad. It wasn’t until they were married that my dad found out about it, and they decided to make a deal. My parents agreed that if my mom stopped doing this to her body, then my dad would stop doing the various drugs he did (pot, shrooms, speed, ect).
After hearing this, I don’t want to even look at the dress. In fact, I kind of want to burn it. But it showed me how much other people’s views of us, especially family, can mess with our minds. Now I know why my mom always stood up for me when my dad would point out my weight when I was younger… and I love her even more for it. It’s thanks to her that I love my body for what it is: me.
BE BRAVE! JOIN THE BODY PEACE REVOLUTION!