Fat Girl Gets Married Week #52: The Beginning
If you’re ready to dive into a tale about a big girl who finds big love, then this is the story for you.
Hi! My name is Virgie, and I’m a fat-positive, anti-diet fat girl who’s getting married at probably the best time in all of U.S. history to be a plus-size bride. Fat Girl Gets Married is a living digital memoir (and podcast) - meaning I don’t know what’s going to happen and readers can help shape how I tell the story - told countdown style across the 52 weeks leading up to my 2024 wedding. If you’re ready to dive into a tale about a big girl who finds big love, then this is the story for you.
Today’s installment - Week #52 - is free but the rest of FGGM is available only to paid subscribers of my Substack.
Listen to this week’s podcast or keep scrolling to read, see photos + take some polls below:
This project was inspired by love and revenge.
Love: because love is wonderful and we need more love stories about the kind of people we don’t see in mass media every day. In that way, this work is dedicated to the late bloomers, the chubsters, and the weirdos and the power of writing love stories our way.
Revenge: well, that might be too strong a word for it. It’s more like the petulant delight of a well-placed “I told you so” or “I’ll show you,” a gently burning ember that lives in the belly. In that way, this work is dedicated to Sunny, my (unrequited) crush in third grade, Ashneil, my (also, unrequited) crush in fifth grade, Joey, Enrique, Nathan, Jorge, Joshua, and all the boys who told me that no one - and I mean no one - would ever love (or marry) a fat girl like me. And perhaps even more than it’s dedicated to them, it’s dedicated to the culture that shaped them, that taught them that cruelty was their birthright and that the people they harmed would never fight back. May they find the light or live out their days clutching feebly to the archaic cult of heteromasculinity that birthed both their loneliness and mediocrity. Amen.
But back to love!
Marriage is one way to express and celebrate love, and right now is probably the best time in all of U.S. history to be a plus-size bride. For years, as my plus-size friends got married, I heard the stories of pre-marital joy turn to dread and disappointment as the question of “Have you found The Dress?” loomed. Though we have yet to see the day when every plus-size person can find the perfect look for their special day, today there are multiple bridal suites available in extended sizing - unlike historically. The culture is slowly but surely realizing that weight-based discrimination is wrong (as evidenced by New York City’s recent decision to add weight as a protected category in matters of public accommodation, employment and housing) and that body acceptance is the future.
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And, if I can be totally honest, my insatiable drive to document this moment is my third source of inspiration - after love and revenge. I see this project as a micro-archive: one year in one person’s life during a moment of rapid social change. I wanted to document this very special moment in history from a deeply personal perspective. So, over the next 52 weeks I will share the year leadup to my Fall 2024 wedding through photos, screenshots, mood boards, audio, video and even an IRL launch event in San Francisco this November.
As a person who is always - and often inconveniently - drawn to all things non-traditional, becoming a bride will be one of the few times in my life that I get to experience the delight of something so universally beloved and ritualized. There’s a special kind of joy that comes from living a life of anti-establishment mischief and provocation, don’t get me wrong. Getting married is a different type of joy, and I don’t think there’s any previous time in my life I would have allowed myself to revel in it the way I have given myself permission to now (I’ll write about how and why later).
Earlier this week I was at the little grocery store near my house, and I was sort of mesmerized by the small greeting card section. I kept spinning the plastic display around and around, realizing that in its 360 degrees it told the entire story of a particular kind of life. Here was the card to celebrate graduation, a new job, engagement, marriage, buying a home, having a child, that child’s first several birthdays, your birthday, losing a pet, retirement. I’m not the target audience for this set of cards, which is a little rough considering this is a vegetarian co-op that sells witchy herbs and feminist vulva cream and, like, if my life isn’t reflected in this store’s card selection then where is it reflected, right? But the feeling that there were a couple of big time cards - the ones for engagement and wedding - that I would be receiving was unexpectedly euphoric, maybe even electric.
Hegel wrote that “desire is always a desire for recognition.” And, friend, never before had I related harder to Hegel’s weird definitions of stuff than in front of those cards!
Every card that pictured a bride, depicted her as slender and fair, and I’m ready to change that image! A happy fat brown bride pushes back on the image we’ve been taught to imagine, but I think double chins and melanin go great with tulle.
This project is a living memoir, an adventure. Unlike a traditional memoir - where you can flip to the last page and know exactly how it ends - the pages of this story are largely blank. This means that though there are many things I’m pretty sure will happen this year - photos, flowers, showers, venue searches, catering, confusion - there are many things I can’t possibly foresee. This is exciting and scary and exactly the thing I was craving to create and share. No matter what happens, I promise a thoughtful, 100% anti-diet, 100% fat-positive ride filled with diamonds, dessert, dresses, and deep dives.