Hi folks! I'm sorry I popped out of the 'sphere for a bit; my internet connections have been few and far-between (and CRAZY maddening).
So, last week I filmed that fantastic TV segment that I'd previously mentioned, and--as far as I know--it's airing somewhere around November/December. The production crew was fantastic, as were the women who played the thin bride and the mother.
So, basically, we did somewhere between 10-15 takes over a period of 2 days, 'takes' (in this case) equaling each time the mother and I went out into this BEAUTIFUL bridal salon to do our schpiel in front of many other to-be brides.
First of all, I was given THE most LOVELY dress:
(Which, if I may say so, looks WAY better on a fat chick than the skinny version!)
We filmed at the most incredibly upscale and famous boutique in the world--Kleinfeld, which is also where "Say Yes to the Dress!" is filmed. What would happen is that the mother and I would come out of the dressing area and proceed to the salon, at which time she would start ripping me to shreds for a.) how bad the dress looks on me and b.) it was all because I'm fat.
The idea is to see how other people respond. This is *the* place to be for Manhattanite brides (and one of the most fat-phobic cities in the world?), so the crowd would be massive and interesting.
Basically, all in all, responses were great. We had to work it so that the mother would, at some point, leave--because it was much more likely that I'd be approached alone as the victim than if the aggressor were still there. Sometimes NO ONE intervened--but we were always, always watched, by future brides and their families. (And yeah, I did kinda feel bad that I was likely stressing a LOT of people out on the day that they were trying on dresses!)
For the most part, the people who would approach me when I was Poor Crying Fat Girl were super-sweet, telling me how beautiful I looked, and not to listen to her, and that the dress looked wonderful on me. However, I'm sure you could have predicted that--thanks to the fat bias--there would be a lot of backhanded compliments that weren't meant to be unkind. Like these:
"Oh, but your face is so pretty!"
"Your wedding's in June?! Your mother's crazy--you still have so much time to lose weight."
"You look gorgeous. That dress is so slimming and forgiving."
But, frustrating as those were, everyone meant quite well. I also had PLENTY of time to get in FA points...I don't know how many (if any) will make the final cut, but I would say stuff to my mom like, "Mom! This is just the way my body is! I've tried dieting so many times, it's never worked, and those 'lifestyle changes' are no different. I'm just FAT." I frequently also said that I liked the way I looked and that I felt really pretty, so yay for me. :)
What was a really, really nice experience was talking to my skinny counterpart--who, seriously, thought the world of me and couldn't have been sweeter. I think that everyone was really worried that they'd offend me, just because the nature of the show was picking on something that (on any other non-FA fat girl) would have been extremely unnerving. She was so careful in the dressing room, telling me how "SERIOUSLY!" beautiful I looked and everything; responding to my comments on size with, "No, but you're so beautiful." I was like, "Really honey, it's okay--I am fat, and I know it, and there's nothing wrong with it. You can be fat and beautiful--not but beautiful. I'm actually super into size acceptance..." etc., telling her about FA and everything.
Anyway, the public really came through for the show. The most prevalent reason that people intervened was that the wedding was the bride's day, and that no one should try to make her feel badly about her life or body or choices. But there was one lady who really was wonderful as far as the body in general...she, too was a Jersey girl (be still my heart!) and this wonderful, incredibly warm woman. She was fat and LOVELY, in her 40s or 50s, and just so motherly. She came to me and was SO body positive, very into being comfortable in your own skin and not trying to be anything else. She had said one thing that I can't remember now that rubbed me the wrong way, but only as a general belief of teh fatz.
Anyway--all worked out pretty well. I can't wait to see it. :)