When it comes to all the questionable material the New York Times has published this week, an article about workouts you should tackle based on the type of wedding dress you want to wear is, shockingly, not the worst offender. But it’s definitely worth a serious eye roll. The piece, titled “Getting Married? Get Strong,” certainly sounds more 1990s Cosmo than Times. It’s even worse once you dig deeper, and remember that, in the hellish world of wellness, strength building is a more palatable way of saying “lose fat, look toned, stay lean.” The whole piece feels bizarrely regressive for 2019.
Peppered throughout the piece are illustrations of women with thigh gaps and circles indicating zones that require targeted workouts. It’s... not a great look!
But wait, let’s get to the actual tips. Here’s what you need to do to perfectly rock a trumpet style wedding dress:
Targeted toning areas: core, hips, biceps, triceps
“This silhouette accentuates a small waist and wide hips,” said Ms. Posada of dresses that are form-fitting and gradually flares out at the bottom. “These exercises will help shape your hips and reduce the size of your waist, as well as tone your arms and abdomen.”
The piece goes on to suggest low-intensity exercises (squats, lunges) and high-intensity exercises (burpees, jumping rope) to accommodate these goals. I’m not a fitness expert, but this sure sounds a lot like spot reduction or targetted weight loss, which is a proven myth.
And there’s this, for a mermaid/fit-and-flare dress:
Targeted toning areas: core, waist, and buttocks
Focus on your waist, abdomen and buttocks to rock this dress. Standing ab exercises such as barre workouts help improve your shape for this dress silhouette and mix up your workout. “This Pilates-based workout will also work your triceps and shoulders while you’re toning your core,” Ms. Rich said.
“Improve your shape.” What does that mean? I mean, I know what it means. But I’d prefer that this article flat out tell me that the goal is to make my waist look absolutely fucking snatched then say that the goal is to “improve your shape.”
Obviously, there’s nothing inherently wrong with trying to lose weight. The last three years of my life have been a near-constant state of attempting that very quest, with varying levels of success. But nobody wants to be condescended to. And while millions of women will be pressured to lose weight to try to fit into wedding dresses that do not fit them, the New York Times is under no obligation to feed into this increasingly antiquated standard. Especially under the guise of “strength.”