In a revolutionary feat of bravery that many have construed as madness, 31-year-old Leila Franks decided not to diet before her wedding. For that reason, Leila looks astonishingly similar to how she looks in her everyday life in the photos from her big day.
Despite societal pressures from magazines and family members to slim down for her wedding day, Leila decided to continue eating as she normally would in order to not add another stressor to an already overwhelming event and so that the photos would reflect her as she appears in her normal, actual life.
Way to dismiss the unspoken rule that a bride must starve herself to an unnatural weight for her wedding!
“I know a lot of women start extreme diets in preparation for their weddings, but that’s just not me,” says Leila. “To each his own, but I feel comfortable with my weight. Also, I want to look like myself in the pics. I’ve never been thinner than I am now. Why would I get thinner basically just for that one day?”
Now, months after her wedding day, Leila still seems at peace with her choice to look like herself at her wedding. Others, upon seeing the photos, weren’t as thrilled with her radical decision to not eat only vegetables and lean proteins for the three months leading up to her wedding day.
“Honestly, I don’t understand what was Leila trying to prove,” says bridesmaid Dana Flinkel. “I was basically unrecognizable in my wedding photos – I had a fake tan, huge muscles that I lost immediately after, and hair down to my butt even though I usually have a short bob. I looked like an actual different person, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s part of the tradition.”
“It’s almost as if Leila is happy with the way she looks? Like, as if she feels comfortable how she is,” says maid of honor Sarah Brawner. “Doesn’t she want to look back on those photos and say, ‘Wow I was so thin for about a week after months of unnecessary deprivation.’”
“It’s not a wedding if you’re not worried every day leading up to it that you won’t fit into your dress,” adds Leila’s mother. “And it’s not a wedding if the day of you’re suddenly too thin for your dress and it keeps sliding off of you the whole night so your strapless bra shows in all the photos from the dance floor.”
Despite the criticism she’s received from her bridal party, Leila is confident she made the right decision.
“I can now look back on this day and remember this day wasn’t about looking beautiful, it was about marrying my husband,” says Leila. “This is who I am. This is who he fell in love with. I wouldn’t want to walk down the aisle any other way.”
Well, la-dee-dah, Leila!