Everyone wants to feel good on their wedding day, and as a result some people decide to start hitting the gym or eating healthily in the run up to tying the knot.
A bride-to-be was searching for bridesmaid cards online when she discovered ones with a message she thinks is "toxic" as she believes it encourages the idea that you should have to alter the way you look before the big day.
Milly Foot, 26, was stunned when she spotted the card with the writing "OMG!! I said yes… Please help me get skinny and be my bridesmaid?" for sale on Amazon as she browsed online for a card for her teenage cousin.
The brand consultant from Bristol said the card could be harmful for people struggling with body confidence issues, and is now urging Amazon to pull the £4.99 card from independent third-party seller Peachy Antics.
The bride-to-be- who plans to marry photographer fiancé Tom Winn, 27, in 2020 said: "Go back ten years I would probably have just rolled my eyes at the card and moved on
"I thought the world had moved on but oh my god it’s like going back in time.
"There are so many things wrong with the wedding industry which I’m feeling now as a bride-to-be.
"There’s this huge preoccupation with how you look on your wedding day – that’s almost what the whole thing has become about and it’s got absolutely nothing to do with it.
"It sets a terrible example for a teenage girl and I hate the idea that she could think that she has to alter the way she looks to be a bridesmaid or a bride.
"It could trigger someone who isn’t confident and make them think ‘am I supposed to be getting skinny for my wedding day?’"
Milly is concerned such "toxic" messages could be "triggering" for someone "who’s a bit more vulnerable or subject to body dysmorphia" and felt compelled to contact Amazon about the card.
She said the huge online retailer "probably doesn’t realise the stuff is on there" so wanted to bring the card to their attention.
Amazon declined to commment.
Creators of the card, Peachy Antics, bemoaned today’s "political correctness" and said the "best-selling" card is meant to be "light-hearted".
Co-owner of Peachy Antics Shaun Peach said: "We are a company specialising in banter, it’s not meant to offend anyone it’s for people who take things light-hearted.
"It’s one of our best-selling cards, you can’t cater to everybody’s vulnerabilities out there.
"Some people can take offence to some things whereas other people don’t and find it funny.
"[We’re] not out there to cause anyone any offence, it’s more of a gimmick and a joke.
"If you look at it and you don’t like what it is, you can turn the other way."
Although the card taps into something lots of brides decide they want to do ahead of the big day, researchers say such weight loss messages can have a negative psychological impact on women.
Senior research fellow in public health and obesity at Leeds Beckett University Dr Stuart Flint said women can be negatively impacted if bombarded by weight loss messages.
Dr Flint said: "For women there is a common association between marriage and weight loss or becoming slimmer, where the association is often coupled with a message that by losing weight, a women will look better on her wedding day.
"Women often receive messages that they should lose weight to ‘look their best’ on their wedding day, which can lead to disordered and dangerous eating patterns."
If you are getting married soon, remember that the most important thing is that you feel happy and enjoy a brilliant day with your loved ones.
Do you think the card is toxic or harmless? Let us know in the comments!
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