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Old 29th April 2011   #1
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Join Date: November 2008
Posts: 417
Default Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss

It's a shame what has happened to TLC. The channel's acronym originally meant The Learning Channel, and it used to broadcast high-quality programming of the kind that can now only be seen on history networks, like documentaries about castles, cathedrals, the Egyptian pyramids, and European history of every variety.

These days, it's largely become a fluff channel. However, to its credit, it did air the Royal Wedding today (the source of the video being the official British feed). TLC also seems to be capitalizing on the interest in the royal nuptials by launching the second season of a show called Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss.

The series shows full-figured brides choosing their dresses (as the title implies) and preparing for their weddings. I never watched the first season of the show, and from the clips on the TLC site, last season's brides weren't especially photogenic. But the second season promises to be an improvement. The brief trailer shows that some of the plus-size brides are moderately attractive. Watch for the girl at 0:09, the one right after the bride who says, "I feel pretty."

The other bride, the one who says, "I feel pretty," appears in this extended clip on the TLC site. She's truly full-figured (the narration mentions that the size-22 dress is a bit snug on her) and sort of pretty, albeit not as beautiful as a professional plus-size model. What I find interesting is that she comes into the bridal shop wearing formless black clothing that gives her no shape whatsoever, but when she puts on the fitted bridal dresses, suddenly she looks curvaceous and attractive. And yet she says that she hasn't worn a dress of any kind in 20 years! It's another lesson in how body-conscious garments that accentuate curves actually make a genuinely full figure look far better than shapeless, bulky attire.

I imagine that the show will deliver its share of mixed messages, but at least it's a program that shows full-bodied women on television, and not in the context of trying to diminish themselves. Plus, the very fact that these girls are preparing for their wedding reminds viewers that men do find curvy women attractive - enough to want to marry them.

It premieres tonight. No promises as to whether it will be a good show or not (I imagine the interest will depend on the appeal of the various brides), but perhaps not unwatchable...
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Old 1st May 2011   #2
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss

Last night's season premiere comprised two back-to-back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss. As predicted, the viewing interest in the program varies from show to show based on the relative appeal of the various brides. The first episode of the premiere showed the red-haired model from the excerpt that Hannah posted, who is reasonably attractive, while the second episode showed the even prettier bride, the brunette who appears in the teaser at 0:09. Her name turned out to be Kathleen (Irish, of course!). Although she is genuinely full-figured (perhaps a size 18 or 20), she exhibited few of the body-image issues of the red-haired girl, and expressed a relatively positive attitude. Moreover, Kathleen was truly lovely, with high cheekbones, a round face, full arms, and a luscious curve under her chin.

The only indication of a lack of self-confidence on her part was her excessive deference to her mother, who talked her into settling for a less interesting dress than her own initial pick. However, all of the gowns that Kathleen considered were strapless and sleeveless, and therefore ideal choices for full-figured goddesses.

Here is Kathleen's excerpt from the show:

With her pretty face and well-fed figure, Kathleen better fits the ideal of what a plus-size model should look than do the many faux-plus girls whom companies try to pass off as plus-size (to the endless consternation of their full-figured customers). If more girls such as Kathleen appeared in fashion advertising, plus-size women would be far more enthusiastic about the visual marketing that is directed toward them.

There is no reason why girls with Kathleen's visible fullness and photogenic attributes should not be plus-size models. Indeed, they have a far better right to represent curvy women than do any size 10s and 12s.

It is a pleasure to see a television series featuring full-figured women which does not involve mandated starvation, exercise-torture, and cruel humiliation. Say Yes to the Dress suffers from its share of mixed messages, but on balance, it could do a measure of good for size celebration, if it discovers other attractive and reasonably secure brides such as the comely Kathleen.

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Old 7th May 2011   #3
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss

Kathleen's video has proven to be quite popular, leading a number of our readers to tune in to Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss. One viewer tweeted that

I saw the show yesterday. It was okay. A lot of BBWs crying because the sample dresses were too small. LOL

To be sure, the program is suffused with emotion, and some of the brides' confidence levels are tragically low. One can only image the kinds of life experiences that these girls have suffered to have been reduced to their current, fragile state.

However, the show also occasionally turns up a bride who has a more positive outlook, and embodies timeless beauty. Kathleen stands out as a singularly attractive example, but another girl named Elissa, whose video appears below, offers a second case of a gorgeous Big Bliss bride.

Elissa has one of the sweetest, breathiest voices we have ever heard, reminiscent of the speech pattern of the ingénues of 1950s cinema. She has fair tresses, adorable dimples, and a size-16ish figure. Notice the appealingly untoned nature of her physique, as well as her gentle, ladylike demeanour. She is, in every way, a "soft touch." Also, observe how much more gorgeous she appears in the final segment of the video (i.e., her actual wedding), for which she wears her tresses in the manner of a fairy-tale princess, with romantic curls and blossoms in her hair.

Mixed messages aside (for some of the Big Bliss segments do present attitudes that are not entirely pro-curvy), this show has the potential to do some real good. In addition to occasionally showcasing beautiful brides, such as Kathleen and Elissa, every episode introduces well-adjusted grooms who sincerely love their full-figured sweethearts. Thus, Big Bliss can help disseminate the awareness that the male preference for plus-size female beauty is not a marginal taste but a mainstream taste--indeed, that it is the default aesthetic for the majority of the male population.

The show conclusively demonstrates that full-figured girls need not subject themselves to diet-starvation or exercise-torture to find romance, but can hold out for men who love them just the way they are, and who adore them because they are full-figured, not despite this fact. This makes Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss, a more craftily subversive television series than our cultural gatekeepers may realize . . .

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Old 10th May 2011   #4
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Posts: 133
Default Re: Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss

Everyone who has enjoyed seeing the beautiful brides on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss will love these new official photos of the models trying on their various gowns.

Kathleen Dutcher is definitely the show-stopping beauty of the program, with her lovely face, buxom figure, and especially her luscious arms.

I think Kathleen looks fantastic in every dress. In fact, she'd make a perfect plus-size model. She has the kind of full, shapely figure that plus-size models should have.

Crystal Parsons, the red-haired model in the clip in the first post, also looks smashing in her gowns. Her fiery tresses are so pretty, and her figure nicely fills out the dresses.

All of the gown options are gorgeous - strapless and sleeveless, which is the ideal choice for full-figured brides, showcasing their voluptuous curves and gorgeous arms. No skinny-mini bride could come close to their luscious beauty.

There are no images of Elissa, the sweet-voiced blonde model in the other video, but I think that hers was a clip from season one, and this gallery covers the new (and improved) series, season two.
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