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For many brides, the big day is a dream but it also comes with a price: The pressure to look perfect in every way. But what is “perfect”? It’s not a crime to want to look flawless for your big day, but the very notion can be overwhelming, and even harmful sometimes. For instance, some people try to lose an unhealthy amount of weight or change aspects of their body just to look like a certain image. For public personalities, there is an even bigger pressure to hide all the imperfections and appear as picture-perfect possible.
In the latest royal wedding—that of Her Royal Highness Eugenie of York to Jack Brooksbank—the princess challenged that very notion of perfection. On the day itself, the Queen’s granddaughter was a vision of elegance. She wore the sparkling Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, which featured diamonds and emeralds set in platinum. She also accessorized with diamond and emerald earrings, as well as delicate satin pumps. But her most beautiful accessory? Her scar.
For the big day, the princess chose to wear a Peter Pilotto gown. It was a beautiful dress, with voluminous skirt and a long train. But what truly made it special was its unique neckline folded over the princess’ shoulders which formed a low V on the back of her gown, effectively showcasing her scar from a childhood battle with scoliosis, just as she requested.
In 2002, at age 12, Eugenie had a major operation to treat the curvature on her spine. During the 8-hour operation, a pair of eight-inch titanium rods were inserted near her spine, along with one-and-a-half inch screws. The princess revealed to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital that it was “a scary prospect for a 12-year-old; I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt.”
According to BBC, “Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to bend to one side, making the back appear rounded and shoulder blades stick out. It most often starts in children aged 10 to 15 but there is often no known cause.” Jan Lehovsky, a spinal surgeon who was part of the team who operated on the princess, said, “Most of the patients affected by scoliosis are young girls and she’s a real role model for them. She’s someone who can inspire them, which is so important for the young ladies coming through the surgery.”
Prior to her wedding, Princess Eugenie said in an interview, “I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars.” She added that she also thought “it’s really special to stand up for that.”
To people who have undergone through something similar, the princess’ deliberate decision to highlight a scar which many would rather have covered up, meant the world.
I think she’s inspired lots of Scoliosis sufferers who struggle having scars in a very image-focused society. It’s promoting the idea that they don’t need to be ‘imperfections’.
— Luce (@lucymcouat) October 12, 2018
Princess Eugenie wore a wedding dress that showed her scar from scoliosis surgery.
She wanted to show her scar.
She did not hide her scar in shame.
Your Friday sermon: Your scars tell the story of your resiliency and beauty. Never be ashamed for what you have healed from.
— Reverend Jes Kast (@JesKast) October 12, 2018
Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress IS important.
It’s brought a little bit of a tear to my eye & given me goosebumps.
Having scoliosis myself EVERY DAY I think about what I wear & how to hide my condition. In my eyes, her showing her scar on her wedding day is so commendable.
— Nell Plant (@NellPlant) October 12, 2018
“She proved the scar is something to be proud of”
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) October 12, 2018
Photo courtesy of @britishmonarchy’s Instagram account
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