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Olivia Culpo Is Giving "Pick Me Girl" Energy — And No, It's Not Just Because Of The Wedding Dress

The most crucial decision any bride makes surrounding her wedding is — without a doubt — what she’ll wear for her walk down the aisle. Annulments and divorces exist, people, but your wedding dress? That’ll live forever in infamy (aka on the internet). And if you happen to choose a gown the entire world is confused (and maybe a little offended?) by, well, chances are you’re gonna cause some drama. I don’t make the rules; I just relish in the chaos.

ICYMI: Model, former Miss Universe, and certified hot girl Olivia Culpo said “I do” to sportsman Christian McCaffrey on June 29. The painfully attractive couple exchanged their vows at a chapel in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, and quickly went viral thanks to Olivia’s gown choice. At this point, we’re obvi used to everyone losing their shit over wedding attire. But this isn’t a cleavage-bearing bride or hot MOB situation. No, the couple’s wedding pictures went viral because Olivia looked — get this — too modest.

Decked out in what might be the most buttoned-up dress ever created, the former Sports Illustrated cover girl donned a custom-made Dolce & Gabbana crepe gown for the big day. Featuring long sleeves (in the summer!), a crew neckline (on formalwear?!), a ballgown silhouette, and a 16-foot lace veil. Somehow the look was giving both nun and pick-me girl at the same time. (Let me explain!) 

It’s not so much that the dress is bad. I mean, it is. Obviously. But that’s not the point. Everyone knows publicly hating on a bride’s wedding dress is a total bitch move. A bride can wear whatever the fuck she wants on her big day. If that means she’s sporting a white habit with a designer label, so be it. The real issue I — and much of the World Wide Web — have isn’t with the cut or neckline or the atelier of such a fugly modest dress; it’s the bride’s reasoning behind her look.

A Breakdown Of The Olivia Culpo Wedding Vogue Interview

When speaking of her wedding to Vogue, Olivia pointed out how serious the covenant was and how that influenced her ceremony style. “It’s the beginning of the rest of your life — and it’s the union and bond of two people forever,” she said. “I wanted [to wear] something that felt as serious as that commitment … I didn’t want [the dress] to exude sex in any way, shape, or form. I wanted it to feel effortless and as if it’s complementing me, not overpowering me.”

Olivia knew her new husband would also appreciate her buttoned-up and saintly vibe. “When I think about Christian and what he loves and the moments that he thinks that I’m most beautiful, it’s absolutely in something like this: timeless, covered, and elegant.”

Olivia went on to say she skipped mascara and brow gel for a more natural look. Sure, if I had a history of pageantry, a dedicated makeup team, and the money for procedures to make rocking a bare face at a formal function seem like something other than a cry for help, I’d be down too.

Is Olivia Culpo Giving “Pick Me Girl” Energy?

@gowneyedgirl From Miss Universe to Miss Pick Me, Olivia Culpo is earning her crown 👑 (Photos from Vogue Weddings via Jose Villa) #bride #bridal #weddingdress #wedding #oliviaculpo #bridalgown #bridalstylist #vogue #voguewedding #bridaltiktok #weddingtiktok #dolcegabbana ♬ Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono – moshimo sound design

Cringe, right? Here’s the thing: Olivia’s reasoning reeeeeeks of “pick me” energy. If you follow Olivia, you know she’s not exactly one to be buttoned up IRL. Which is fine, ofc. I pretty much wear sweats and stained tees 24/7, yet I rocked a tight, form-fitted gown (that, yes, made my tits look incredible) on my big day. You don’t have to stick with your usual style on the day, but your reasoning shouldn’t be because you ~take the commitment more seriously.~ 

By emphasizing how her dress was meant to be serious and non-sexual, Olivia unintentionally implies that brides who choose sexier gowns are somehow less committed or taking the occasion less seriously. It’s not just about her personal choice; it’s about the (not-so-)subtle judgment of others. And let’s not forget: she also had a whimsical reception dress and an afterparty dress that could have doubled as lingerie. As someone who could barely afford ONE wedding dress, I didn’t have the ability to be a modest bride, an ethereal bride, and a sexy Barbie bride all in one night. I — like most brides — had to pick a lane and hope it felt true to all sides of who I am, from the whore to the Madonna (or the Samantha to the Charlotte, if you will). Having the ability to show multiple sides of your personality on your big day is a privilege, not a pedestal to look down from.

And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Both TikTok creators Jessica Weslie Arena and Kennedy Bingham (aka Gown Eyed Girl) called out Olivia’s “pick me girl” comments. “You took this disingenuous pick-me route that honestly felt more like you were thinking about your narrative than your actual marriage,” Bingham says in her now-viral video.

@jessweslie #greenscreen #olivaculpo #christianmccaffrey #wedding #fyp ♬ original sound – Jessica Weslie Arena

So, while Olivia’s dress may have been a personal choice, her justification for it has sparked a much-needed conversation about judgment and expectations. The whole “nOt LiKe oThEr gIrLs” sitch is easy to do when you have a million opportunities to *be* like other girls or set the trends the other girls strive for. In a world where women are constantly judged for their appearance, Olivia’s implication that a modest wedding look equates to a more meaningful commitment is as outdated as it is problematic. Women should feel empowered to wear whatever makes them feel beautiful on their wedding day, whether it’s a conservative gown or a plunging neckline. 

In the end, you do you, but maybe skip the holier-than-thou attitude.

Rachel Varina
Rachel Varina
Formerly one of the HBICs at Total Sorority Move (RIP), Rachel Varina has a long history of writing about things that make her parents ashamed. She's an avid lover of holding grudges, sitting down, and buffalo chicken dip. Currently, she lives in Tampa, Florida, but did not feed her husband to tigers. And even though she's married (with a *gasp* baby), she doesn't suck. Promise. PROMISE! Follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@rachelvarina) so she gets more followers than that influencer her husband dated in high school.