The other day, we wrote about a couple in Kuala Lumpur who hopped on their skateboards and shredded around a few bowls for their wedding photos. It clearly gave us a taste for matrimonies that subvert traditions, as we’ve found another hijabi who decided to go against the grain on her big day.
Tasnim Jara, a Muslim bride in Bangladesh, recently elected to ditch the make-up for her marriage to husband Khaled. She was sick of the cultural expectations placed on brides and didn’t want to comply with societal pressures that have made many women miserable.
Sure, not wearing make-up might be a more subtle dig at expectations than a skateboarding wedding photo shoot, but it arguably makes an even bolder statement against tired conventions.
In a post on Facebook that has since gone gangbusters (89K Likes and 30K shares), Tasnim explained her decision:
‘I was troubled by the singular image of a bride that our society has – with tons of makeup, a weighty dress and mounds of jewellery weighing her down. Don’t be fooled, this lavish image of a bride does not represent the financial well-being or agency of a woman in the family. This sometimes rather happens against their will. As if the society has decided that if we really have to spend money on women, we spend it against their will and for a cause that won’t do them any good.’
She also described how the aggressive mix of aunties, peers and corporations push the misconception that a bride is only a bride if she’s adorned with jewellery, an expensive dress, and a load of extravagant slap:
‘I have hardly attended any wedding where I didn’t overhear people gossiping: “Is the bride pretty enough?” “How much gold does she have on?” “How much did her dress cost?”…he has learnt from her aunties, peers, and the corporates that a bride is “incomplete” without ornaments; that her and her family’s status depends on how much gold she puts on on the day.’
The ultimate goal of her no makeup statement was to change the attitude that puts so much pressure on a bride to look a certain way:
‘Personally, I feel that we need to change this mindset. A girl should not need a whitening lotion, a gold necklace or an expensive saree to be accepted as a bride or to make her feel confident. So I arrived at my wedding venue wearing my dadu’s saree, with zero makeup and no jewellery. People may call it simple, but it was very special to me, for what I believe in and what it means to me.’
We get that many of her criticisms might be pretty specific to Bangladeshi culture, but like the skateboarding hijabi bride from last week, Tasnim offers an important message: On what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life, you should be able to do what makes you happy.
Take a look at Tasnim’s full post below: