Why this Muslim bride wore no makeup or jewelry at her wedding

In addition to a dream grown, hair and makeup are important factors that contribute to a bride’s overall wedding day look. So when one young bride decided to forego makeup and jewelry at her wedding, some guests were flabbergasted.

“I walked into my wedding reception wearing grandmother’s white cotton saree with zero makeup and no jewelry. Many asked me why. So here is my reason,” Tasnim Jara wrote in a recent Facebook post that has already been shared more than 25,000 times.

“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 wrote.

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Jara noted that she typically hears gossiping at weddings over the bride’s appearance.

“‘Is the bride pretty enough?’ ‘How much gold does she have on?’ ‘How much did her dress cost?’ Growing up listening to these questions, a bride feels pressured to look for the best makeup artist in town, pays a hefty amount in time, money and energy, and ends up looking nothing like herself; because society constantly reminds her that her actual skin colour isn’t good enough for her own wedding.”

“She 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. She can hardly afford to question if the amount of jewelry she puts on can indeed determine her and her family’s dignity. Because the society keeps pushing with, ‘You’re a girl. Why wouldn’t you wear gold on your wedding?'”

Jara added that society makes a woman feel the need to wear an expensive dress, which makes walking difficult due to its weight, and doesn’t have much use after the wedding.

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“But society won’t accept it any other way,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, if a girl wants to use makeup, jewelry and expensive clothes for herself, I am all in for that. But it is a problem when society forces her to doll up and look like a different person, it gives a message that the authentic look of a girl isn’t good enough for her own wedding.”

“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 jewelry. People may call it simple, but it was very special to me, for what I believe in and what it means to me.”

“I faced a lot of resistance from many after making this decision. Certain members of my family even said that they wouldn’t take any photo with me because I didn’t dress like (they imagined) a bride should,” she concluded her post, giving a special shoutout to the few family members who have supported her, including her husband Khaled.

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“She can hardly afford to question if the amount of jewellery she puts on can indeed determine her and her family’s dignity.” <em>(Photo: Getty)</em>
“She can hardly afford to question if the amount of jewellery she puts on can indeed determine her and her family’s dignity.” (Photo: Getty)

The post has received hundreds of supportive comments, many praising Jara for her bold statements.

“You already look really beautiful. No makeup, jewellery or expensive clothes needed,” one user commented. “I feel proud that a girl in today’s society can think and present herself in such a unique style,” another user commented.

“Good on you for not looking like a drag queen. The get ups I see nowadays are getting ridiculous,” said another. “Every wedding I attend, I listen silently as the guests at the table begin to slam-dunk the bride, groom and lets not forget the groom’s mother! Waste of money — would have had more fun at McDonald’s eating their processed food.”

Although many agreed with the bride’s sentiments, some didn’t think they’d have the boldness to follow suit at their own marriage ceremonies.

“Such a great thought … I really appreciate you dear, but unfortunately I didn’t have the courage at my wedding to dress up like you.”

“Thanks for give us the amazing example. I know it will be so tough for you to make your family understood,” wrote one woman. “Even when I say this kind of stuff, my parents and sister say ‘we will not listen to you on your wedding day — it will be according rules and if you want to do something different, then do it after your marriage.'”

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