“You’re Too Fat To Be A Bride.”

The gross phenomena of fat-shaming brides are so common in South Asian communities, that brides are forced to just accept it.

Body-shaming – the act of criticising or drawing attention to someones weight, body type or eating habits – is pretty much a universal problem. 

In South Asian communities, however, its part of our everyday vocabulary. Instead of suggesting healthy eating habits and exercise the words fat’ are usually accompanied by short-cut’ weight loss techniques, like missing meals and taking supplements. 

But while the bodies of most women are up for public scrutiny and unwanted commentary, its the women who are ready” to, are about to, or have just gotten married who experience the nastiest version of this bullying.  

Body-shaming brides comes in all sorts of comments and whispers. One of the worst, being sales people unwilling to help brides find the ideal dress for them.  

An Indian Bride and Doctor, Tanaya Narendra/Dr Cuterus talked about the pressure she had to lose weight before her wedding.  

During dress shopping, she recalled how the sales people at one of India’s biggest designer’s stores “looked at me up and down and asked, oh *you* are getting married?’ as if Im inherently unmarriageable.”

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Narendra is hardly alone in the blatant body-shaming scores of women go through – be it being looked at critically while walking into a store, having relatives tell them they’ve gotten too “healthy” and suggesting remedies, being demeaned while out shopping or eating, or being “rejected” by matchmakers or potential husbands in arranged marriage set-ups because of their body size. 

When I was trying on wedding dresses the lady who worked there said – “it’s great to have an Australian designer so you can start losing weight and continue losing weight right up until a few months away when we have to send in your final measurements. But I never said anything about losing weight. – Anonymous” 

At one of my fittings, my seamstress told me to rub olive oil on my body, then wrap my entire body in cellophane, then go to sleep that way underneath electric blankets! Isnt that crazy!? It was a suggestion to melt away my belly flab.” – Anonymous 

“I’ve been told that I dont look like a bride because of my weight. I looked at doing boudoir photos for my future husband and was laughed at… You? Really? You though? Youre the bride? Youre not wanting a gift certificate?” – Anonymous 

The widely marketed perfect’ body standard doesnt mean its the healthiest version for all women. Encouraging women to feel confident and beautiful in their skin, can go a long way in improving mental health and body issues.