She wore her grandmother’s cotton saree. No jewellery, no makeup. Tasnim Jara, a bride from Bangladesh, may not look like other brides you’ve seen before. Last week, in a post on Facebook, she explained why she chose to break from tradition on her wedding reception. Her post, now viral, has been shared nearly 30,000 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,” Ms Jara writes on Facebook. “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.”
It’s as if, Ms Jara writes, “society has decided that if we really have to spend money on women, we spend it…for a cause that won’t do them any good.”
Ms Jara, who is the President of Aroggo, a healthcare start-up which works to fund the medical treatment of impoverished patients in Bangladesh, explains brides often feel pressured to spend money on makeup artists, heavy jewellery and elaborate outfits that will only be worn once.
Ms Jara points out she’s not against a bride dressing up, provided it’s her own choice. “Don’t get me wrong, if a girl wants to use make-up, jewellery and expensive clothes for herself, I am all in for that. But it is a problem when she loses her agency in deciding what she would like to wear on her wedding day,” she clarifies on Facebook.
In her post, Ms Jara admits she faced resistance from some members of her family for her choice. But, she adds, her husband Khaled supported her “unconditionally.”Since August 9, Ms Jara’s Facebook post has been shared over 29,000 times and has collected over 114,000 reactions.