On 10 August, Tasnim Jara shared a photo with her husband on their wedding day on Facebook.
It’s a wedding photo like any other. Tasnim wears her grandmother’s white cotton saree, her smile beaming as she sits beside her husband, Khaled Saifullah.
He wears a polished suit, they sit closely side by side on a gold lounge, styled, but happy.
But there is one detail you’d normally see in a wedding portrait that is missing. The bride’s makeup.
It’s a move that’s proven to be so controversial that Tasnim had to explain why she decided to go makeup-free on her wedding day in a Facebook post that’s since gone viral – and for good reason.
In her 500-word status update, Tasnim hit home with some confronting truths about bridal traditions.
“I walked into my wedding reception with zero makeup and no jewellery. 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,” she wrote.
“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.”
The newlywed then described the gossiping she’s overheard at almost every wedding she’s attended, about the bride’s appearance and the cost of it all, as well as the socialisation that tells a woman she isn’t good enough for her own wedding.
“To look like a bride,” Tasnim wrote, “she needs to wear a crazy expensive dress, which ironically makes walking difficult for her (due to its weight) and never comes of any use after the wedding. But the society won’t accept it any other way.”
She said that while it’s a woman’s choice to wear makeup and jewellery, she starts to feel uncomfortable when “[a woman] loses her agency in deciding what she would like to wear on her wedding day.”