lifestyle

Dear women who are marrying yourselves, please just stop.

Enough is enough, self-marriage should not be a Thing.

Yasmin Eleby just fulfilled all of her childhood fantasies. She got married in a beautiful gown with 10 bridesmaids by her side. There was a huge cake and she even performed R.Kelly’s ‘I believe I can fly’ (questionable choice of wedding song, but that’s beside the point). And now the bride will start her life as a newlywed, happily married to herself.

Yep, herself.

Yasmin’s mum walks her down the aisle.

Eleby promised herself that if she hadn’t found the love of her life by age 40, she’d cut out the, er, middle man and just marry herself. Because an adult can’t live a fulfilling life unwed, apparently. Quelle horreur.

(Please excuse the intense eye rolling this author is doing right now.)

Eleby isn’t the first, and most likely not the last, person to get hitched to themselves. In fact, there are enough women doing it to call it a Thing, and apparently it’s all about self-love.

In 2003, a 30-year-old woman in the Netherlands, Jennifer Hoes, was the first bride to get widespread media attention for her self-marriage.

Next up was Taiwanese woman Chen Wei-yih, also 30 at the time, who went the whole shebang in 2010: white poufy dress, wedding planner, and lovely solo honeymoon to Australia.

There are various others, including Sammy Power, an Australia former radio presenter, all of whom speak proudly of their nuptials and their lifelong commitment to loving, respecting and worshiping themselves.

Related: Sammy Power gets married to herself in lavish wedding. 

I understand all of that, and I commend these women for doing something that empowers them and shows the world that they’re A-Okay without a partner, that their lives will be full and joyous, with or without The One. No woman should be defined by her relationship, or lack thereof.

BUT, I’m calling bullshit.

Bullshit on the fact that they feel they need to marry themselves to express their self-assurance, and bullshit on the idea that to be a Fully-Fledged Content Adult you need to be married.

I’m not anti-marriage at all. My parents have had a long and loving marriage and I love nothing more than seeing my loved-up friends tie the knot. What I am anti, is the idea that marriage is the best way to express one’s self-love.

Hoes (the original) told Art and Perception that her marriage was a celebration of her transition into adulthood: “I married myself at the moment I was prepared to embrace my own life and agree on the responsibilities that come with that.”

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The implication here is that marriage is a coming of age and that until you experience it you’re not a complete women. That you can’t love yourself unless you’re married. That marriage is the ULTIMATE sign you’ve got it all going on.

Related: No woman should ever have to stress about the age they get married. 

PPPFFFTTTTT. In a world where we still don’t have universal marriage equality, and a shit tonne of unions end in divorce, I can think of better ways to signify one’s self-love and self-worth. (A huge party for your birthday, a fabulous holiday for one, being kind to yourself each and every day…)

If you’re trying to challenge and redefine societal traditions and expectations, WHY MARRY AT ALL?

Although these women may be flouting the pressure society places on them to be coupled-up, they are giving into another societal tradition: the idea that grownup women must be married.

I question if their actions are a radical redefining of marriage, or just another thing increasing the pressure to say “I do”, whether it’s to another human being or not.

The pressure for women to marry absolutely still exists – there is a whole Pinterest empire built upon it, and bridal magazines are some of the only glossies actually growing in circulation.

So does self-marriage really do anything to ease this pressure? Um, no.

Are these women just reinforcing the idea that everyone must end up married, whether they find a partner or not? Um, yes.

Related: Seriously, it’s time for marriage equality in Australia. 

Why is being married still the ultimate benchmark of completeness and happiness? I really don’t think it should be, and I would really like it if these women stop bloody marrying themselves.

Single women should be fighting to be recognised as awesome, just as they are – unmarried, happy and content in their lives. They should not face judgement or pity for their lack of husband. And they most certainly shouldn’t have to marry themselves to be seen as complete women.

Self-married ladies, how about you divorce yourselves and show the world that you don’t need to be married to be happy.

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