By Pragati Pal Last Updated:
One of the very basic things that separate or make Homo Sapiens superior to other living species on this planet is their grey matter, simply put, brain. Over the years, human beings used their wits to go about and created a society, a social ecosystem that incorporates many diverse, beautiful and loving customs, relationships, conventions and whatnot. As a society, we're expected to follow certain conventions, even if they make no sense. And if any of us is brave enough to defy said convention, then very conveniently, the word is replaced with expectation! And then, there's no escape. What's heartbreaking is the fact that one of the most beautiful junctions of human relationship, marriage, is corrupted by some useless societal expectations.
Every girl dreams about her wedding at least once in her childhood. You might deny it if you want, but you know in your heart that you do! We all have dreamt about how pretty we would look in the bridal ensemble and that our significant other will cry tears of joy on realising how lucky he is to have us (got a little carried away, pardon!) But, our dreams come crashing down the moment we realise that brides are 'supposed' to look a certain way and abide by society's set beauty standards. We were taught that every girl is supposed to look the most beautiful on her wedding day, but they forgot to teach us that beauty has no definition! We all have read the line, 'Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.' But the real question is, how many of us have actually implemented this in our lives? How many of us were brave enough to not let our weight or other people's opinions lower our self-esteem or confidence? Well, there might be very few such, but there are!
Today, we're going to meet one such bride, who defied the societal set beauty standards for the most special day of her life and we can't thank her enough for sharing her story with us. Scroll down to know how a plus-size Sabyasachi bride rendered other people's opinions on her weight invisible and wore the most beautiful ensemble for her wedding, confidence!
Bhagyasri Taktawala from Pune is one lucky soul who found love in her childhood. From the age of 14, Bhagyasri was smitten by her now-husband, Shainal, who was a part of her friends' group. It was as if their stars were aligned to meet, and they had no space for faults. In an interview with Bollywoodshaadis.com, Bhagyasri Taktawala opened up about her marriage and her love story. Talking about what makes her husband, Shainal stand apart from the crowd, she said, "Shainal makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world every day. He is kind, charming, sensitive, generous, funny, so intelligent. And so so evolved. In fact, very few men in the world are evolved enough to find beauty in a woman whose physicality society has deemed unlovable and unworthy. It is his ability to really see me for who I am and his unconditional love for me that has taught me how to love myself. To me, nothing exists without him. He is my best friend, my soulmate and my heartbeat."
Bhagyasri had beautifully recreated the same saree for her wedding which Bollywood actress, Deepika Padukone had worn for her first anniversary. The beautiful bride donned a sindoori red silk saree, with the statement zari border. Her choice of jewellery for the big day was classy layered neckpieces, a simple nath and a big maangteeka. Her bright red lipstick gelled well with her minimal makeup look and for a second we couldn't take out eyes off her! One look at Bhagyasri's bridal ensemble and we realised when there's simplicity in grandeur, it really hits different! When we asked her what made her choose Sabyasachi for her wedding, Bhagyasri retorted, "I am all about grandiose and opulence and beautiful traditional ensembles. But more than just his aesthetic, Sabyasachi as a designer and a brand is truly body positive and that to me was extremely important while choosing my bridal outfit. No matter your shape, size, weight, or colour, you will always find something in his collections that will flatter you. He celebrates women, particularly the Indian woman, in absolutely every way."
Walking us through her strenuous journey of body shaming, especially right before her wedding, when it was at its peak, Bhagyasri told us about how she turned a blind eye to such kind of negativity and said, "Body shaming is simply par for the course for a plus-size woman in Indian society. Or anywhere in the world for that matter! However, over time I've come to realise not to give too much energy to such comments or such people because the truth is, that anybody who pulls you down or tries to make you feel less of yourself is inherently themselves struggling with self-acceptance. One can only find beauty in others as much as they have found beauty in themselves. So I don't allow myself to be too bothered about the opinions of people who haven't found beauty in their own selves. Only hurt people hurt people. Also, fortunately, I am at a point in my life where I've understood that I am better off living life for myself and on my terms. Living life like this leaves very little room for me to give heed to any expectations or pressures of so-called "society"."
Lastly, when we asked her what would she like to say to all the ladies and soon-to-be-brides out there, who pay a little too much attention to their weight than they should, she said, "I would say, forget wedding, why fret about your weight at all? Your weight is simply just a number! And you aren't defined by a number! None of us are. Whether it be the number on your bank statement, on your marksheet or on your weighing scale, we are not defined by numbers. In fact, we shouldn't be defined by anything! We're all changing and growing and evolving. Let's not box ourselves into a definition. One weighs what they weigh, so what? Our worth is so much more than that. For example, as a person I am sensitive and compassionate. I hate math and love literature. My favourite colour used to be pink but it's now turquoise. I'm a good friend, a difficult daughter and an exceptionally bad cook. I love dogs and butterflies and cows. But I'm definitely not a cat person. I'm honest and loyal to a fault. I love pizza and I'm great at writing letters. The weighing scale does not have the capacity to measure my worth. Nor yours. So my advice would simply be to start knowing, acknowledging and attaching your worth to something more consequential and valuable than just the number on a weighing scale."
Bhagyasri also said something which made us realise how dangerously deep-rooted the taboo of being overweight is, in this generation. She said, "The fact is that the diet and weight loss industry is today a 72 billion dollar industry which is focused solely on making women feel insecure and less worthy, and then profiting off of their vulnerabilities. It is so important to realise that no matter what is being brainwashed to us to the contrary, the truth is that there is no right or wrong body. All bodies are different and absolutely perfect the way they are!"
Shakespeare once said, 'Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder', what he forgot to explain is the fact that the beholder doesn't differentiate between weight, skin colour, figure or other insignificant physical aspects when it admires beauty. Well, we hope brides like Bhagyasri would do what Shakespeare forgot to!