In most cases, the bride gets whatever she wants on her wedding day.
That tradition does have its limits, however.
Reddit user coflicted-cousin finds herself in a bit of an odd situation. After agreeing to be a bridesmaid in her cousin's wedding, the bride is now asking that she gain weight to avoid any comparisons during the ceremony.
The Original Poster (OP) visited the popular subReddit "Am I The A**hole?" to find out whether she was doing the right thing by refusing to gain weight. The anonymous Reddit users were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
NTA - Not The A**hole
YTA - You're The A**hole
ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
NAH - No A**holes Here
"English not native tongue, sorry. I (23 [female], Korean) grew up w/the 'skinny=beauty' stigma. I've been compared to my cousin (23 [female], Korean) in looks, weight, education, accomplishments all my life. It's the little passive-aggressive jabs that made me wonder if I were to say something, then would that make me the one who overreacts to trivial jabs?"
"My confidence went to sh*t even after I became US citizen, the thought process of being skinny stayed with me. I developed bad habits of trying too many diets that f*cked me up physically and psychologically. I never sought help cause it was 'normal' in our culture to be skinny so how I got there didn't matter."
"I started to love myself and went to annual checkups. Doc say I'm good (5'1, 97lb), my bloodwork normal and she said I don't have any problems. This was recent (Dec. 2019). Cousin and I are like sisters and she never judged me, just our relatives that compared us. She's one of the closest people to me and I love her so much. Cousin met an amazing man and they plan on getting married but they pushed the date back cause of what's happening with the world."
When OP's cousin asked her to be a bridesmaid, she was delighted.
"She called from Korea, asked if I would like to be her bridesmaid. Of course I said yes. We talked about the wedding for a couple of months and then last week, she called to essentially ask me to put on weight for the wedding. Her reason is that the dress that she wanted me to wear accentuated my bones."
"She said I was too underweight and that it might trigger some elders who frown upon the lack of 'child-bearing hips' cause apparently, to them, I was going have difficult childbirths. I told her that it took me years to get to where I am today and I'm scared to let go of that effort. I'm scared that my weight will bounce back, fuck up my mind, and I'm going to have to repeat the steps to where I'm right now."
"I told her that I'm not there for eyes on me, I'm there to support her and her fiancé. It got heated and she said that its her big day and its only one day that she wants everything to be perfect."
Now, she regrets having such a strong stance.
"I think I'm the a**hole that straight up told her no. I don't want to put weight on to look a certain way for the dress. We haven't talked since then. I need an outside perspective to see where I went wrong. I want to know if I was too harsh and demanded her wedding to 'accommodate'? me when it's her big day and I should be the one to accommodate her."
"I don't need validation for my refusal, my family had ripped me a new one this whole week. I need unbiased thoughts, please. AITA for not gaining weight for her wedding?"
Many online were shocked anyone requested such a strange thing.
"NTA. Asking someone to gain weight for a wedfing is insane or at least obnoxious." -wickedlucky214
The only thing that should matter is a person's health.
"NTA. Been a bridesmaid and a bride (in North America) and was not asked to change my weight, hair colour, etc nor did I ask anyone to do so. It's an honour to be asked to be in the wedding party, but it's generally an obligation as well with additional costs and time demands that a normal wedding guest will not have."
"If your doctor says you're healthy and you're happy, that's all that matters here. Tell her you have confirmation that you're in a good place with your weight and that your body isn't a negotiation. I wouldn't be surprised if she complains or other family try to intercede on her behalf - but you and your health are more important than whether or not the bride has her ultimate wedding fantasy." -hatefulpenguin
Occasionally, requests from the bride and groom can go too far.
"Exactly. I am always blown away at people that demand so, so much of everyone at their wedding. A wedding is to celebrate the partnership, but it's also to celebrate the friends and family supporting the partnership. Those people play a crucial role, too."
"My brother is on the spectrum, ADD, Tourettes, the works. He was a groomsman, and he agreed to wear a suit, but my mom later called me upset because he was complaining that didn't like the feel of the dress shoes and she was having trouble convincing him to wear them. So my wife and I called him up and told him to wear sandals. No one was going to be looking at his feet. And sure enough, no one cared at all. Most importantly, he enjoyed himself and I enjoyed having him there." -kierkegaardsho
Hopefully OP keeps working on her self esteem and becomes even more confident.
"NTA but I do think you should see a therapist just for the sake of venting and relief. If you haven't seen one yet, having someone listen to you and give you valid information that can help you move forward in life healthily is an amazing thing to have." -Hiragirin
No supportive family would get behind such an unhealthy demand.
"NTA your family sounds pretty toxic if they would back up a request like this. Keep on loving yourself and maybe go ahead and skip this wedding." -RileyxDoll
Perhaps this issue is deeper than it seems.
"I think it's an unreasonable request and you have every right to refuse. I also wonder if she's telling the truth about why she wants you to gain weight - is she threatened by you being slim and looking good? Possibly."
"If you really want to indulge her insanity, you could always ask for padding inside the dress. But I think it would be better to ask her for some honesty about why your health is less important than your appearance on a day when everyone will be looking at her. If she sticks to her line about the elders, ask her why it matters if they criticize."
"Isn't your well-being more important than their opinions? If she changes her answer, well, maybe you have to have an honest conversation about how much she cares about you versus some ideal of a perfect wedding. And FYI, somebody will find something to criticise at even the most wonderful wedding, because some people are like that. A wise bride accepts that and doesn't let it ruin the day. You are definitely NTA." -slinkimalinki
OP later returned to let everyone know how she would proceed.
"Edit: sorry, I didn't make it clear before. Cousin is having a western-influenced wedding, not traditional Korean wedding. It's why she asked me for the bridesmaid position. Seeing the replies (good or bad) and support (advice/criticism), I've decided to look into therapy for my eating disorder and the resentment towards my cousin that I didn't know I harbored."
"I've always been under the assumption that I didn't need help and growing up with Korean culture views had more hold on me than the American culture views, so maybe that's why I've been feeling guilty for what I did. It's not right for me to change my body for anyone other than myself, and I have a lot to learn. Thank you, everyone, or being kind to me and given me a new perspective on the weight issue that I have with myself."
"I've realized, with your help, that this is a matter between my cousin and I. This is not of any importance to my parents or my elders. I've decided to let the heat between us settle down before I talk to her with the points that helpful Redditors made. She's not a bad person, she's amazing in fact, maybe the world and the wedding stress it getting to her."
"For the Redditors who thought this was fake, thank you for not berating me for it. I know it sounds fake because some of the details don't add up and maybe it sounds fake because of how ridiculous the whole thing is. I'm sorry, but thank you for also giving me the other perspective that maybe this doesn't need to be a problem, that the whole thing is just ludicrous (the post and the problem) and I'm being stupid."
"Either way, I'm going to talk to my cousin and find a solution. Thank you, everyone. Please, stay safe."
It seems the internet is 100% behind OP on this one—hopefully she and her cousin manage to bury the hatchet at some point in the future.