Woman Ditches Wedding Of Cousin Who Said She's 'Too Fat' To Be Maid Of Honor—And Twitter Has A New Hero
Body positivity has been trending recently and is a much better-received practice than it used to be, recognized as confidence and self-worth instead of vanity.
But it can be hard to remain positive about your body when people you love shame you for your size.
One woman, Olive Chiemerie (Ife Nkili or @Zioraife on Twitter)...
\u201cLast night at @joepenney's exhibition.\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1650016977
...wasn't about to let that get in her way.
Instead, Chiemerie shared the story of how her cousin decided she would not be the Maid of Honor at her wedding because Chiemerie didn't fit with the "wedding aesthetic" she was imagining.
The bride gave Chiemerie an ultimatum—she could either lose weight to suit the aesthetic, or she would not be the bride's Maid of Honor.
Instead, Chiemerie decided she wouldn't be attending the wedding at all which she shared in a tweet.
\u201cMy closest cousin, the closest thing I have to a sibling, has officially confirmed I won't be her maid of honour cos I'm just too fat for a maid of honour role.\n\nHave to lose some weight before December or no maid of honour duties for me.\n\nI shan't be attending the wedding \u270c\ud83c\udffe\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
Chiemerie shared in a BuzzFeed interview she was shocked because of the relationship she thought they shared.
"This cousin and I are both only children, but we grew up in the same house, raised by her mum, my dad, our other auntie, and our grandma. In essence, we're sisters, the closest thing each of us came to a sibling."
"So I guess going by the bond we shared, I naturally assumed I'd be her Maid of Honor. It was supposed to be non-negotiable, but she didn't ask me. I also didn't want to have to ask her, I firmly believed it'd be me."
But then it was confirmed Chiemerie would not be the Maid of Honor.
The reason was insulting.
"The conversation came up last week while we and our mutual friend were discussing wedding details. She said she's still contemplating which of her light-skinned, slim friends to ask to be Maid of Honor."
"I was stunned. Our mutual friend was stunned, too. But she said yes, she doesn't want me because I am fat and would ruin the Maid of Honor aesthetic. [She added] that it's usually slender, light-skinned girls who get to be Maid of Honor."
"I felt insulted. Our friend said she felt insulted on my behalf, too."
"If it was that she felt she had a friend she was closer with whom she shared a bond much greater than the one we did, I'd understand, because of course, that we're related shouldn't be the sole determinant. But it was only just about the aesthetics."
When she decided to not attend the wedding, her cousin was indignant.
"I told her I wouldn't be attending the wedding, because if she felt so ashamed of and embarrassed by me, who's to say my presence alone wouldn't destory the wedding aesthetics?"
"She said I was overreacting because it really wasn't that deep, and that it was her choice to make."
"Of course, it was her choice to make. I just thought [me being the Maid of Honor] was an obvious choice. Perhaps it was my bad to assume?"
"I should add that I wasn't particularly enthused by the Maid of Honor part, I wasn't overly looking forward to it, but my angst and hurt isn't because I don't get to be Maid of Honor. I'm not upset about that. It's the fact that she not only didn't think me worthy, but she also doesn't realize or understand why it hurt me."
\u201cMy family will swear I'm wicked and no nonsense cos I reward meanness with the same level of vim.\n\nBegging me to attend for what? So I'd damage the aesthetics ? Nah, I'll stay home, press my phone all day, happy married life Couz!\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
Twitter responded passionately to Chiemerie's thread, encouraging her to put herself first.
\u201c@Zioraife OMG NO. Horrible. I'm so sorry. You do not deserve this. Good for you for having self-respect. Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are. Your size is the least important thing about you.\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
\u201c@AZapruder @Zioraife A wedding is a celebration of love surrounded by the people important to you. This isn't a wedding. It's a fashion mag photo shoot being planned by a shallow person. You aren't missing a thing.\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
\u201c@Zioraife Congrats.\nYou\u2019ve been in a deep fake friendship with your cousin\u2014& now the simulation is over.\n\nAnyone who values aesthetics over invaluable relationships & is willing to sacrifice it for the gram, can marry for looks over character.\n\nNot going to the wedding is petty.\nI like it.\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
\u201c@Zioraife That's just unnecessarily cruel. Sorry this is happening to you.\n\nI don't know why weddings bring out the worst in some people. At least now you know how she's always felt about you.\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
\u201c@Zioraife This is horrible, and you deserve better. So glad you\u2019re prioritizing taking care of yourself over your cousin\u2019s cruelty. Wishing you happiness \ud83d\udc97\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
\u201c@Zioraife It hurts when family body shames\nI used to think I am the tallest girl on earth cos of how they always say I'm too tall for a lady, I was forbidden to wear \ud83d\udc60 cos I might as well become a pillar.\nI've outgrown that now but whenever I see taller ladies I'm shocked and grateful.\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
\u201c@Zioraife The "perfect" wedding to many people simply means a self-absorbed vanity show. "My day".\n\nDon't budge. Don't go that wedding no matter what.\u201d— Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37 (@Ife Nkili \ud83c\udf37) 1654411707
Chiemerie felt empowered by the outpouring of love.
"I feel validated and understood. I want more fat women to realize that the bodies the media and fashion industries keep shoving in our faces as perfect and ideal are largely highly unrealistic, plus we can't all have the same slender body build."
"Fat women have always been made to feel inadequate, leading to their self-esteem being in shambles."
"That's fortunately not true in my case. I'm gorgeous. It's not something I say because of 'body positivity,' I am actually gorgeous-gorgeous. I think my body is exquisite, and I carry myself elegantly knowing this."
"It's probably a miracle that at this point I still think so highly of me and my body, but I do, this body is all I have and I'm not about to let anyone make me hate it."
"I don't love this body despite being fat, I love it because it is mine, slim or fat. So if I do decide to embark on a weight loss journey, I'd do it not because I hated my fat body nor to feel better about myself nor to cower to pressure, but because I want to. I will love this body in every shape, every form."
It was unfortunate the cousin decided to put the aesthetic of her wedding before her relationship with her cousin, but Twitter was pleased to see Chiemerie wasn't allowing that to hold her back.
But from her attitude, it sounded like her cousin would be missing out more than Chiemerie would be.