If you've ever been told to lose weight by a family member before a big event, boy do I have a great story for you.
Olive Chiemerie of Nigeria shared on Twitter that she was recently given an ultimatum — lose weight, or there would be no place for her as a maid of honor in her cousin's wedding. However, instead of giving into this demand, Olive decided she would steer clear of the wedding altogether.
"My family will swear I'm wicked and no nonsense cos I reward meanness with the same level of vim," Olive tweeted.
I know! I was shocked by those tweets and I was dying to know more, so I spoke with Olive to hear more about what she had to say — and y’all, you’re gonna want to sit down for this.
"For context, this cousin and I are both only children, but we grew up in the same home, raised by her mum, my dad, our other auntie and our grandma," Olive told BuzzFeed. "In essence, we're sisters, the closest thing each of us came to a sibling."
"So I guess going by the bond I thought 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," she continued.
"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. What??? She said yes, she doesn't want me because I am fat and would ruin the maid of honor aesthetics — that it's usually slender, light-skinned girls who gets 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."
"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 destroy the wedding aesthetics? She said I was overreacting because it really wasn't that deep, 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's 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, 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."
People in the comments had a lot to say about the matter.
Most people did not approve of the cousin's ultimatum and were supportive of Olive's decision to not attend the wedding.
Some were able to relate on a personal level and shared similar stories.
And others had even revealed that they were asked to be a maid of honor for superficial reasons, further reinforcing the point that some brides may care too much about the wrong thing.
Olive said that after she had shared her story on Twitter, many people DM'd her, affirming her decision and sharing similar situations.
She said she'd like to thank everyone who did so. "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."
She also added that many people DM'd her with compliments about her beauty, and some had even asked her on dates on the wedding day.
"It's all been incredibly heartwarming, but it's hilarious. All I tweeted was that I was told I couldn't be maid of honor because I was fat. Nowhere did it say I was ugly or unattractive."
"But I don't think that assumption of my self-esteem being assaulted was unfounded, because 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 'body positivity,' I am actually gorgeous gorgeous. I think my body is exquisite, and I carry myself elegantly knowing this."
"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."
Have you had a similar experience? Let me know in the comments.