Finding Mr. Right is a daunting task, and a life-long commitment that women cannot simply afford to mess up. However, in our society while some women face strenuous pressures to get married, there are some who are subjected to harrowing societal norms, be it their skin colour, body shaming and, imagine, dowry – to this day. There’s also a pre-designed criteria list and pre-conceived notions that are passed on to the Rishtay Wali Aunty from the potential suitors parents and sisters and what they are exactly looking for – someone that they were never themselves – a barbie doll with a long shiny mane, is highly educated, can make extremely lazeez khanay, comes with a clean slate in life, is possibly the shareefest , and is exceptional at making a gol roti! Offended yet?
When we’ve stepped out of our teens, our mother’s start badgering us by telling that we can only win the hearts of our to-be in-laws with biryani and submission, and not with your good actions or kindred spirit. Which, by the way, is saddening because, all we want is a partner who will love and protect us till his last dying breath. But getting married in our society is requires a lot more than just fairy tales and butterflies.
Pakistani women have become vocal in sharing their plight now, which hasn’t changed much from what our mother’s and khala’s or chaachi’s had to go through. We’ve enlisted some of the most absurd reasons for which women were and have been rejected!
1. She’s dark (Saanwali Hai)
Ever since the colonial masters aka GORAY took over this part of the subcontinent, an inferiority complex has settled in. Women, nowadays ruin their faces with DIY’s and expensive fairness creams to achieve that natural and flawless glow – which her potential mother-in-law will love. Wherever you see, left or right, stories, in rishta ads or through match-makers, we’ll find that the potential groom or his mother require you to be very white. Because the whiter you are, the more chances of you getting married will be easy.
2. She’s Fat (diet karlay)
If being dark isn’t the biggest tragedy, then being fat and/or ugly is. Our society has a ridiculous definition of “beautiful and ugly” , but what they need to be reminded is that, beauty comes from within. These mother’s just want the likes of Katrina Kaif & Kareena Kapoor to be lined up for their son’s. Aunty, we know you’re looking for good wives for your son’s, but for that you must try looking into their hearts instead of their faces. A heart that loves, cherishes and comes with an abundance of good values. And of course if a girl’s not slim and or not in shape, she’s fat. That is a deal-breaker too, sadly. A little extra pounds here and there, and we look older and too mature for your son, who actually might not be the Prince Charming as you thought!
3. She’s Confident (Kafi Tez or Chalaak lagti hai)
I don’t know what being confident in our own skins means to these Rishtay Wali Aunties and to-be mother-in-laws, but we certainly should not be labeled as Chalaak or Tez. Hence, we’re rejected because they fear that we look more of home-wreckers with a sharp tongue, and not home-makers. *a silent applause for those who think this way*
4. She Has a Foregin University Degree (Awaaraa hogi)
We’re sent to a foreign university with confidence entrusted by our parents that we’d make them proud, so we study hard, make mistakes, grow up and eventually come back with a degree in our hands – literally not being able to thank our parents enough for doing so much for us and investing their lives in making us *someone*, we are rejected. Why? Because I was living alone in a foreign land without any parental guidance, lived our lives on our terms; hence we must have had boyfriends, wore inappropriate clothes and partied at wee hours etc. Sounds presumptuous and appalling, but is a reason big enough to be rejected.
5. She Cannot Cook (khana banany nahi ata)
Cooking is one of the most popular prerequisite to being the perfect bahu. And if you cannot cook, you are labeled as a cripple or, maybe, disabled. Hmm. Because after we’ve been married into your families, we have to cook scrumptious meals and charm the extended family with our wow cooking skills.
These are some of the predicaments Pakistani women face in our culture and do not speak about it at all, which ultimately leads to depression and other psychological ailments. A lot of us are out there, feeling bewildered and confused, so let’s support each other and learn to love ourselves first. Because if we wont love ourselves, we wont be able to spread love!