A woman has sparked outrage online after revealing the superficial reason why her family member didn’t ask her to be maid of honour at her wedding.
On 5 June, Olive Chiemerie took to Twitter to share her thoughts on why she won’t be attending the upcoming nuptials. “My 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,” she tweeted.
“Have to lose some weight before December or no maid of honour duties for me. I shan’t be attending the wedding,” she wrote.
The Nigerian native explained that her family was not happy with her decision to skip the wedding, but she made it clear that she won’t allow the disrespect.
“My family will swear I’m wicked and no nonsense cos I reward meanness with the same level of vim,” she said in a follow-up tweet. “Begging 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!”
She explained that people have “bullied me all my life for genes I have absolutely no control over,” and if it wasn’t for her strong sense of self-will, she would “loathe” her body. “Each time I eat, I stress over how much I’m eating, over how much I gain just from eating,” she said.
In a tweet to preemptively address critics, she wrote: “‘You should attempt to lose weight.’ Alright. Gym membership at 20k a month × 6 months is 120k. Gimme that and I’ll give you the body you desire in 6 months. Deal?”
People were outraged by the cousin’s ultimatum and supported Chiemerie’s decision to skip the wedding. Many Twitter users called out the cousin for her vanity, while others simply criticised the superficiality of weddings altogether.
“That’s just unnecessarily cruel. Sorry this is happening to you,” one person said. “I don’t know why weddings bring out the worst in some people. At least now you know how she’s always felt about you.”
“The ‘perfect’ wedding to many people simply means a self-absorbed vanity show. ‘My day’. Don’t budge. Don’t go [to] that wedding no matter what,” a second user wrote.
Some people even shared similar experiences of being snubbed from their friend’s wedding due to their appearance.
“I had a similar situation. I still went to the wedding,” one woman said. “People kept saying to me, ‘I thought you would be the MOH’ or ‘why aren’t you MOH?’ And I just said she wanted someone thinner. It reflected more on her and I enjoyed the food that was served and I looked great!!”
Still, others weren’t so kind with their messages towards Chiemerie, claiming that she was “overreacting” and should still support her cousin on her big day.
“You sort of feel entitled to be her maid of honour. From the context you provided you can be a bridesmaid or be a guest, so it’s maid of honor or nothing. It’s her wedding, not yours,” one person wrote.
“You might be reacting this way because of how your family in general have acted towards you and your weight,” another user replied. “For this singular event, I feel you’re overreacting though. You do not fit into the role as a chief bridesmaid for her because of your size and that is totally fine”.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Chiemerie said that she was “heartwarmed” by the supportive comments and stories from people with similar experiences. “I want more fat women to realise 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 told the publication, adding that she doesn’t need to lose weight to feel confident about her body.
“I will love this body in every shape, every form,” she said.
In February of this year, a bridesmaid went viral on TikTok after viewers claimed the alterations she made to her dress will “upstage” the bride at her wedding. While she was happy with the changes made to her bridal party dress, many users accused the bridesmaid of attempting to steal the spotlight away from the bride, who just so happened to be her sister.
The Independent has contacted Olive Chiemerie for comment.