Recently, a matrimonial ad has drawn the ire of the internet with its weird specifications for a bride. The advertisement made by Mr. Aggarwal had specifications including, but not limited to, the woman’s bra, waist, and feet size. The ad was posted by a man seeking a bride on a matrimonial site called Betterhalf.ai and has been widely circulated on social media recently. Ditching the traditional “slim, fair and tall” for a much more specific and equally problematic set of requirements, the man said he was seeking a woman who was “5’2 to 5’6” and measured “32b to 32c, size 12-16 (waist) and size 6-7 (feet).”
The demands don’t end there. The man went on to list several “qualities” that his ‘better half’ (indeed!) had to possess. The ad specified that she should be conservative but also liberal, fun but down to earth, and “be into wearing costumes in bed”. The woman should also love dogs and have no children and be anywhere between 18 to 26-years-old.
Liberal but pro life. Boob size. Height and other requirements of this one Indian man on a matrimonial site! pic.twitter.com/xxljeXAHsG
— Naimish Sanghvi (@ThatNaimish) November 19, 2021
The advertisement surfaced on Reddit last week and had stirred up a lot of socials. Reactions ranged from anger to amusement with people calling him out for such ‘demands.’
“This guy is a ladies tailor or what?” asked one person in the comments section.
“Just give him a barbie doll set already,” a Reddit user suggested, while another remarked: “This reads like a parody. Wants a woman with conservative values but at the same time be liberal?”
After the ad went viral on Twitter, Betterhalf.ai said that action had been taken against the user for violating the platform’s terms and conditions. “Necessary action has been taken against the user for violating our User Terms and Conditions,” the matrimonial website said in a tweet Friday.
Though this advertisement might easily be an advertisement stunt or just another prank, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the way we treat our women. Even if it had been a prank, normalizing the objectification of a woman is not the right theme to take humor from.
Not many of the comments pointed out the underlying problem in the ad posted. Let’s dissect his ‘demands.’
“”5’2 to 5’6″ and measured “32b to 32c, size 12-16 (waist) and size 6-7 (feet)”
This is problematic on so many levels as this reveals the man’s misogynistic ideals. Any woman who fits this size shall not always remain within his ‘boundaries’ thus proving that women need to be continuously altered to fit a man’s demands. In a society as progressive as ours, any person would know this is the first red flag, not just for women, but for maintaining a relationship as such.
Tailoring a woman for a man is an easy sign of patriarchy and such signs are not subtle at all, which isn’t something to be happy about. This demand only shows that he’s looking, not for a partner, but for someone to be at his beck and call, thus reflecting on his upbringing, as to how he was taught to view women.
“Be into wearing costumes in bed”.
Following the age-old adage of women satisfying men, this is a red flag no one can ever miss. This is deeply deceptive on so many levels as this agrees with the constraints that women need to be subordinate to men and their self-acceptance is only in making a man feel pleasured.
“have no children”
This is a problematic statement that is prevalent in many households. Not the fact that he dictates her to not have children, but the fact that he thinks he has the right to decide her preference to become a mother or not. Women have always been molded into three important characters: a daughter, a wife, and a mother. If she fails to oblige to be one, she’s immediately termed unethical or unlawful and it is saddening to know that not many women even know that such branding of their identity is wrong.
When you teach women that their identity is only in being useful to a male counterpart, they fail to realize that they have a purpose otherwise. Fitting women into sizes, roles, statuses, looks are subtle indicators that we as a society, still give in to patriarchy and a thin lining of tradition is to blame too. Tradition dictates our women to be ‘goddesses,’ ‘mothers’ and the ‘kula vilaku’ (light of the clan) in so many households and thus, unknowingly, women are idealized to be a particular shape, size, and person.
We need to realize that women’s shape, body, bust size, or even ability to conceive children aren’t what makes women, ideal. An ideal woman knows to split her identity from her purpose. Understanding of a woman’s roles and powers and even the tiniest ray of consent requires a good upbringing, an unbiased mode of education, and definitely an open mindset.
Are we, as a society, ready to raise our women better? Are we ready to teach men to treat our women better?