Leave Ushna Shah and her shade of red alone

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Ushna Shah, dressed in a vibrant red, tied the knot on Sunday with the person she wants to spend her life with. Surrounded by friends and family, she signed her nikahnama. It was a celebration of love and the joyous occasion was met with congratulatory messages and well-wishes for this new chapter in her life. It should have been that simple, right? Except it wasn’t. Instead, she was harassed by guests who breached her privacy, trolled online for the outfit she chose and shamed for dancing at her wedding.

Before I even start, I’m aware some people are going to simply look at the headline and pile on more hate, which makes it even more important to address all the negativity surrounding Shah’s wedding. So freeze, keyboard warriors! I know your fingers are itching to project your discontent with life onto someone else’s happy day, but pause and take a deep breath. That tiny shred of empathy that’s hiding in the dark corner of your brain? Unchain it. Let it take the reins for once.

Like the Habs actor said, you did not pay for her shade of red. Nor did you finance her wedding. It’s funny though — there is no balance in how celebrities are perceived. Sometimes, they’re hailed as a different species that’s superior to the rest but at the same time, they’re considered public property and people feel this ridiculous entitlement to comment on every aspect of their lives. Newsflash, they’re human just like you and me.

That having been said, it’s okay to have opinions. You don’t, however, have to shove them in everyone’s faces. It’s okay to not like her dress or to disagree with the way she chooses to celebrate her big day but to berate her like this and comment everywhere you see her name pop up online is nothing short of harassment.

Also, hello, empathy 101. This is not a drama she acted in, you are not expressing your views on her professional performance. This is someone’s wedding day, have a heart and be kind. How would you feel if someone saw your photos as a bride and started pointing out everything they hate about your look? Exactly.

For those who have an issue with her dancing, I welcome you to the 21st century. You’re a late bloomer but it’s okay, at least you’re here. Anyway, just to give you a little refresher, we don’t do the quiet, shy bride who sits like a statue on stage for pictures bit anymore. Women today are allowed to be human — sorry to disappoint you. They’re allowed to be loud, to move, to dance, to be happy on their big day. So get with the programme.

Now, coming to the breach of privacy at her wedding.If you’ve been married yourself or have witnessed someone close to you get married, you know how much effort goes into making sure the day turns out just right. Shah may have invited a lot of people to her reception but she said only 15 people were present at the signing of the papers. That was how she intended it to be. Instead, some paparazzi inspired man decided privacy be damned, if I can’t be there, I will get my drone to be my eyes.

Question marks are all I’ve got in response to that. I can only imagine how uncomfortable and horrified Shah must have felt at this. This is not only a violation of privacy but also consent.

Again, this is the only appropriate reaction to what transpired. But people online somehow twisted even this, terming it attention-seeking on Shah’s part. Please, just stop talking. Contrary to what your brain is telling you, every thought in your head is not worthy of being expressed. If you can’t be kind then respectfully, shut up.

No one wants their special day to become a scandal. Every bride wants to be appreciated and for people to join in her happiness. It doesn’t matter who’s on the receiving end — even if it is someone you dislike, stop flinging hate on such an important moment of someone’s life. If you still feel like you have something negative to say, go stand in front of a mirror and say it to yourself first. If you can stand to hear it, go love yourself I guess because you clearly have issues you need to work through.