Arranged marriages still compromise over 90% of marriages in India, while this is often ascribed to women trusting their parents or just Indian culture, the truth is likely less rosy. Socio-political conservatism and the online dating meat-market often create an environment that is so hostile to and unsafe for dating, that arranged marriage still remains the safest and most reliable choice.
Women in India are often told that they don’t look married when they don’t wear bangles, vermillion or gold jewellery. This practise not only undermines the aesthetic agency of women but also limits the representation of marital symbolism to only Hindu culture. The married “look” encourages both conservatism and the objectification of women as showpieces on a mantle.