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Emily Ratajkowski and the Fall Of Divorce Shame

Divorce Rings, Parties and Burning Wedding Dresses: Are We Over Divorce Shame?

Diamonds are forever — especially for Emily Ratajkowski it seems, who made international headlines last week when she repurposed her engagement ring into a divorce ring. Following her split from film producer husband Sebastian Bear-McClard, it seems Ratajkowski is celebrating.

The model flaunted her divorce ring — which is now a pear-shaped princess-cut diamond split in two — on Instagram and it was instantly hailed as an "iconic" move by the internet. So, are we officially in our "Loud Breakup" era and are we finally seeing the shame of divorce declining?

For decades, divorce was seen as "shameful" — more so for women than men, unfairly — but in recent years, we have witnessed the rise of divorce celebrations. From burning wedding dresses to divorce parties, women are actively changing the narrative and the negative stigma surrounding divorce. Now, newly single people are being loud and proud about splitting from an ex-partner and are finding the joy in anticipating their next chapter.

Image Source: Instagram/Emily Ratajkowski

According to a study by online card retailer Moonpig, British people are celebrating "alternative milestones" (life events that deviate from the usual birthdays, new job celebrations, and births) more than ever. According to the statistics based on Google search data, Moonpig found divorce parties were the second most popular alternative life event to celebrate, coming just behind getting a new dog. The data revealed that there are 26,220 searches each month for "divorce parties" from Brits looking for tips on celebrating the occasion.

28-year-old Ilma Amin from London threw a divorce party to celebrate the end of her three-year marriage and shared her 'divorce party must-haves' on TikTok. The video soon went viral with over 1.3 million views.

Amin decided that is was time to bounce back and threw herself an iconic party to celebrate her next chapter. The business analyst revealed on the social media app that she previously didn't get the chance to enjoy an official wedding ceremony because it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So she used this divorce party as an opportunity to celebrate to the fullest. She said on TikTok: "It was the most perfect night. I never got to have that white wedding, so the party was me having it." She referred to the night as a bachelorette party and a white wedding all in one.

Moonpig found that divorce parties were the second most popular alternative life event to celebrate. The data revealed that there are 26,220 searches each month for 'divorce parties' from Brits looking for tips on celebrating the occasion.

Amin also wore a silver ring in the shape of a question mark. Speaking about the stigma attached to divorce for women, she said on TikTok: "I'm so young and hot, the stigma is kind of funny. When I drop the bombshell that I'm divorced it's entertaining."

Influencer Yanin Taylor also saw her video of her mementos and her wedding dress get huge support when she posted it at the start of the year. She called it: "The most liberating thing I've ever done."

Bumble's Sex and Relationship expert Dr Caroline West says we're moving away from the idea that big breakups are a sign of failure. She reveals that we're seeing more and more people embrace this milestone with positivity, instead using the time to take stock, celebrate personal growth, and set intentions for the future.

West says: "The era of vague 'conscious uncoupling' announcements made popular by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin is over. In its place, we're seeing the rise of the 'Loud Breakup', which sees women in particular feeling empowered to embrace their single status and be more open about the end of a relationship.

"I had a full bouquet and I threw it to the next person that's going to get divorced. I also had speeches, divorce maids and my best men."

"Whether through divorce rings, breakup parties or burning wedding dresses, we're seeing singles caring much less about what people outside of their relationship have to say about it. Helping shatter the stigma around 'failed' relationships, being loud and proud about breakups or divorce allows single people to re-approach dating on their terms. In fact, a recent Bumble survey found that nearly three-quarters of newly single people are feeling positive about a new romance ahead."**

**Research was conducted by Bumble using internal data and polling between 6th-21st October, 2021 with a sample of more than 8,500 Bumble users across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Philippines, United Kingdom, and United States.

Aaliyah Harry (she/her) is the associate editor at POPSUGAR UK. She writes extensively across lifestyle, culture and beauty. Aaliyah also has a deep passion for telling stories and giving voice to the voiceless. Previously, she has contributed to Refinery29, Grazia UK and The Voice Newspaper.

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