From a very young age, people have expectations and ideas about their wedding day. For women, they often involve dressing up and looking their absolute best. 

Vashnavi Poovanedran was no different. However, as fate would have it, she was diagnosed with cancer twice within a span of 5 years.

She beat it, both the times, but it cost her her hair which led her to believe that she is not attractive and no one will like her.

Having gone through cancer treatments (chemotherapy, etc.), losing my hair was by far the hardest thing I ever had to go through. I felt that I was not beautiful enough to be loved and was not beautiful enough to look or ever feel like a bride. Hair, it is our 'crowning glory' and having that taken away from you is devastating. 

But she chose not to let that dampen her spirit. After defeating the disease in December 2018, she has now posted pictures from her bridal photoshoot on Instagram (that she uses under the name Navi Indran Pillai).

For me, as a cancer survivor, I dreamt the day I marry the love of my life. Dreamt, what it is like to look like a bride, to feel like a bride. 

She says that treatment for cancer gives people 'limitations', 'robs them from beauty' and 'takes away their confidence'.

As a little girl, we have always dreamt of what our big day will be like and how we would look as a bride. But having cancer has stripped some of us from fulfilling these dreams. Alot of cancer survivors has postponed or even cancelled their big day.
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Cancer treatments has given us alot of limitations, has robbed us from beauty and taken away our confidence. As a little girl, we have always dreamt of what our big day will be like and how we would look as a bride. But having cancer has stripped some of us from fulfilling these dreams. Alot of cancer survivors has postponed or even cancelled their big day. For me, as a cancer survivor, I dreamt the day I marry the love of my life. Dreamt, what it is like to look like a bride, to feel like a bride. Having gone through cancer treatments (chemotherapy, etc.), losing my hair was by far the hardest thing I ever had to go through. I felt that I was not beautiful enough to be loved and was not beautiful enough to look or ever feel like a bride. Hair, it is our 'crowning glory' and having that taken away from you is devastating. But we choose to accept what we have, appreciate what we are and welcome what is coming. So here it is, *Bold Indian Bride* ****************************************************** Bangles & Bridal Anklet : @desirec.my Silk Saree & Bridal Veil : @pattushastra Photography: @celesgrd Assisted by: @shi.vaa90 Make-up & Styling : @blushbeautybeyond Assisted by : @emmanuel_ravi98 Henna: @bdazzled_beauty #kissedbycancer #cancersucks #cancersurvivor #youngadultcancer #letsfcancer ** A huge thank you to the team. You guys made my dream come true. Not only I looked like a bride, I felt like a bride and it was all thanks to the wonderful team for bringing it to life. I am so grateful to have met such wonderful people. I am extremely blessed for the amount of love and support I have received. Scrolling through the pictures, tears rolled down because I got to have my dream come true and it is because you guys made it happen for me. I am extremely grateful. Thank you all so much. Lots of love, Navi

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She didn't cancel her big day, though. She embraced her 'flaws' and flaunted them to look the prettiest bride. 

Deciding her look wasn't very easy but her makeup artist at Blush, Beauty and Beyond said:

The first challenge was to create & carve eyebrows on a canvas that have lost their own. I had to draw individual hair strokes to mimic the appearance of real brow hair & to ensure it didn’t look too fake.
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A dream come true ❤

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While further adding:

The next challenge was to choose and fix a headpiece, without a single hairpin involved. This wasn’t easy but I’m so glad we figured it out

Her pictures urge us to think about two things. First, why are standards of 'beauty' so stringent, especially for women? Second, what is the definition of physical beauty in the first place?

More power to Vashnavi for breaking stereotypes and being a courageous and gorgeous human being.