The news from China about the man suing his ex-wife for being ugly became a worldwide sensation. In fact, it was even one of the front page news from our local broadsheet this morning.
In case you have not read or heard about this news, I’ll supply the details: A man named Jian Feng married a beautiful woman whose name is withheld though her before-and-after pictures are shown. Anyway, according to Jian Feng, they had a blissful marriage until their daughter is born. He expressed his disgust by saying that their baby is “incredibly ugly to the point that it horrified” him. He accused his ex-wife of cheating because according to him, there is no way that their genes could produce such an ugly baby.
It turns out that the woman had undergone plastic surgery in South Korea where she spent almost $100,000 up to $125,000 (the reports vary) years before she met Jian Feng. Also, DNA tests were also conducted proving that indeed, they are both the parents of the baby. Thereafter, Jian Feng divorced his ex-wife and asked for damages. He won his case, not surprisingly handled by a male judge, and was awarded $120,000 worth of damages. The presiding judge ruled the man had technically married the woman under “false pretenses”.
I understand that the woman is initially at fault here for she did not reveal her secret on what she really looks like before they got married. I understand the feeling of the husband that he was deceived upon seeing their baby and after knowing the truth about the plastic surgery.
But is marriage about what the other person looks like? Is this the “false pretenses” that the Chinese judge is talking about?
I do not know much about Chinese law but in case a similar case occurred here in the Philippines, I believe that they would use this provision from the Family Code:
Art. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
It may be weird citing the Philippine law but I believe that our law could be applicable to any family all over the world. The words may be annulled purports that such marriage is voidable. A voidable marriage or contract is considered valid until declared otherwise. And this is for a good reason: marriage is for perpetual partnership and unconditional love. In marriage, one entirely accepts a person for who he fully is. This includes not only the person perceived at this present but also his vague past and unknown future.
Nonetheless, whatever laws the Chinese have, it appears that Jian Feng only marry her because she looks beautiful, period. But he totally disregarded other aspects of her as physical beauty is just one element of a person. How about the times where she became patient with his idiosyncrasies? Maybe she even learned how to cook, to behave as an honorable wife for him. How about the little surprises she made to keep him smiling? Also, it is priceless whenever a woman worry for the safety of the man she loves.
But what puzzles me most is why he didn’t seem to research about his wife before marrying her. I mean, if I were to get married to the man I loved, I would have asked him to let me meet his family and friends. This serves not only as a background check but for me to get to know him more. I want to know his favorites as well as his dislikes. Or what kind of child or teen he was. If he was timid, I want to know why. If he was rebellious, I want to know what triggers it. Did he have allergies? I would like to know that, too, as there is a high possibility that our future children might inherit it. Ultimately, because I love him, I want to know him best in order to make him happy for the rest of our lives. Of course, past pictures would surface from the people I was asking, that is inevitable.
I am saddened on how the world is turning out to be where everything is based only on superficial and apparent beauty. I am not a fan of anyone who had undergone plastic surgery but somehow I understand Jian Feng’s ex-wife. The competition is tough in Asia but more especially in East Asian countries. You must not only be academically excellent, extremely talented but you must also possess good features like those big eyes, small face and perfect skin. Or perhaps, that woman also wants to feel beautiful after being ridiculed as ugly not only by her playmates when she was a young girl or her colleagues as a working lass but also by her parents and relatives who have this mischievous looks at her coupled with uncomfortable snickers or head shakings.
Unfortunately, the man she thought who could finally make her happy for the rest of her life turned out to be a douche bag. Not only did he divorce her and humiliated her in public, but she also needs to pay her $120,000. Worst, there is no mentioning of any decision beneficial to her daughter. Will Jian Feng be also freed of his obligation of support to his daughter because of his ex-wife’s “false pretenses”? Where is the justice in this instant case? It does not make any sense. Whatever he says, the fact remains that the baby is still his own flesh and blood and that the baby is faultless with whatever misunderstanding he and his ex-wife had. It is also most unfortunate that their baby shall live with the fact that her daddy left her and her mommy because they are “ugly”.
On the brighter side, I want to congratulate the ex-wife because she can now live in peace without that heartless man. Also, there is still a person who would love her indefinitely: her daughter. For Mr. Jian Feng, good riddance. Enjoy your money earned in this case. Assuming you are a handsome man, you proved to the world that you are revolting and vile inside. Alas, nobody could ever love your wicked, cold and callous soul.