A woman walks past a Wedding dress shop in London, Tuesday, June 9, 2020, where bride dresses pile unused in the shop window. Weddings in the UK have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and are probably allowed starting in July. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Did a South Sudanese model ‘marry herself’ in Australia?

AAP FactCheck December 14, 2020

The Statement

A post circulating on social media claims a woman in Australia “married herself” because she was sick of men.

“South Sudanese lady in Australia married herself. Her only word was ‘I am so sick of these n*****s, so I made my own vows to myself Person with veil. Ayuol took the decision to marry herself after she had enough of men lying,” the Facebook post reads.

Alongside the post is a picture of a woman wearing a bridal gown standing in a church hall.

The woman’s purported story has been featured in a number of online sources (see examples here and here) including on South Sudanese “urban news” outlet Hot In Juba, on the website for a South African radio station and a Malaysian page.

At the time of writing, the December 2 post had been shared more than 200 times and received 300 reactions and more than 150 comments.

A Facebook post
 A Facebook post claims a woman in Australia “married herself” because she was sick of men. 

The Analysis

The Facebook post’s claim is based on a tweet posted by South Sudanese model Ayuol Manyok, who lives in Australia. The tweet includes the image of Ms Manyok in a bridal gown that was featured in the Facebook post, as well as the caption “sick of these n****s, so I made my own vows to myself”.

However, the post was not intended to be taken literally.

“Girl, this is a bridal photo shoot I did, the caption is supposed to be witty,” the model wrote on Twitter in a follow-up post.

The Hot in Juba article cited “sources close to Ayoul” as saying that she made the decision after she “had enough of men lying, breaking her heart and stuff”.

However, when AAP FactCheck contacted Ms Manyok regarding her tweet she confirmed that it was a joke and “isn’t that deep”.

“I’m a model and fortunately model beautiful clothing. This was my first bridal wear shoot and the caption was an ode to choosing self, and self-love,” she said.

However, Ms Manyok said one aspect of her post was true.

“I am tired of men though, the system that is patriarchy, and I’m tired of girls and women getting killed, subjugated and oppressed at the hands of men.”

The act of marrying oneself is not new. Sometimes referred to as “solygamy” it is not legally recognised in Australia but is viewed by some as a symbolic opportunity to express “self-love”.

A Gold Coast woman made headlines for a “self-marriage” in 2017 as did an Italian woman in the same year. In 2015, a US woman invited friends to her 40th birthday and turned it into a surprise wedding by walking down the aisle by herself.

A woman walks past a wedding dress shop in London.
 The act of marrying oneself is sometimes called “solygamy” or self-marriage. 

The Verdict

South Sudanese model Ayuol Manyok told AAP FactCheck that her post was intended as a joke and not to be taken literally. The photo accompanying the post was taken during a bridal photo shoot.

Satire -The content uses irony, exaggeration, or absurdity for criticism or awareness, particularly in the context of political, religious, or social issues, but a reasonable user would not immediately understand it to be satirical.

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