PARENTS

Married At 12? Shocking Wedding Blog Of 'Child Bride'

08/10/2014 18:04 | Updated 20 May 2015

theasbryllup blog raises awareness of child brides and underage marriage

Bride-to-be Thea posts a picture to her wedding blog that shows her in a cute floral headband, her fiancé's hand firmly resting on her shoulder. Her future husband is a strapping, blue-eyed man in his mid-thirties. Thea is a 12-year-old girl.

Before you start to hyperventilate, you should know that Thea is not real. The character has been invented by international aid organisation Plan, to raise awareness of the 15 million girls who become child brides every year.

On her blog, Theas Bryllup (Thea's Wedding), the pre-teen writes about her impending nuptials with 37-year-old Geir, often accompanied by selfies showing her One Direction posters in the background.

Although she writes like a typical 12-year-old, with emoticons and exclamation marks littered through her posts, the subject matter is far from normal.

Initially, Thea seems excited about planning her wedding day, treating it as though it were a game and hoping she will have a 'totally sick wedding dress'.

As the weeks pass, Thea starts to worry about having to leave school, having sex, and being expected to produce children of her own - a stark reminder that millions of girls have their childhood brought to a premature end by underage marriage, often to far older men.

theasbryllup child bride underage marriage

Photos showing Thea's preparations for the day, including one portrait of her in a bridal gown, may be provocative, but they are certainly hard to ignore.

Thea's supposed wedding date is this Saturday (11 October), coinciding with the UN's International Day of the Girl Child.

However, readers of the blog are invited to try to 'stop the wedding' by using their Facebook or Twitter accounts to raise awareness of underage marriage and by agreeing to sponsor a girl at risk of becoming a child bride.

The shocking campaign is intended to be attention-grabbing, and it has certainly worked so far. Thea's blog received over half a million readers since it first launched on 12 September - not bad for a country with a population slightly over five million.

And now international news outlets are beginning to take notice, too, with newspapers and viral blogs across the web covering the sharing the shocking images and promoting the campaign behind it.

Plan's director for Norway, Olaf Thommessen, confirmed to The Independent that the huge viral response across the globe was exactly what his organisation.

"We have all kinds of people engaging, people who are not usually motivated or involved in these kinds of things – the response has been immense."

Nigerian Child Bride Policy Sparks Viral Video

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