Last week, a new song from the film, ‘Baaji’, was released and it turned out to be an item song with Mehwish Hayat leading the show. Since the song was released, Mehwish Hayat has had to face a lot of backlash and hate online, with some people even calling on the government of Pakistan to revoke her ‘Tamgha E Imtiaz’.
Once the trolling had begun, Mehwish sent out a tweet flaunting her new song and using the song’s lyrics as a reply to the hate.
In this tweet, she hints to the actual message of the song, about how a woman can be in charge of her life and her body. The whole ‘Nahin Hoon Mein Khilona’ is an indication to a possible empowerment angle the song could take.
Oops I did it again!
After 5 years another cameo that I am very proud of. R u ready for Gangster Guriya?A woman in control of herself & knows wat she wants! ”You can't play me boy..nahi hoon mai khilona”👊🏻
Thank you @aClockworkObi,Saqib Malik,Taha,Akif ILyas,Anila,Mo Azmi n team pic.twitter.com/7QQ0gX4URf
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) June 20, 2019
That, of course, did not work for her. Mehwish made another tweet making it clear that the song is, for her, a song about empowerment.
To do these dance numbers has been my choice. As an actress and performer it is my job. As a woman I find my work empowering. Dance to me is aesthetically the purest form of art. https://t.co/KzGNoXJXhU
Incase you’ve missed it here’s the link ☝🏻
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) June 21, 2019
Some people came out in her support.
You go, girl! https://t.co/Lg0TbAHln3
— Hira Najam (@hiranajam) June 23, 2019
I am with you Mehwish 😍❤ you are beautiful and have helped alot to bring up our industry. You are fair better than those who watch and do the Indian content and appreciate it and whenever someone from Pakistan do the same they comes up with Islam. HYPOCRISY OF PAKISTANI NATION https://t.co/vvR1BHmn7R
— Jannat🌼 (@ZnbJnnt) June 23, 2019
Journalist, Wajahat Khan, came out in support of Mehwish Hayat.
Like @MehwishHayat, Pak needs clarity: Adopt art in its entire manifestation – from abstract painting to item numbers – or just do away with it.
As for women: accept them, deal with them, acknowledge their choices. Stop cherrypicking your version of what they should be doing. https://t.co/PQ378KPqwA
— WSK (@WajSKhan) June 21, 2019
Hamza Ali Abbasi was dragged into this, following his comments on item songs last week.
In your face Hamza Ali Abassi!
You Diva… Proud of you… https://t.co/hzQZ3I6Um8
— Arsalan (@arsalanahmedk) June 21, 2019
Other people were not as forgiving.
This woman got Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the highest Civilian honour of "Islamic Republic" of Pakistan. I don't know how is her "item number" art related to Islam. https://t.co/uW2qjKVVEp
— پرنس کشمیری (@PrinceKashmiri_) June 21, 2019
People brought up valid arguments to argue her description of dance being the purest form of art.
Dance is the form of art, no doubt. But when it moves to body objectification, does it remain art? I doubt. Item remains the cheap stunt of commercial success, the term is used within films to describe a catchy, upbeat, sexually provocative dance sequence for a song in a movie. https://t.co/s4Bls2JUjG
— M. Talaal Khalid (@omuhammadtalal) June 22, 2019
Dance is aesthetically the purest form of art. Time for an item number https://t.co/wK2JMncDT5
— Usama Khawaja (@Usamaakhwaja) June 22, 2019
Mehwish Hayat has always made it clear that her decision to do item songs is only her’s and that people must learn to accept that. These songs are Mehwish exercising her autonomy and her free will. But instead of calling out Mehwish for these songs, people who are anti-item numbers must look inwards first. Mehwish is an actress and is responding to a demand, as are the directors and producers.
People in Pakistan and the subcontinent, in general, enjoy seeing dance numbers and songs, and item songs is a part of that. People portray that they’re against these songs being made, however movies with item numbers have historically done well- so there is a level of hypocrisy present that we need to address if we truly want to move away from the objectification of women and the culture of ‘item songs’.
Mehwish Hayat was, as usual, unfazed by all the hate and posted a short snippet of rehearsals for the song.
Aside from all the hate, the song is getting, and the discourse on item songs, you must admit that it does seem like she put her heart and soul into this and that the steps themselves weren’t the easiest.
This has to be one of my most fav & toughest steps of the choreography from “Gangster Guriya”. Thank you @aClockworkObi for pushing me & trusting me with these challenging moves. Looked easy but I almost fractured my knee at the shoot being the jazbaati adakaara that I am.🙈lol pic.twitter.com/52eQFFPU82
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) June 22, 2019
Have you seen Mehwish’s song? If so, what were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments 🙂
Cover Photo Courtesy: ARY Films / Youtube