The Pakistani entertainment industry has become more accessible due to the advent of social media. At the time that we were young, it looked only like a world full of glamour from the outside. Since contact with the artists was very limited, only one side of their lives was portrayed on camera, and that was the perfect life of a star.
This was not just limited to television and film stars but also models and singers. They looked like people not from the local Pakistani setting and leading extraordinary lives. It was very rare that you would get to see their human side and understand how human they really are and go through the same emotions that we do.
In the last 10 years, the use of social media has increased significantly. This is especially true for artists, who now use these platforms to stay in touch with their fans.
The idea at first was just to have a strong social presence and for fans to be able to follow the activities of the artists they like
However, over time this has also become a way to connect with the audience in a manner which was never before tried. Many artists, especially female artists, now try to post about things which are very close to each individual’s life – struggles that most of us face every day.
Many female artists are consciously breaking free from this mold of perfection to show how human they are and also to get rid of the unrealistic standards set by the society and the industry
Saheefa Jabbar is known for getting married in the most comfortable manner possible – not giving in to the pressure of being a no-smile bride. She was very happy with her daytime reception (a trend which had taken a back seat with the trend of late night receptions).
They also stand up for causes in the society; ones that they feel strongly connected to
We have witnessed a surge in female artists standing up for causes like women empowerment.
What a liberating Sunday it was, riding with these warriors through the very streets where I have been groped, harassed, cat called and stared at in the past! Guess what guys, your #TimesUp !!! #girlsonbikes #reclaimpublicspaces kudos to @girlsondhabas for 3rd annual rally! pic.twitter.com/LDLTpf63jQ
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) April 2, 2018
Remember all the times when you could not cut your hair short because women look good in long hair?
This is something our artists go through as well. They also have to answer those bazillion questions about something as personal as their hair and they are also constantly reminded of how cutting your hair short should not be your go-to option
The aforementioned picture of Syra Shahroze with her daughter breaks this misconception that women in the entertainment industry do not want to settle and do not have time for their families
The common misconception is that they are in the industry only to sell their bodies. And these young women are constantly fighting to get rid of these misconceptions. They are expected to stay mum when they are violated and harassed
Brands like Generation Pakistan are also taking the lead in portraying artists just as diversely as people of the Pakistani society. They take out outfits for all body types and portray all different kinds of women that exist in the Pakistani society. The idea is to represent women as they exist in the society and not portray a very idealistic version of them.
These brands and artists in particular who are pushing this trend of portraying the human essence in the art are truly the ones breaking barriers because if art is not the representation of the society then it tends to isolate and alienate people. Many people following them now feel relieved that these people that they see on screen and idealize are just like them, and their struggles are very much similar to what we deal with every day.
The best example of this is Zara Noor Abbas’ TEDx talk in which she mentions how women in Pakistan tend to develop this sense of escapism to be able to live their dreams
We might think that actors tend to have it easy but no, the setup of the society is the same and it affects them too.
Women in the entertainment industry are taking it upon themselves to school the society which sees them as these alien creatures, not experiencing the reality of Pakistan. They should be nothing but proud of themselves because they are helping millions of young girls and women to not fall for the ideal image that the pop-culture sells them. And this should serve as an inspiration to the men in the entertainment industry to follow suit.
Pakistani Dramas Now Have Complex Female Characters But Why Are The Men Still Regressive Stereotypes?
cover image via Youtube