Women have almost always been subjected to impossible standards of beauty. Our culture ranks girls by their face value. “Itni lambi, itni choti, itni kaali, itni moti” are some of the phrases almost all of us have heard at one point in our lives. If you are a born and bred Pakistani, chances are you’ve heard desi aunties talking about mohallay ki larkiyan like they are some piece of meat. Our industry is no exception.
The trend, however, seems to be changing. But before we delve deeper into how it’s changing, it is imperative to understand that the beauty standards differ with changing landscape around the world but one thing that remains consistent is the fact that everywhere women are told, they are not good enough. If you want to feel bad about yourself, just go shopping. The plethora of products available is marketed in the perfect way to make girls think that everything about them is wrong in some way or the other.
Leading actresses go ‘natural’
Amidst all of this, the latest occurrence of Pakistani beauty icons cheering for their natural self is a breath of fresh air. Haina Amir, let’s call her a trendsetter, posted a picture of her “not so perfect skin” and man, was that relevant. Hania talked about how her skin had been acting out and her struggle with acne prone skin, which is analogous to every other girl’s skin problems.
Following Hania’s suit, Mehwish Hayat and Ayesha Omar posted pictures of their morning faces. Lately, posting natural pictures has become a trend in its own way. Actresses like Iqra Aziz, Sadaf Kanwal, Mahira Khan, Maya Ali, Syra Shehroz and many others are mostly seen sporting natural looks. Now it is to be noted that these women are ideals of hundreds of young Pakistani girls hence they rallying against society’s definition of beauty and stepping out in all their natural glory is a huge step. Dair ayay Durust ayay.
Such pictures send a very body positive message. They tell younger girls that it is okay to have bad skin or hair days and that it’s okay to have acne or not a perfectly symmetrical face. That it’s okay to own up to your flaws.
A girl does not need to lather herself in skin reviving creams every day to look beautiful. Creating awareness among the young generation is extremely important and granted posting a few selfies will not right every wrong but it is a start and a very good one at that. These superstars are telling women to feel good in their own skin and that a little bit of melanin never hurt anybody. That using makeup is a choice; an option and not a compulsion to mold oneself into society’s approved standards of beauty.
Kudos to our talented Pakistani superstars for creating this ripple! We are definitely here for it.