No body is the same, but every body deserves love, respect, and acceptance. The term Body Positivity means to cherish every inch, curve, and speck of your body and the changes it will endure as you age. Body positivity was made in the hopes of “reducing potential disordered eating and distorted body image triggers, while reducing the oppressive language that excludes fat people from access to resources.”
Many oppose the movement declaring body positivity is ignoring nutritional and medical facts as those overweight aren’t by typical standards “healthy,” but that is between them and their doctor, not me or you or anyone else. We are all made uniquely and what is healthy for you may not be what’s beneficial for another human being. The phrase ‘healthy at every size’ isn’t, unlike popular opinion, praising obesity. Instead, the campaign hopes to generate “positive changes made for the sake of being healthier” by getting rid of the guilt, humiliation, and misery that comes with not having a so-called “perfect” body.
Everyone has their off days like many others; I too have struggled with body image growing up. I’ve also been one of those who do face a plethora of body-judgment–both from themselves and others. But I have learnt it the very hard way that there is no need for fat-shaming. It doesn’t help people get to a better, more beneficial place in their life and in fact in reality, the stress and pressure results in greatly reduced chances of weight loss and instead, a tendency to gain weight and become obese by creating eating disorders and unhealthy lifestyle habits.
As a fitness enthusiast, I’m happy to say that the goal of exercising for me is not to get skinny anymore. Having a healthy lifestyle is about being confident, eating foods that make you feel good, and doing activities that help your body achieve what you never thought it could achieve, it’s about having a healthy relationship with your own body, where you listen to your body and your body listens and responds to you. These are all individualized subjects that do not require anyone’s outside judgment.
Moreover, attaching the statement “body positivity” to workout videos and articles promising to make you miraculously have a modelesque body or lose all that extra fat is not, in fact, body positive. The way you are is beautiful and taking different actions is not to become beautiful or happy or confident, you already are. Instead, fitness is a way to learn more about your body and the challenges it can endure.
Body positivity has become a safe space for people who have struggled with their body image, allowing them the space to accept their bodies as they are and work on loving themselves even if they have rolls or cellulite. I think this is a necessary cushion and community of people that celebrate all types of bodies in order for us to feel confident and truly ourselves. Body positivity has helped many people with eating disorders go into recovery, as well as exposing the vast amount of photoshopping that goes into ad campaigns that present women as stick thin with perfect skin. Jameela Jamil, along with many other famous women like Ashley Graham, Chrissy Teigen, Selena Gomez, has used her platform and fame to spread the message of body positivity.
While the west is slowly growing sensitised to issues like fat shaming, it’s obvious that Pakistan has a lot of progress left to make. According to Noor Bukhari, the preference in Pakistan has shifted from curvier bodies to leaner bodies over the years due to foreign influence.
A fat girl isn’t considered good wife material in Pakistani society, says stand-up comedian Faiza Saleem. According to Faiza Saleem, a fat girl doesn’t stand up to the conventional standards of beauty in Pakistan and also because it is believed her health might affect her having a family later. She thinks that health concerns may be valid but women of all sizes struggle with conceiving children.
In Pakistan, ten years ago it would have been very difficult to find a plus-size model in a magazines or anywhere, plus size models such as Zehra Husayn, Bihamaal, Sabah Bano Malik, Faiza Saleem among others have expanded what it means to be curvy and owning it like a boss. I think this change is extraordinary and this diversity needs to be incorporated in all aspects of social media as well, where women in Pakistan start embracing their curves and are willing to be the change we needed.
Hum Style Awards 2020 – The Good, the Bad, and the Dazzlingly Hottest
Hum Style Awards 2020
The enchantment and glitz of a perfect Saturday night, and with the true spirit of a star-studded affair, Hum Style Awards 2020 kickstarted the year with a bang. Held at Expo Center Karachi, the Hum Style Awards was indeed filled with glamour and graced by big names of the fashion and entertainment industry and turned out to be a compendious evening. The red-carpet ceremony began with a spark with megastars including Reema Khan, Tariq Amin, Zara Noor Abbas, and Mira Sethi among many, walking along and flashing their brightest smiles and deluxe attires. However, the zing started to fade after a few hours, turning into a drabber experience, and the diminutive size of the red carpet relative to previous years just added to the walk being shorter and people getting bored quickly.
The event turned out to be unusually timely, and before it was half past nine, the hall was filled and the show about to begin. The stage was remarkably gorgeous with the graphics setting a starry-night mood, mirroring the space with so many of the industry’s stars. Though the hall space was relatively cramped, making it appear congested at a few spots, especially when there was movement. And what better way to start the show, than with a splash of patriotism invigorating one’s spirits through our beautifully melodious national anthem.
The boost of patriotic sentiment was followed by a performance by a rap dup, Young Stunners, which turned out to be moderately successful in energizing people. It even managed to make the audience laugh at some spots, especially with the comical references to videos of celebrities that went viral on social media – the actor Ali Rehman Khan’s video leak where he is repeatedly seen saying to a restaurant’s staff, “Aap ko pata hai main kaun hun?” (“Do you know who I am?”)
Adnan Siddiqui, the host for the night, gave the show’s opening note, which was perhaps the only part of the hosting that can be termed enjoyable. The other hosts that followed, namely Aamina Sheikh and Usman Mukhtar, steered the event in a way which could have been made more entertaining if it were Adnan Siddiqui paired with Aamina for the show, as Mukhtar’s part sounded rather clumsy, with forced jokes in between. His Hum Smile Awards segment left a lot of the peers watching the show super perplexed, as his supposed impression of PTV’s host Tariq Aziz, was downright vague. The only thing that seemed spontaneously amusing about the hosting, was the use of political jokes here and there, which is rarely observed in Award ceremonies. From the comment on how Imran Khan is the only Prime Minister without his own business and hence, is bent on erasing all business from Pakistan, to the “boot polish” statement, the spritz of comedy was like a breath of fresh air in the otherwise mundane script.
The performances were energetic, and made the audience recall all the classic, vintage Pakistani music, while appreciating the present-day music that is part of our television and film industry. The second performance by Ahsan Khan and Sara Loren was riveting, though if the music is to be viewed separately than the dances, both the performers lacked the energy and the vibe of the tunes, despite being great at dancing usually.
The highlight of the event was the performance by Zara Noor Abbas, who appeared to be an embodiment of grace and art, rhythm and style, as she moved to the beat of the classical songs. Her performance was thoroughly refreshing and delightful, one which reminds you of not only the beauty of the art itself, but also the ability of a great artist keeping the viewers fascinated, throughout.
Dancing to the superhit tunes of the blockbuster film of last year, Superstar, the power-couple Farhan Saeed and Urwa Hocane brought life to the show, as they shook the stage with their dynamic moves. The flow of the choreography and the beat of the dance numbers kept the fun alive till the next performance, which was undoubtedly another key feature of Hum Style Awards. The said performance was a splendid concert by Abrar ul Haq, instantly making the audience fall in love and sway with the hit Punjabi beats. However, had the concert been live, it would have added more of a buzz in the environment.
The Award Categories included the Rising Star 2018-2019 won by two of the Nominees including Mush Kaleem, the Hair and Make-up Artist of the Year 2018-2019 secured by Qasim Liaqat, Fashion Photographer of the Year 2018-2019 bagged by Alee Hasan, Best Model Female 2018-2019 won by Zara Abid, Best Model Male 2018-2019 won by Aimal Khan, Designer of the Year Lawn 2018-2019 received by Zara Shahjahan, Most Stylish Performer 2018-2019 won by Asim Azhar, Timeless Beauty won by Reema Khan, Most Stylish Actor Television 2018-2019 won by Sonya Hussyn in the Female Category and Mikaal Zulfiqar in the Male Category, and Most Stylish Actor Film 2018-2019 won by Mahira Khan (Popular) and Kiran Malik (Jury) and Ahad Raza Mir in the Female and Male Category, respectively.
Surprisingly, despite Superstar being one of the highest grossing film of the previous year, Bilal Ashraf was not nominated for the Most Stylish Actor Film category. If there were two awards given in the Female category in the name of Jury and Popular Choice, there surely could have been made room for two awards being awarded in the Male category as well, deservingly giving one of the awards to Bilal Ashraf.
Other Categories included Most Stylish Sports Personality 2018-2019, won by Hajra Khan, Captain of Pakistan Women’s National Football team. This was a novel deviation from the usual practice of recognition being granted to cricketers alone, as well as the fact that a woman bagged the award.
Style Icon given to Aisha Omer, and other prestigious awards that were part of the ceremony were Best Model Male and Female, Designer of the Year Pret Wear, Bridal, Menswear, Demi-Couture, and Lawn, as well as Retail Label of the Year and Excellence in Interior Designing and Furniture Manufacturing.
Bridal Couture Week Day 2 brings more stars on the ramp
After the glamorous showcase on Day One, Day Two of the bridal extravaganza was a continuation of the glitz and bridal statements with the country’s acclaimed couturiers, bridal wear designers and retail brands. As always BCW left its audience stunned with its majestic stage, uniquely set for a one of kind fashion show.
On Day Two of the bridal extravaganza kicked off with Emraan Rajput’s earthy hued fusion collection Shalima.
It was followed by Aisha Farid’s Nur un Nissa a collection fit for the Mughal empress.
The next show was by Kausar Sajid with her Parivarsh collection which has revived ancient embroidery techniques over luxe and delicate fabrics for the modern-day bride.
Shakeel’s by Zeeshan Danish’s hand embroidered bridal collection Kimkhwab and Sheeba Kapadia’s Claire De Lune for the new age bride.
Chinyere’s Ishq Nachaye Gali Gali for the woman who presents femininity through unique and beautiful patterns of embroidery, embellishments and motifs.
Humayun Alamgir’s Nawabzada a collection inspired by the fashion choices of the royals, elite and the influential.
Next in line was Embellished by Sadaf Amir’s Bagh e Baharan which featured colours of flowers from all seasons and transformed the ramp into a garden.
Rici Melion’s timeless couture pieces in their latest collection Zyanya, encompassing artisanal craft forms showcasing renditions of Turkish floral, textures and seaming.
Day 2 comes to an end with the return of Lahore’s favourite Maria B. with her collection The Lady of Amritsar.
The audience also witnessed the launch of Tasmina and Zulfiqar Sheikh’s Sacch movie’s latest song. The cast members who braced the runway included debutant Elysée Sheikh paired with Asad Zaman Khan, along with veterans including Ayesha Sana and Uzma Gillani.
Day 2 of the three-day bridal extravaganza had an amazing line-up of celebrities walking for the designers – internationally acclaimed singer and actor Ali Zafar walked for Emraan Rajput, and the stunning queen of television Ayeza Khan walked for Aisha Farid. Nimra Khan graced the ramp for Kausar Sajid, while Urwa Hocane walked for Shakeel’s by Zeeshan Danish while Sanam Jung walked for Sheeba Kapadia’s showcase. The very lively Juggan Kazim walked for Chinyere while singer Falak Shabbir, vlogger Shahveer Jafry and cricketer Hasan Ali walked for Humayun Alamgir. Mawra Hocane walked for Sadaf Amir and Junaid Khan with Zubab Rana strutted down the ramp for Rici Melon. The veteran classical performer Nighat Chaudary added allure to the show during Maria B.’s segment.
Bridal Couture Week Day 1
The 17th edition of the biggest bridal show extravaganza, Bridal Couture Week (BCW).
Show one of the bridal extravaganza kicked off with Fahad Hussayn’s collection Labyagawachi trousseau bridal collection.
It was followed by Aisha Imran’s Shadi Mubarik in romantic hues for the charismatic classic bride.
The next was Almirah with its collection Ethnic Seams which drew its inspiration from the splendour and intimacy of Eastern art.
It was followed by Samsara Couture House’s Hayal, inspired from the tulip era in the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Zonia Anwaar came next with her collection Zoella which was modern yet infused traditional techniques with her signature cuts for the young millennial brides.
Ziggi Menswear’s monochromatic collection Fana – ‘Annihilation of the Self’ which was constructed using luxe fabrics, rich embroideries and motifs inspired from Sufism.
Nitasha Bilal Haute Couture showcased Abooro with her vision of beautiful Mughal legacy, blending them with her revivalist techniques of kora dabka and was awarded the Pantene Rising Star for her beautiful debut collection.
Haris Shakeel who amalgamated embroideries with block and screen printing in his collection Ishq.
Next was Royal Tag’s very aristocratic menswear collection The Royal Ceremony, inspired by the majestic Syon House and Garden in London.
Day one came to an end with globally acclaimed master couturier Nilofer Shahid’s collection Dastaan e Firdaus.
Day one of the three-day bridal extravaganza had an amazing line-up of celebrities walking for the designers – the bhangra king Abrar Ul Haq walked for Fahad Hussayn and Minal Khan showcased for for Aisha Imran. The veteran actor Aijaz Aslam was show stopper for Almirah, while the undisputed queen of our entertainment industry, Saba Qamar graced the ramp for Samsara Couture House whereas Nausheen Shah walked for Zonia Anwaar. Noor Khan walked and ‘Soch The Band’ performed for Nitasha Bilal Haute Couture while Kinza Hashmi closed the show for Haris Shakeel.
The eternal Adnan Siddiqui walked the ramp for Royal Tag and Sarah Khan added allure to Nilofer Shahid’s timeless pieces.
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