Popular film and TV actor Zara Noor Abbas recently shared her battle with online trollers and people from the media industry who have body shamed her.
Abbas, who is known for her character in drama serial Khamoshi, spoke to BBC Asian Network about how she has dealt with body shaming.
“There was a point in time when I had to tell myself to stop and make it a point where I have to embrace myself and embrace my flaws – no matter what size I am,” the actor said.
She said she decided her talent wouldn’t suffer because of it.
The actor was body shamed and trolled at the start of her career.
Speaking about the backlash she has faced from models when walking the ramp and on Twitter with users commenting that she was trying to be Mahira Khan, Abbas said the reason why she was really shamed for a lot of things was because of her body.
“I was body shamed for a very, very long time on social media,” she told the interviewer.
But Abbas blocked it all out.
“If I keep on listening to them, I am going to lose focus,” she said.
Commenting on the comparison made between her and actor Mahira Khan, she said she thinks Khan is an intelligent woman and it was a “great” comparison.
She praised Khan and said she was glad to be compared with her as Khan is one of the biggest stars in the country and an asset to the Pakistani showbiz industry.
When asked if it was problematic that body shaming makes people feel they need to lose weight, Abbas said it is upsetting and traumatic when you undergo surgery or start taking pills or injections to lose weight.
“If you are going out and gymming, that’s fine. But if you are going to let them affect you and stop wearing what you wear, that’s when its negative and concerning,” she said.
The young actor shared her own experience where people advised her to “not wear jeans” or sleeveless because she was “so big”.
It was at this point, Abbas realised that if someone had a negative opinion of her appearance, she should do it twice.
She proudly stated that the negativity of body shaming had never stopped her from being herself.
The trauma that comes with being a victim of body shamed goes largely unnoticed. Abbas says that it “always hurts”. She shared incidents where people’s comments on her body made her cry and sob over her identity.
Abbas will be seen next in Asim Raza’s film Parey Hut Love, which will release on Eidul Azha.