Despite living in the 21st century, we sadly dwell in times where society still pressurizes women to chase western beauty standards of having fair skin, long silky straight hair, and of course, being skinny.
However, certain Pakistani dramas are trying hard to change the narrative and empower women to embrace their beauty. One such project in the spotlight nowadays is ‘Mein Aisi Kiun Hun’ - a story that aims to break the stigma around curly hair.
The struggle faced by curled-hair woman
Written by Irfan Mughal and directed by Rao Ayaz Shahzad, the drama boasts an unconventional cast of Noor Zafar Khan, Syed Jibran Ali, and Noman Sami. Unfortunately, it has found itself in the eye of the storm for addressing a topic that has irked many.
Various voices on social media are criticizing that such stories are unworthy of being screened on television. On the other hand, some sane voices out there believe that hair shaming is real and are applauding the channel for boldly airing a story that describes the plight of curly-haired women in Pakistan.
The first episode made its debut on our screens this week, giving us a peep into the life of Zara, essayed by Noor, who is taunted by her husband Aazar, Syed Jibran, for having unruly, curly hair every single day. So much so, she ensures she straightens her daughter’s hair so her father doesn’t mock her for giving birth to a curly-haired child.
It's saddening that the female protagonist faces this humility, moreover, she finally decides to take a stand and walk away from the toxic marriage. Meanwhile, her vile husband moves on and seizes the chance to marry an old friend he likes.
Making the wife feel ugly about herself, the husband is adamant that he deserves a good-looking wife with luscious, silky, beautiful hair.
Finding freedom in natural hair
In the west, the natural hair movement is the real deal! It aims to encourage women to wear their hair bold and proud, not submitting themselves to anyone’s ridiculous implementation of Eurocentric beauty ideals.
It is no secret that our local beauty industry has bombarded women with expensive treatments and hair products so that they can flaunt stick-straight, dazzling hair. Some of them flat-iron their beautiful curls just so that they can meet the beauty principles imposed by our society today.
But it's time we impart the message for women to rock their natural style and stop spending massive money on treatments and products that eventually lead to hair damage. ‘Mein Aisi Kiun Hun’ enunciates the same profound message that a curly-haired woman is as capable, beautiful, and charming as those that have a straight mane.
Accepting our differences only allows us all to be unique in our way and one should have no wear in depicting themselves in how they truly are!