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The #MeinBhi theme that could've meant more, and other hits and misses at the Lux Style Awards

Did #MeinBhi live up to its promise? Were the musical performances game changers? Read on to find out.
Updated Feb 26, 2018 11:33am


This year's Lux Style Awards promised something different.

As the country reeled from young Zainab's shocking murder and as celebrities joined the ranks of those speaking out against injustice and rampant child sexual abuse, it became evident that a platform like the LSAs had an opportunity to move away from a singular focus on feel-good entertainment.

Also read: Who won big at the Lux Style Awards 2018?

And so the LSAs joined hands with longtime collaborator Frieha Altaf to produce segments that were promoted with the hashtag #MeinBhi -- a desified #MeToo campaign that promised to have celebrities promote human rights.

This was noble idea, no doubt, and it also prompted celebrities to show off their generosity as Frieha said musicians had agreed to perform at the LSAs free of cost (though it can be argued that musicians in Pakistan need financial compensation more actresses or actors).

But did #MeinBhi live up to its promise? And what else at the LSAs fared well -- or flopped?

A list of hits and misses below.

Hit: The LSAs intended to make social awareness the focus of the awards show...

This year's Lux Style Awards seemed to take a cue from international award shows like the Golden Globes, which capitalised on the momentum of the #MeToo movement and supported initiatives like #TimesUp (a movement against sexual harassment in Hollywood).

As such, at the outset Unilever's CEO Shazia Syed spoke of how the company had gone beyond "selling bars of soap" and was now helping make dreams come true and investing heavily in corporate responsibility.

LSA's #MeinBhi campaign doubt intended to highlight the trauma of child sexual abuse and the importance of speaking up and being heard. This in itself was a commendable step, because big corporations with their vast resources can be essential allies in drawing attention to causes. However...

Miss: But the #MeinBhi theme got lost

Did anyone else feel this pairing was a little forced?
Did anyone else feel this pairing was a little forced?

However, we couldn't help but feel that the LSA's #MeinBhi theme could have been highlighted with greater thoughtfulness.

Sure, the opening performance was visually pleasing, but will #MeinBhi achieve any measurable success? The #TimesUp campaign at the Golden Globes was directly linked to monetary support via a legal defense fund; the fund has already raised $20 million to help support victims of sexual harassment who do not have the means to pay legal fees.

In comparison, apart from Frieha urging fellow celebrities to stand up and be counted, and to use every method at their disposal to address human rights violations, there appeared to be little in the way of a coherent agenda or longlasting impact related to #MeinBhi.

In a similar vein: having Mukhtaran Mai present Frieha Altaf with a lifetime achievement award felt forced. The two women are powerhouses in their own respective areas and deserve to be celebrated individually, but having them stand side by side onstage forced an unnecessary comparison between the two, a comparison that didn't necessarily flatter Frieha.

This was exacerbated by the fact that the mic (literally) was not passed to Mukhtaran Mai during her time onstage. Perhaps if Mukhtaran Mai had been given space to speak to the meaningfulness of the movement #MeinBhi would have had more weight. Perhaps if she had been the one to introduce Frieha the segment would've appeared more natural.

The lesson to be learned here is that participants mustn't simply be brought onstage at a platform like the LSAs as figureheads or tokens -- they must be fully included in the narrative that's being promoted.

Hit: The show favoured musical performances over Bolly-style choreographed dances

Ali Azmat brought the house down with his power-packed performance
Ali Azmat brought the house down with his power-packed performance

Did anyone miss the OTT dance sequences that the LSAs featured in times past? No, don't think so.

Instead, it was refreshing that the awards highlighted dedicated musicians and artists like Kathak impresario Nahid Siddiqui, qawwal Abu Fareed and younger talent like Lyari Underground. It was a win in our books.

Miss: Ahsan Khan's lackluster dance with Mahira Khan

This didn't really work
This didn't really work

And just when you thought you needed more proof that a dance number doesn't guarantee success, this act by Ahsan Khan and Mahira Khan comes along.

Hit: Ahmed Ali Butt and Vasay Chaudhry's 'courtroom' segment

Props to these two for putting Humayun Saeed on the spot!
Props to these two for putting Humayun Saeed on the spot!

Sometimes award show humour goes wrong, but Ahmed Ali Butt and Vasay Chaudhry proved that they're comedy's hot couple for a reason. A segment that asked celebrities to 'take the stand' and answer to their 'crimes' turned out to be pretty funny.

Humayun Saeed was asked how long he intends to play a romantic hero, Mahira Khan was (subtly) ribbed about THAT photo with Ranbir Kapoor and Mawra Hocane was teased about her status as social media queen. To their credit, all the celebs interrogated were gracious and played along.

Miss: Ahmed Ali Butt and Ayesha Omar's 'selfie' segment

Unfortunately, some segments fell flat, like Ahmed Ali Butt and Ayesha Omar's skit on selfies. Sure, we all know that social media has overtaken our lives.

But that doesn't mean we want it to overtake the stage at a major award show.

Hit: Amna Baber's heartfelt speech celebrating economic independence

When she won her award for best female model, Amna Baber launched into a sweet speech that felt totally authentic.

Speaking candidly, she said: "I've been waiting for this award for three years! Every year I thought I might win but some other model was always announced and I thought ok, maybe I'll win next year. Everyone says 'oh we weren't expecting an award but inside you do feel like you might get it!'

She added: "Today is a double celebration for me because when I started modelling 8 years ago my mother all my mother dreamed of was that I win a Lux Style Award. And this year I won the Lux Award, and this year I also bought my mother her own home."

Props to her!

Oh, and an honourable mention goes to Saheefa Jabbar Khattak for dedicating her win to her mother in law.

Miss: Javed Shaikh's fumbled 'can I kiss?' moment with Mahira Khan

We're just gonna say it, this kiss was a total miss.

As he was presenting Mahira with her award, Javed Shaikh misjudged the moment and attempted to give her a congratulatory peck on the cheek. Mahira either didn't notice or deliberately avoided his kiss, making for an awkward moment.

Obviously, there was a video, and it soon went viral on social media. This prompted Mahira Khan to send out a tweet defending Javed Shaikh's intentions. Yep, that happened.

Eek!
Eek!

Hit: Humayun Saeed giving Mehwish Hayat a shout-out (and celebs thanking other celebs in general)

It was a big night for Punjab Nehi Jaungi as the film picked up awards for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress AND Best Film.

But there was one award it couldn't bag: Best Actress for Mehwish Hayat. The Best Actress Award went to Mahira Khan for Verna.

So perhaps Humayun Saeed intended to take the sting out of his costar's loss as he gave Mehwish Hayat credit in his own acceptance speech.

The night had other celebrities being gracious as well - Best Male Model winner Hasnain Lehri, for example, made sure to thank all his fellow nominees and even credit them with his success. All in all, there were more loving feels in the hall than hateful feels, and that's always a good thing.

Miss: Big stars like Mehwish Hayat, Saba Qamar and even Shaan skipped out

Saba Qamar has expressed her displeasure with the LSAs before, Shaan is, well, moody, and Mehwish Hayat... just didn't turn up? There was much chatter about who didn't show at the LSAs.

One wishes that Saba had made an appearance. But then again - is it really the LSAs if the night doesn't provide fodder for some scandal?