Makeup artists are coughing, models are two inches away in a cramped studio but Good Morning Pakistan must go on.
Makeup artists are coughing, models are two inches away in a cramped studio but Good Morning Pakistan must go on.

Nida Yasir's morning show has often made headlines, and more often than not, it is the host's ability to generate content that leaves the audience in a certain bewilderment they cannot exactly fathom.

At a time where social distancing is stressed upon and strict measures are being taken by authorities due to coronavirus fears, Yasir's show hosts a makeup competition.

Aired on 16 March, the episode begins by acknowledging that during the deadly ongoing pandemic, the government has told everyone to "stay far far away" from one another - yet, even "in this situation", they have managed to call beauticians "from all over the country to display their craft".

"Clap, we don't have an audience today," she orders her contestants, since large public gatherings are prohibited for the time being. Ironically, she seems to leave her own ignorance undetected.

"The challenge is very interesting," she continues; each artist has to prepare a perfect face while models chew gum. Accompanying Yasir is Kashif from Kashee's who too, chooses one of the models from the 10 Snow Whites that walk onto the sets of the show.

If there is one thing consistent in Good Morning Pakistan, it is that there is no subtlety in expressing the team's obsession with conventional beauty standards. Each girl is frail, delicate and obviously white.

The episode unfolds as the models and contestants come in close contact with one another.

Challenge two makes team members stuff food in the make-up artists faces while they work, and Yasir laughs it off when participant Shakeela from Khanewal refuses to eat anymore saying she's suffering from a cough.

"Khansi horai hai tou mask lagaein," (you can put on a mask if you're suffering from a cough) she casually grins.

Obviously, there is no set protocol, no prior medical screening, and amidst a terrible outbreak, no civic responsibility towards other citizens.

Maybe Nida Yasir thinks it's okay to expose thousands to a deadly virus since at least one winner is getting an Imtiaz Supermarket cheque and some Kashee's makeup. Seems like a good trade, right?

It's about time the content of a show that airs on national television, is moved away from personal Euro-shopping hauls and rhetoric surrounding whitening creams. Wishing this quarantine becomes a reflection for better content, moral responsibility and some courtesy for fellow human beings.