Unapologetic about fat shaming, Amna Ilyas' sour video raises eyebrows

Unapologetic about fat shaming, Amna Ilyas' sour video raises eyebrows

"I have never called a single person fat in my life, I instead use words like elephant, bull or hippopotamus," the model said.
Updated 17 Oct, 2020

Influenced by a barrage of photoshopped images, filtered imperfections and modified fashion spreads to lure mass media, the one size fits all narrative has seeped its way into the industry, permeating the minds of self-absorbed actors and skinny models whose humiliating judgments are nowhere close to the hot mess they perceive themselves to be.

In an attempt to raise concerns over cancel culture - the idea that audiences withdraw support from public figures whose words and actions are considered objectionable or offensive, model Amna Ilyas took to social media to address her fat-shaming comments directed towards veteran model Aaminah Haq.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

Not only does Amna humiliate a senior model for her size, she also continues to casually reiterate how cutting comments have been a part of her personality since she was a child; proudly highlighting that she was a bully.

"I was 6-years-old when we had a disabled cook Nauman - I used to make fun of his limping, calling him loora Nomi loora Nomi," Ilyas said. "When my cousin had a child, I wouldn't embrace her in my arms, making faces at how pheeni she was (how bland her features were). I was 12 then."

"At 15, my school teacher had a speech impairment. I would imitate his stutter and stammering. I insulted my best friend for being too short, advised my bald neighbour to grow some hair, told my househelp she had crooked teeth and made fun of the guests at my home for being too dark."

"I have never called a single person fat in my life, I prefer to use words like elephant, bull or hippopotamus instead," the model continued to smirk.

Boastful of her own size, the Baaji actor then directed the conversation to address the elephant in the room.

"I said i'm none of those things because it's true. I am not, I used to be," proceeding to lecture her viewers, sure that they too would have indulged in such behaviour in their past.

Obscenely tone-deaf and mockingly sour, she also clapped back at Haq, as if the first time wasn't enough.

"Aaminah Haq, I cannot change what I said, I cannot undo the change I might have caused you but I try to be a better me every day," she ironically declared, directing focus on the plate of oily paratha sitting quite obviously in her hands. "Fat and burnt black too," she examines it.

At this point, there are more than a 1000 people calling out their distaste at such an obscene excuse of an apology, but having seen audiences exhaust their efforts to school celebrities on fat-shaming again and again and again, I realise pride has no cure.

How painful it is to revisit instances of those you have hurt and continue to name on social media - no filter added - is not the insensitivity a grown woman should be explained. But even at 33, Amna refuses to acknowledge the shame in shaming.

As women on catalogues and cover pages flaunt their beauty, I use this opportunity as a reminder to highlight that those on our screens look the way they do after countless cosmetic procedures and a team of individuals exhausting their efforts to make them seem the way they do.

But when the spotlight is off and the PR teams have disappeared, that's when the real beauty shines - and this certain instance proves exactly why its valued more on the inside.

While the expectancy of using her platform ethically and for the greater good is an expectation far ahead, it is obvious Amna Ilyas has a lot of progress to make - both in terms of realising catty comments are discouraged and education on social issues encouraged, in 2020.


Disappointed Oct 17, 2020 03:17pm
So one can do anything horrible and then later proclaim that that's not me anymore. And the comment in question is from a two years old interview. That's not ancient history. And it's only caused you to lose sleep after it has resurfaced, clearly showing how much growth and improvement you've made on being a better person everyday as you've described it. That was a staggeringly mind-numbing explanation, Aamna. Jeez.
Dr.D Oct 17, 2020 03:20pm
She is clearly depressed. Somebody help her.
Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Oct 17, 2020 03:43pm
World is worried about pandemic and global economic meltdown. Who are these people?
Fatima Oct 17, 2020 05:29pm
What kind of emotional empty life these persons are living Pressuring themselves constantly to look nice on Instagram - with the help of filters a.s.o Never feeling empathy They just damage themselves with all their negative and meaningless thoughts and emotions They miss out all the good things- which people do for you because they truly like/respect you The only chance for them is that something 'bad' happens in their own life- which makes them reflect and can work as an eye opener We can only pity them
BrownFlower Oct 17, 2020 05:44pm
Extremely immature for a person of her age (33) to be doing this.
ashar Oct 17, 2020 06:07pm
leave her and others alone, Pakistanio, focus on better things than picking up on celebrities, life is much more than that, she is right, everyone has done something wrong in life and they don't see themselves, and pointing fingers on to others
Sajid Khan Oct 17, 2020 07:02pm
What an ignorant and insensitive loser she is.
tQ Oct 17, 2020 07:03pm
Dear "Miss" remember! time flies and it is too cruel and doesn't spare anyone.
Ehsan Oct 17, 2020 08:37pm
Apology should have been more tasteful, but we all should respect people who are willing to change.
Salman Oct 18, 2020 12:52am
What type of a person is she... Absolutely disgusting behavior!
ana Oct 18, 2020 08:28am
I remember how she complained about being shamed for dark skin. She made that statement on Lux awards I guess. I see how people use their unacceptable feature to show how they were bullied and get power. But as soon as they get in power, or have some clout, they start making fun of others. These women use feminism to get ahead and then when it is convenient, give the most anti woman statements they can.
Rana Nasir Oct 18, 2020 08:46am
I didn't not know that you carry a balanced head. Very intelligent response good job.
QURESHI ANJUM PERVEZ Oct 18, 2020 09:25am
It takes guts and acceptance of what was to say what she is saying. But of course that is too much for this hypocritical, two faced society.
amirameer Oct 18, 2020 12:09pm
Who is Amna Ilyas?
IKRAM Oct 18, 2020 05:15pm
Calling people names based on their disabilities is very common throughout Pakistan. It is an integral part of our culture to make fun of people with disabilities or other non normal features. One could make fun of her based on her features as well. Education does not teach good moral values, a good upbringing does.
Sam Oct 18, 2020 07:16pm
She thinks herself miss universe!
AinOther Oct 18, 2020 09:14pm
I can't understand the outrage directed against her. She is being honest. And we all have had our past no matter how politically correct we have been of late.
AinOther Oct 18, 2020 09:16pm
She says she is trying to be better every day which is equal to an admission that her past behavior wasn't up to mark. Let's leave her alone..
Raj Oct 19, 2020 02:04am
It is very disgraceful behaviour .
Sam Oct 19, 2020 03:53am
Why are people finding old videos and causing trouble for celebrities who I think never claimed to be perfect or politically correct. I think that clip was part of a segment where you had to guess a model/celebrity so Amna illyas didn’t deliberately make fun of Amna Haqq. No one in our culture has been politically correct, we have grown up with people telling on our face about our complexion, weight, height, accent, clothing and what not. So give celebrities a break, first everyone was going after Nauman Ijaz and now this. Go after the people who declare themselves to be the most honest or pious like “Sadiq & Amin PM of Pakistan”, or the mullah brigade so called guardians of Islam or you know the generals who looted and deprived Pakistan of democracy. Chill out people!
Aamir Oct 19, 2020 07:03am
She said what is true.
Fizza Kazmi Oct 19, 2020 09:34am
I cant believe we call these people celebs and look up to them!!! WOW! This woman needs a brain transplant
Jan Oct 19, 2020 09:48am
Should never put these 'celebrities' on a pedestal. Everything (good or bad) is an act to captivate audience.
Nighat Oct 19, 2020 10:12am
she clarified quite well. maybe the snowflakes should just chill
Abdullah Oct 19, 2020 10:31am
I think these are first world issues, we have bigger problems on our hands.
Zaffar Ali Oct 19, 2020 04:34pm
I used to like her but now I don't
Sam Oct 19, 2020 08:10pm
You moderators at Dawn only publish comments of your own liking and handpicked people. I spent my time and energy to address this issue and you people post only useless comments.
Farwa Akbar Oct 20, 2020 09:59am
Thank you so much, Yusra for reminding us that celebrities are just celebrities and they themselves need correction in their behavior. If anything should come first, its sensitivity. She is calling Amina Haq fat today, for how long she will stay fit? and the way she boasted her arrogance is shocking.