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