Shaniera Akram is not one to mince words and often calls a spade a spade, especially when it comes to people disrespecting others. The Australian social activist recently had something to say about Pakistanis overstepping boundaries and pointing out changes in someone's body.
Akram shared two stories on Instagram to show two sides of the coin where if a person gains weight, people let them know what changes their body has gone through, and on the other end of the spectrum, if a person loses weight, that too merits a comment (these people believe) as they whip out a before and after comparison.
It's no mystery that people are still not clear about boundaries and what's an appropriate topic of conversation — spoiler alert, someone's weight is NOT. In one way or another we're all learning to define our own boundaries but if it is understandable that our own boundaries need to be respected, it should be a no-brainer to respect someone else's. And some boundaries fall within the folds of common decency — making comments about someone's physique is just not acceptable.
Some really great advice circulating on social media a while back was if they can't change the thing you're pointing out in their body within five minutes, don't make the comment. And to clarify, some examples of such comments would be letting someone know they've got lipstick on their teeth or their fly is unzipped.
This is not the first time Akram has talked about habits that Pakistanis need to work on — she also spoke about road safety, publicly taking on Minal Khan and her then fiancé Ahsan Mohsin Ikram for not wearing seatbelts and making videos while driving. She, along with husband and former cricketer Wasim Akram, have also addressed the horrible littering situation at Clifton beach in Karachi.
Akram has advocated for Pakistan many a time and aside from her verbal support, her philanthropic activities have also been the reason why she's won over Pakistanis. It only seems fair to listen to Pakistan's bhabhi, especially when she's speaking about something that needs to be addressed and worked on.
Body positivity has made headway and people are learning to accept and love their own bodies instead of trying to fit into the image of what society considers attractive. To aid this journey, it is important to refrain from criticising someone's body — be it weight or anything else. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just stay quiet.