Some Pakistani men have a serious issue with Esra Bilgic in a bra — not that it's any of their business
There are a lot of things Pakistani men seem to dislike online but on the top of the list is a woman wearing (and advertising) what she wants. The recent cause of their outrage — Turkish actor Esra Bilgic posting a shoot she did for lingerie brand Victoria's Secret. Men have taken to the comment section of Bilgic's Instagram post to voice their (unwanted and unwarranted) opinions.
Bras and Pakistani men have a fractious relationship. They were obsessed with the colour of actor Mehwish Hayat's bra and now they're trying to police Bilgic advertising and wearing lingerie with a blazer. The Pakistani men in her comment section seem to believe she really is Halime Hatun, the character she played in Diriliş: Ertuğrul. They can't get over Halime Hatun and seem to have a big problem separating fantasy from reality.
Pakistani commenters reminded her of the "roots" they believe she has as Hatun. "Toba Astaghfar. Nak katva di Ertugrul bhai ki [Dear lord! You have shamed Ertugrul bhai]," wrote a user under her Instagram post.
One even demanded that the actor delete her post while others said she had the responsibility to carry the "izzat [honour]" of the tribe that Hatun belonged to. Her post also broke "many heart's" but for one follower it was an opportunity to offer "Pakistan's money" in order for Bilgic to stop shoots like this.
Their unwarranted comments resulted in "embarrassment" for other fans who didn't approve of the remarks left on Bilgic's post. Many Pakistanis said they were"ashamed" of these comments and sincerely apologised for it. Many Turkish followers also jumped to her defence.
Some of the supporters even suggested Pakistani men "lower their gaze" and a few reminded them that the actor is from Turkey where women "wear such things in commercials". "You have no right to speak about someone else's preferences, this is secular Turkey. The person you act as doesn't have to reflect you, even a historical figure," wrote a follower.
Seeing the humour in it
Some Twitter users reshared comments made by men under Bilgic's post and picked out their favourites.
One had the perfect GIF for the occasion.
For this Twitter user, the comments are an example of how "controlling Pakistani men can get".
This user's 'like' was a protest against "Pakistani men's audacity".
Another wondered whether the men had just discovered that the actor wears a bra.
Even TV show host and RJ Anoushey Ashraf took to her Instagram story and questioned "why don't men unfollow her [Bilgic]?" She also said why can't men cover their eyes and only open them when they need to read, drive and watch TV.
This is not the first time the actor has been moral policed by Pakistanis. Two years ago desi trolls had proven to be the worst as they criticised another post of hers where she flaunted a bralette paired with black blazer. Followers from Pakistan had urged the Turkish government to take "strict action" against the actor for her choice of clothing.
Two years later, it seems history is repeating itself and Bilgic's followers still haven't learnt the difference between reel versus real. So for all the men looking to police Bilgic and her clothes — just don't. She doesn't owe you or anyone else anything and she can wear and do what she likes.