Hania Aamir says she faced trauma after being told off by thousands on the internet at such a young age
Hania Aamir may be a star but she wants to remind people that she is a human being first. The Mere Humsafar actor opened up about her journey in the industry and laid it all bare, something she has stopped herself from doing on the internet after being traumatised at a young age for freely being herself online.
In an interview with Something Haute released on Saturday, Aamir explained that most people looking to become actors are from humble backgrounds who either want to be big stars or support their families. Belonging to the latter, she entered the industry by a stroke of luck, not knowing how to navigate it. “When we don’t get any media training, we don’t know what to say and how much to reveal and where to do it. And especially me, I didn’t know anything at all. I didn’t take it very seriously [either] so I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault, you just don’t know how to go about these things. You don’t know any better and there’s no one in the industry to tell you how to go about it,” she said.
She feels that she had to learn after making a few mistakes. “The time that I came in, I don’t think anyone was using Instagram that much. It was just me going crazy on Instagram, putting up all sorts of things. You can say that you should’ve known better, I’ve understood that after several hits. I never realised that I was popular till I was trending on Twitter for something that I didn’t even remember. Then you realise how much people are looking at you.”
Being in the public eye, the Ishqiya actor has had to mature quickly because she doesn’t get to have the same tolerance a regular young adult does. “You put everything out there like a normal teenager would. If I have a break up, in my university, me not being a celebrity and if I now have a break up, it’s literally the same thing but just because I’m a celebrity, I don’t get to live my 21-year-old life.
“I am 19, 20, 21, 22 — what are you expecting from these 20-year-olds? You cannot expect them to know don’t put up a picture with your boyfriend, don’t talk to this uncle like that, you can’t expect them to know that. And I’m not saying that whatever we do can be dismissed with a hall pass, it’s not like that. But for young actors, there should be some leeway, a margin. If you’re such an empath, you should think with empathy: how would they know any better? Look at how old they are,” she said.
Aamir believes this understanding has come with a price. “I have understood now but at what expense? Being less of myself in front of people. It gives you trauma when people are telling you to stop at such a young age. You’re so impressionable and when thousands of people — and sometimes millions of people — are saying ‘wrong, wrong, wrong’ you start thinking there’s something wrong with you.”
The Parde Mein Rehne Do actor thinks that people who have gone through this should advise young actors, something she herself follows. “They should tell them, ‘please don’t. Be careful.’ I’m very empathetic towards new actors and I always try to keep them close [and say] ‘I’ll tell you I’ve been through this, don’t do this, don’t do that’ because it’s not their fault, they’ve gotten no formal training in this. There are no mentors.” She became aware that she has to “go through consequences” of being herself on the internet and has “become very cautious now”.
In order to be taken more seriously, Aamir had to turn the focus on herself. “I never put myself first — ‘What do I want? What do I like?’ So that translated into the friendships I had, the relationships I had — ‘you first, me later. You first, what do you want? What do you want?’ And I realised at some point what is happening? I don’t feel happy,” the actor explained.
“And after two or three hits, when the internet also declared ‘something is wrong with you’, when it got too much, when the noise got too much, I cut myself off. I sat myself down alone and said ‘you’re going to do something about it. And this hurts as an actor, as an artist that I’m doing so much work, I am still delivering emotions on the camera, I am working for 12 to 13 hours a day, how is it that this is not the conversation people are having on the internet?” she questioned.
Taking responsibility, she has decided to do her best at what she does. “It’s because of me, I didn’t know any better at that point. When all of this happened, I was like it is my responsibility to move away from it. Concentrate on just myself, not even just work. I want to be known for the craft that I put out there.”