Maria Unera, Zeb Bangash, Rachel Viccaji, Natasha Noorani call out Lux Style Awards for ignoring female musicians
Meesha Shafi called out the Lux Style Awards on Tuesday for excluding female musicians from their list of nominees. Now, more women artists have taken to social media to highlight the exclusion, including Zeb Bangash, Maria Unera, Rachel Viccaji and others.
Bangash shared Shafi’s post on Tuesday and wrote that awards and nominations in our industry haven’t necessarily been a measure of an artist’s caliber, contribution or perhaps even their popularity. However, they do reflect a certain form of acknowledgement and acceptance of an artist in the mainstream fraternity, she said.
“To completely ignore women on a platform fueled by a woman-centric brand that has always been run by women is surprising and gives cause for concern. I’m wondering why NO woman artist made the cut this year?” the ‘Bibi Sanam Janem’ singer questioned.
Maria Unera also acknowledged Shafi’s criticism and wrote, “You’ll have women sell you soaps and products but y’all don’t have the decency to nominate women in music? Should be ashamed of yourselves. I’m not even surprised anymore at this point, just straight up disappointed.”
In her second Instagram story, Unera linked to a Bol News piece on the nominations and pointed out that this is the only list she has seen and not a single female artist has been named in the music category.
“Same…I just see the same dudes over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again…. What a damn shame,” she wrote.
Singer Rachel Viccaji also re-shared a post about Shafi, Bangash and Risham Faiz Bhutta’s criticism of Lux Style Awards nominations and wrote, “where is the appreciation for our female artists? Women have been SLAYING in the music industry! Come on Lux Style PK! Do better.”
“The systemic erasure of women in music always manifests in new ways. So sick of the boys club. Gatekeeping starts in the studio,” wrote ‘Laiyan’ singer Natasha Noorani while reposting Shafi’s Instagram Story.
In her Instagram story, Shafi had originally written, “Not a single woman nominated in the LSA music nominations. Erasure at this scale (there is an exceptionally high number of nominations this time) of the entire female population occupying the Pakistani music industry is unjustifiable and highly problematic.”
She had pointed out the double standards associated with the brand and held them responsible for this mass wipeout of female musicians. “The LSA brand and jury has set an example of women being blindsided and denied the recognition they deserve. A brand like Lux, who sells their soaps on the back of women in their ads, ought to be more mindful of women equity on their platforms, especially when there is no dearth of women singing/songwriting and releasing high quality music in any given year. LSA is accountable and should be answerable for this blatant discrimination.”
Eva B, Rutaba Yaqub, Natasha Baig and Nimra Rafiq also shared her thoughts on their Instagram stories in a show of agreement.
The music section of the Lux Style Awards has four categories — song of the year, singer of the year, most streamed artist and best live performance of the year and each category only features male artists this year. The website where fans can vote is currently under maintenance, as announced on social media.