By Sarah Shaukat
When it comes to Mehwish Hayat, actress and activist go hand in hand as she has made a mark in both communities. In a world rife with keyboard warriors, the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz winner hasn’t had it easy. Regardless, she continues to be the voice of reason by speaking up about issues that are close to her heart or need of the hour. Just recently Hayat spoke up regarding two pressing issues simply proving that she wants to make the most of her platform to educate, aware and support those who need it.
Let us have a look at 5 recent social media moments that have stood out:
Reminding People that Body-Shaming in All Forms is Inappropriate
Just recently the Punjab Nahi Jaungi actress made an appearance on Vasay Chaudhry’s new show ‘Ghabrana Mana Hai’ and the conversation turned into a teachable moment for the anchor. During the interview, Vasay took a jibe at Ahmed Ali Butt who happens to be close-knit with Chaudry. Though he was simply pulling his leg as friends often do, Mehwish interrupted him and advised him not to do so on a public platform.
Chaudhry was casually fat-shaming the Jawani Phir Nahi Ani actor which Mehwish believed can be wrongfully perceived. She reasoned with Vasay that such casual banter off-camera is fine but when done on-camera it can give the wrong idea to those who normalize such culture. In her opinion, Chaudry’s mere comic timing can feed into the toxic trolling culture.
Muslim Representation and Appreciation in Western Media
British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed made headlines for being nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actor category. This makes Ahmed the first Muslim to have received such an honor. Mehwish celebrated this triumph but emphasized more on the fact the work of an actor must be appreciated instead of celebrating statistics.
.@rizwanahmed being the 1st Muslim to get nominated shouldn't be the story. It should be abt performance. Bt let's accept in a 🌏where we’re fighting 4 fairer representation in mainstream media a Muslim nominated for Best Actor for the 1st time since1929 is one hell of a big deal pic.twitter.com/1ap2s4MQ3j
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) March 16, 2021
Condemning Live concerts amid the third wave COVID-19
As soon as the government eased up on COVID-19 restrictions it was business as usual in Pakistan. However, the rise in infections has restored some of the protocols that were being followed during the lockdown. A year into surviving a deadly pandemic, it seems that people are having a hard time maintaining social distancing and taking the virus seriously.
This is very disappointing to be having live concerts with so many people while we are still not free of COVID. Cases are on the rise again and we are experiencing a deadly 3rd wave. Let's please act responsibly.🙏 Remember.. Jaan hai to jahaan hai ! https://t.co/3OQFBaoBdt
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) March 14, 2021
The actress reminded the public that the coronavirus is still very much real and they need to take precautions. The Tweet came after a live concert was held in Islamabad with the audience having a good time without maintaining SOPs.
Speaking Up for Animal Rights
We have seen many celebs speaking up regarding animal rights violations and rightfully so. And when the horrific living conditions of the zoo animals in Islamabad came to light, it prompted Mehwish Hayat to raise her voice. Hayat shared her dismay over the lack of accountability and action unless a foreigner gets involved, referring to how it had taken American rockstar Cher to ensure a better life for Kaavan, the lonely elephant in Islamabad zoo. The elephant was transported to a sanctuary in Africa and Cher was there cheering him on.
In a country where we’re still fighting for human rights,animal rights are a long way off. But come on,why do we only take action when foreign celebrities get involved?This is so embarrassing.Animals are born free- the authorities must shut these zoos now!https://t.co/jY6MzNXu7W
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) December 14, 2020
Addressing Trolls and Rumor Mills
Last year some media outlets insinuated that Mehwish wanted to marry PPP’s chairman Bilawal Bhutto based on an old interview.
Who I choose to marry is my personal decision & ppl will know when it happens! Take a chill pill guys & stop matchmaking!✋🏻Let’s not take a throwaway line in a 2-year-old interview out of context & make unnecessarily juicy headlines. Aur b gham hain zamane mein Shadi k siwaa! LOL
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) November 29, 2020
The coverage certainly did not sit well with the actress so she decided to address this misconstrued notion. Turns out the news was merely clickbait with her answer taken out of context.