Item Songs in Pakistani Movies May Bring Body-Shaming Culture to Pakistan


Body shaming is not an unusual Phenomenon. However, the recent trend of item songs in movies ‘might’ add to the already high-prevailing body-shaming culture which exists everywhere now, thanks to media.

Why are we so glad we are not fat or obese as the person sitting next to us in a waiting area or at the office? Shaming due to ‘physique’ is something that we do on a daily basis, by judging how people look: how fat/skinny they are. It is not a surprise to us if all these item songs in our movies start a trend of revealing women who are body conscious and work out 12 hours a day to look their level best, while many of us women sit at home and sulk over our appearances after watching these movies.

However, the situation is much more deep-scaled than just ‘body shaming’, even though that in itself is a disease. The youth that will be facing culture confusion in their later years due to these films showing nudity (it’s just the start) will go on to influence them much more than just the clothes that are worn and the ‘loose women’ that are shown.

After viewing the video link which has been provided above,  one is  able to understand why the article is written. It wouldn’t fail to amuse many how people have recently been getting so excited about this new-found trend of item numbers in Pakistani movies. Finally, Pakistani filmmakers are brushing up their skills and letting new talent enter and make it to the cinemas. Finally, we are one step closer to entertaining our people, and even making it internationally. Finally, we are showing how creative we can get with our movies…but oh wait. Everything has pros and cons, no? The growing trend of item songs in Pakistani films, is it really necessary?

So the latest trend of item songs is taking up the Pakistani media by storm, we see so many movies trying to forcefully ‘sell themselves’ to the general audience in hopes of making big profits by large margins…all that is now going to be made possible by good acting….sorry we mean good skin show.

In recent news, Hamza Ali Abbasi has been the talk of the town, with people dubbing him the title of  ‘man of double standards’ because he works for the film industry himself, and gave derogatory remarks about his fellow co-workers who were part of  item songs and ‘copying the trend from Indian films’.

The quotes that we were able to find on his Facebook page is as follows:

“There is a way to make our media and films in line with our culture and our religion. Through a collective and deliberate effort, by learning from our mistakes, lets find that way before its too late.”

“My review on Jalaibee aside, i am tremendously proud of Zahalay Sarhadi for not taking her clothes off in her performance in the film. Proud of Yasir Jaswal for not going along with the emerging trend of revealing “item numbers” in Pakistan films.”

Even though it can be agreed to an extent that it was wrong of him to make remarks about women that he himself will be working with, in a way  he had also tried to set an example for everyone by saluting a particular actress for not taking her clothes off for an item song. Little did he know that he would be attacked by so many though, otherwise he would have refrained, we assume!

What I would like to add here is that item songs are nothing new in our industry, as they have been here long before we were even born (I happen to be in my 20’s). Pushto movies, Punjabi films, you name them..all of them have ‘so-called derogatory dances’ that make them sell. If we take a look at our stage dramas, they start, end, and continue to sell only and only by one main element which is crucial to their success….item numbers performed by women.

Don’t believe us? Google Pushto dances and you’ll see a few of the ‘hottest’ ones at the very top. A link has not been provided deliberately so as to abstain from showing videos a tad bit too inappropriate.

It has been agreed upon that most of the movies we now see are being somewhat copied from Bollywood. However, it also fails to go unnoticed that there are some exceptions. By taking a look at Bol, Khuda ke Liye, and the soon-to-release Revenge of the Worthless, one can believe that there are some people in our industry who seem to be focusing specifically on Pakistan; our roots, our current problems/social evils and how we are coping with the extremism/terrorism in our territory.

Another prerogative that I mark as a double standard is the fact that our society would not fail to be amused with a Sunny Leone film in which she dances around in skimpy clothes on a song that makes no sense at all, with the likes of ‘pink lips’ and ‘pani wala song’ seriously? However, if a Pakistani actress does the same she is tagged a ‘behaya’.  If you carry with yourself the tag of ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’, you shouldn’t be paying to see these movies, or watch them on television in the first place. True, it could become a matter of serious concern later on when the trend keeps growing, (not to sound offensive but that’s how India’s rape rates increased), but on the other hand the only way to stop this from happening would be to not appreciate it and try to avoid profiting such films, so they know what to focus on more (ie acting).

So this video of Ayesha Omar’s belly has been making the rounds on social media and is the prime factor for her film being viral on social media.

However, sadly our people will go see these movies, and pay for them. Our people will be curious to see how our actresses look like while copying Indian actresses, our people will be the ones to hurl abuses at them and will also be the ones to watch intently.

We don’t have a problem with item numbers, Pakistan. We have a problem with how ‘skimpy’ they have become, and how revealing women are willing to get, just to acquire fame or land a movie in Bollywood. Why can’t you land a film in your neighbouring country with your acting?

We beg to differ from those who think that taking clothes off is the only way to get noticed on television and movies. If that were the case, Fawad Khan would not have made it to Times 50 most desirable men of India.

Dignity is deemed very important for a woman of our society. True, these newcomers in movies and television are educated and come from nice family backgrounds, but the role model they are becoming for youth who follow them, will be no doubt, disappointing. Whether it’s Mehwish Hayat dancing to the steps of ‘billi’ in Na Maloom Afrad or Ayesha Omar shaking her belly to the tunes of an upcoming song in Karachi se Lahore, the message is loud and clear, ‘item songs are here to stay’.

The sane thing to do is sadly accept it and just think of it as yet another Bollywood film, and not feel ashamed that it is entertainment coming from the  Islamic Republic of Pakistan. We are also producing some good movies and television dramas, lets not forget. ‘Wrong number’ sounds promising, and Fahad Mustafa starrer ‘Mah-e-Meer’ excites me also.

All in all, whether it’s Hamza Ali Abbasi checking out a bikini with his glasses on in ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani’, or Saba Qamar dancing for her fans in yet another item song in her upcoming movie, we have to watch our films to promote our industry. Even if it means going with our families and digging deep into our seats while women clad in nothing but bikinis and jewels dance around with men frantically, ending up embarrassing most of us girls and being a symbol of ‘body shaming’ for many.

Whether it’s our culture or not, we have to accept the fact that it is, indeed, part of entertainment, and that by entertainment we mean entertaining the masses who go to watch films, and by that we mean men. I’m pretty sure these revealing item numbers are not what women in our society want to see, as they themselves want their men to focus on them and them only (coming from the society we are from and how possessive we are of our men).

Pretty much sums it all up: entertainment ‘MOSTLY’ (mostly in caps means that we still believe that there is entertainment other than item songs in our movies also: for example acting) means impressing men by taking your clothes off and dancing around.

One of the upcoming films we  really appreciated was Mah-e-Meer (by looking at the official trailer). A perfect blend of acting skills and strong story line, I wish this movie the very best of luck!

In the Horror genre, Pakistan hasn’t failed to make us proud as ‘Maya’ awaits its official release in a few months! Pakistan, pull up your socks and make good movies, we support you and are proud of you!

This, all in all, makes me believe that we have the potential to come up with really good movies. If it were all about item songs, would Hollywood movies ever be watched or win Oscars? Just saying.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s