Colourism began at home for Amna Ilyas


For decades, many have had to break through colourism to enter Pakistan’s fashion and entertainment industry, but the recent global outrage in the form of the #BlackLivesMatter movement has sparked a debate surrounding colourism in our own backyards.

Several have spoken up against the networks that set unrealistic precedents and beauty standards for artists and non-celebrities, alike. Renowned Pakistani actor and model Amna Ilyas has always been very upfront about her stance on the issue. She has, time and again, opened up about her own experiences of living with a dusky skin tone and the discrimination that she has had to face because of it.

However, in a recent interview with Voice of America, the Baaji star has shared how it all started from her own home. “As a child, I was told a few things about my complexion, such as by my mother and aunt, who made me realise very early on that my deep complexion ‘would not suit me well when I grow up’,” the actor shared. She went on to add, “As a child, you may not understand the meaning of these words but when you are conscious, you understand the psychology behind these thoughts. When I realised this, I stood up against it.”


‘ریپ تو تب بھی ہوتے تھے جب اداکارائیں ٹی وی پر نہیں آتی تھیں’

پاکستان کی معروف ماڈل اور اداکارہ آمنہ الیاس کہتی ہیں کہ شوبز سے تعلق رکھنے والی خواتین کو معاشرتی مسائل کا ذمہ دار قرار دینا غلط ہے۔ ان کے بقول ریپ جیسے جرائم کی وجہ کوئی خاص لباس پہننا نہیں بلکہ بیمار ذہنیت ہے۔ آمنہ رنگ گورا کرنے والی مصنوعات کے استعمال پر بھی تنقید کرتی آئی ہیں۔ دیکھیے سارہ زمان کے ساتھ آمنہ الیاس کی گفتگو۔

Posted by VOA Urdu on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ilyas divulged on the discrimination we see on everyday dramas, where women of fair complexion are given priority over the dark ones. “(This happens) so we can say that our people also want to see only those girls on the screen who are fair coloured,” she explained.

Talking about the rising rape cases in the country, the starlet shared how it happens often that people blame the female stars for these incidents and say that the tragedy happened because of their short dress or because the accused saw such and such actors in short dress, which made him undertake the heinous crime.

Ilyas commented, “I want to say that our people are very ignorant. They have no idea that a rapist is mentally ill. It is not necessary for the man to commit an ugly act like rape by watching something on TV or on his phone. In fact, his thinking, his mindset is to blame.”

She further remarked on how easy it is that you can call out actors in Pakistan for vulgarity but what about Bollywood and Hollywood stars. “How do you turn off the Internet that everyone has today? Rape has been happening since the time when there was no television. Weren’t there rapes when actors didn’t appear on TV? My question is, what was inciting these men to rape at that time and I am sure no one will have the answer to this question,” Ilyas concluded.

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