Former Pakistan Women’s Captain and leading Pakistani Cricketer Sana Mir doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to female empowerment. The talented athlete recently posted on Facebook calling out actress Mahira Khan’s recent hair removal ad for body shaming girls.
“To all young girls out there who aspire to take up sports. Make no mistake: you need strong arms, not smooth arms, on a sports field,” Mir writes on Facebook.
Mir is referring to Khan’s new ad for Veet Pakistan where she takes on the basketball court and it’s not her smooth moves but smooth arms to impress the players, because that makes total sense… right?
After the success of her film “Raees,” Khan has become an international star and her influence over young girls has international reach. As a successfully working single mother, Khan is already an example of powerful women, but this ad is counteracting her success, she could be endorsing so much more. By taking on such a ridiculous ad that undermines the skills of girls, especially the talented and strong female athletes of the world.
In her post, Mir calls out all sponsors and celebrities who continuously rise up with it comes to social media rants about the objectification and abuse of women but when it comes to taking action they fall behind. From fashion to science to becoming CEO’s of major companies, women have found success, yet companies that release statements supporting women still create ads that portray women as shallow beings. They continuously body shaming them into buying products like skin bleaching cream and feeding the stereotype that a woman’s value is based on her looks.
“The worst thing is that instead of sending a message to young girls that the color or texture of their skin does not matter, we are promoting body shaming and objectification.” Mir wrote on Facebook. “Are the talent, passion, and skill of a girl not enough for her to play sports? There are female sports icons around the world who have made their way to the top because of their skill, talent and hard work, not because of the color or texture of their skin.”
Women are strong, powerful, intelligent, badass beings that can run the world, and that’s the view Mir wants Pakistani companies and celebrities to promote. Mir states that in her 12 years as an athlete in Pakistan she has rejected numerous endorsement and sponsorship offers of beauty products because she wanted to encourage young girls to be passionate about sports. She didn’t want them to get sucked into this false belief that their hard work will not get them anywhere.
“I want young girls with a passion for sports to know that all they need for a practice session are the will to succeed, comfortable shoes and clothes, a water bottle and a cap if it’s hot.”
You don’t need smooth arms, perfectly coiffed hair or sparkling accessories to be a good athlete. You need practice, skill, discipline, endurance, courage, and confidence. Mir’s #GirlLove mindset is exactly what the young girls of Pakistan need to pursue their dreams. What is Mir’s last words of wisdom to these sponsors and celebrities who continue to harm the confidence of young girls in the world:
“I request all sponsors and celebrities to ensure that when we engage young girls to fulfill their dreams, we show them a path that gives them actual confidence rather than disabling them by making them self-conscious.”
Well said, Mir, well said.