The Pakistani TV industry seems to be experimenting with new stories, starting with Sanam Jung’s Pyari Mona for HUM TV that revolves around her character, Mona, a plus-sized woman dealing with society’s unrealistic beauty standards.
On Wednesday, Jung took to Instagram and shared the first teaser of Pyari Mona. She wrote, “Playing Pyari Mona was quite challenging not only as an actor but also because our industry has very stringent standards of how a woman should look, especially when she’s the lead.”
Jung wrote that taking up this role was a conscious decision because “as an actor we have some social responsibility to start uncomfortable conversations. Body shaming ails every strata of our society. Sadly, women are being judged all the time for the appearance, particularly weight. They are subjected to unkind remarks like ‘Kitni moti ho gayee ho’ [you’ve gotten so fat]. It’s very traumatic emotionally and mentally.”
She explained that as a woman, she feels it’s her responsibility to call out these “vain and cosmetic” standards of beauty. “No one judges a man as harshly for his weight. External appearance is no barometer to know a person’s seerat [personality]. Draw a parallel between soorat [beauty] and seerat,” wrote the Dil-e-Muztar actor.
Jung said girls as young as those in their early teens are under pressure by peers, family and society and because of that they are always watching their weight. She said the idea of someone not marrying them due to their weight is ingrained in them from childhood, resulting in major health ramifications like anorexia and mental well-being.
“The idea is to make the subject of body shaming, mainstream conversation. People should be made aware how people who don’t fit in the pre-established norms of appearances, suffer and why it’s important to not be judgmental. ‘My body, my wish’,” she wrote.
According to HUM TV, their upcoming show revolves around Mona, “who consistently has to face challenges, difficulties and taunts just because she doesn’t meet conventional standards of beauty set by society.” Pyari Mona will show the main lead taking stand for herself against the society that criticises her and others like her.
The teaser also revealed that Jung will be sharing the screen with her Mohabat Subh Ka Sitara Hai co-star Adeel Hussain. The entire cast, timing and air date have yet to be revealed.