By ZARMEEN SYED | February 2021


Dealing with criticism is an important aspect of life. Whether you are a celebrity or any other person, everyone has been a target of criticism in one way or other. When talking about the norms and culture of a desi-society, directing people on how to live their lives is standard, expected behaviour.

Every person has a different mindset and reactional behaviour. When challenged by another person, it is common to react in a certain manner either calmly or aggressively. Criticism can be of two ways, either in your favour, or it can destroy your self–esteem, depending on how well you absorb it. Both positive and destructive criticism depends on how the person directs his/her message or comment.

Being in the limelight may have its perks but the cons are tougher and requires emotional strength to bear and receive the harsh comments that are thrown upon you. Dale Carnegie once said,

‘Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.’

When discussing criticism, we often worry about our relatives while celebrities and socialites are targeted by the masses on their lifestyle on almost a daily basis. Everyone can answer back but the question is, ‘What can be the best way for you to do that’ because ruining your reputation is not an option. There are a few recent examples to teach us how to deal with such cases.

Nabila`s Salon. One of Pakistan`s leading salons, it was faced with immense backlash when she posted a video of her health workers wearing PPE suits out of their homes, looking ready to work. People and some health-workers started commenting on her feed about her stupidity on utilizing these suits for her own purpose rather than donating them to the hospitals.

On this, Nabila took a rather harsh approach and started insulting those people. This got viral and eventually gave the socialite a rather tough time. This was soon countered when Nabila posted a static post mentioning criticism and how one should avoid it. She further explained how she had been paying her workers out of her own pockets and they are very valuable to her but one should be thinking about how to make things work post-COVID-19.

Another incident, which concerned Nabila was with Eman Suleman. She commented on her picture. "Great idea, executed badly." This is how the veteran makeup artiste commented on the post. "Especially the 'ichra' looking hairpiece. When the subject is so beautiful, it’s a sin to not up our game." Suleman replied, saying ‘Please, stop being so bitter’. This started a round between the model defending the work of her make-up artiste, which soon went viral causing a commotion on social media.

Sadaf Kanwal. Seen in various fashion shows and in magazines, is one of the top-notch fashion models in Pakistan. Kanwal was badly criticized and taken over by the masses when she married Pakistani actor Shahroz Sabzwari. Shahroz divorced his wife Syra Yousuf in order to marry Kanwal. This action was not taken silently by Syra's followers, condemning him as a traitor and Kanwal as a family-breaker.

Sadaf and Shahroz approached this whole scenario quietly and did not react to it much. Later, Sabzwari shot a video where he clearly mentioned that it was a clear understanding of his child to avoid any negative thoughts in the future but this too was not taken empathetically.

Sana Fakhar. A drama actress who wished her husband on his birthday through an intimate action and posting a picture on her social media feed. This was backfired by the moral police pointing it to be an inappropriate picture. Although, she was called out with demeaning names and slut-shamed but Fakhar still kept the hate at bay and addressed the criticism warmly, where she highlighted that ‘she considers criticism to be an act of love.’

Every person has a different level of tolerance and thus their reactions are also very different but being a celebrity, one has to be conscious of his/her statements and actions, for they are giving permission to the masses to give an opinion about their work.