Big, Bulky & Beautiful
A beautiful story, the TV serial ‘Pyari Mona’ is a very successful attempt at breaking the stereotypes around body-shaming, or more specifically, fat-shaming.
The writer and director have intelligently dealt with the sensitive subject, presenting the message unconventionally to the viewers.
The lead (Mona) is played by Sanam Jung who has done justice to her role. She is an overweight girl, brought up in an upper class family, but is ridiculed by her mother for being plus-sized. She is an intelligent and smart girl with many talents that are, unfortunately, undermined by her mother. She aspires to be a successful and independent working woman, but she is rejected when she fails to get a good job due to her appearance.
The character of the mother of Mona (whose name is Shaista) is played by Uzma Baig, and is the one representing highly elitist women whose beauty standards include being slim, smart and pretty. This results in her loving her older daughter (Samia, played by Sabeeka Imam) more than Mona.
Samia is portrayed as a submissive and quiet soul with virtually no opinion of her own in front of her highly egotistical, arrogant, proud and demanding husband (called Babur, played by Adeel Hussain) whose inferiority complex results in him controlling Samia’s life, social activities and even her diet.
As opposed to his wife, Mona’s father (Khalid, played by Adnan Jaffer) is a highly sensible and wise man who believes in treating his children equally and giving strong moral support to Mona in keeping her sanity, especially in front of her mother’s irrational behavior.
Mona’s best friend (Irfan, played by the new and talented Hunbal Khan) is equally oversized but fits well into society being a male. Both Mona and Irfan are close friends, and the two develop a love-spark which quickly flickers out when Mona is married to Babur, as a sharp twist of fate results in Samia’s death from a sudden heart failure, and thus for the sake of the innocent daughter (called Ayaan) that Samia has left behind, Mona is married to her chauvinist brother-in-law, Babur, to take care of Ayaan.
Mona is the complete opposite of Samia as she is very vocal and expressive in countering Babur, who misses no chance to tell her that she is a misfit in society as well as in his life. This gives him an excuse to fall in love with his colleague (called Zee, played by Mishal Khan).
The TV serial is a successful attempt at creating awareness about the consequences of giving little-to-no familial support to children who are overweight.
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