Just so that you all don’t get confused, my LSA nomination article was published in Dawn on July 17. I was in Dubai at the time so could not receive any calls or feedback. However, some friends were kind enough to alert me of this email/text message that was apparently doing the rounds of all editors/journalists/designers etc. I got the following text (reproduced sic to be fair to Khawar) from some Oz Khan, whom I don’t know from Adam.
Being the fair and unbiased journalist that I am, I am putting Khawar’s letter up on my blog as constructive feedback of my article which is also up on the blog. Though the heart comes up with numerous responses to every single sentence, I refrain in dignity and let the letter do it’s own talking. You be the best judge of this little letter of retaliation and feel free to leave a message.
Dear Amna Haider Isani,
I just read your article in the dawn images paper on the lux style awards and I just wanted to correct you on a few things hereâ€¦
Have you ever been to the fashion weeks in Pakistan? And have you ever seen the male models on the ramps there?!! I mean didnâ€™t you see their six Pac abs over there!! I donâ€™t know why you wrote that their abs were not real and airbrushing brought them to life?!! My dear Amna, there are men in this country who actually have good bodies along with faces and they work hard to maintain it, please accept this fact. You canâ€™t airbrush real people in real life now can you? We are still a few hundred years behind in that technology I think. In case you didnâ€™t notice because of the vastness of the industry that these are the only Spartan like International looking breed of men and models on the ramp in our country.. I mean if they are so bad then why do I have foreign media and fashion journalists flocking my house every time there is a fashion week, to observe them and to make video reports about the â€˜Gorgeousâ€™ male models and their workout routines. Just like engineers, doctors, CSP officers, architects and politicians are meant to be who they are similarly models are meant to be models. They are ordinary guys and just like the majority of Pakistan from ordinary, rural and very basic interior city backgrounds; with something extra in them which is poise and beauty.
You should appreciate them for coming from such backgrounds and still being able to carry a western piece of apparel and doing justice to it.not because they are taught to do so but because they have it in them, Naturally!!
You should see the female or should I say women models in real life with and without makeup and then compare them with international models and you will have a very clear picture about who gets Photoshop galore instead of plastic surgeries!! This is the only country where ancient non-deserving women who are way past their guarantee limits are still surviving on the magic, which is called Photoshop.
And why are these male models expected to give interviews like doctors, engineers and POLITICIANS!! At least these boys are real and similar to the rest of the majority world; at least they are proud of who they are, and when was the last time a male model won a Pulitzer?!! Even in the United States and Europe the male models are mostly from rural and small town areas. Take David Beckham for instance, The English born (the reason why he can speak the language!!) footballer and model. If you observe his interviews you realize heâ€™s as dumb as a nutt!! But his fame is unending! So you should try and give these boys credit that they come from such average and sometimes below average households and still they muster up the courage to stand in front of cameras and people and thank their mentor and you guys. You should realize at the end of it all what fame and fortune awaits them?? Just a trophy?!! Its not like they walk out and are swarmed by paparazzi now is it?
Instead of criticizing Khawar you donâ€™t see the kind of talent I have introduced into this country. The girls and boys I have brought out into this industry and am still working in these testing times and still you go on criticizing just for the sake of it, without knowing the story behind the scene. Please stop making your articles sound like they are biased! And try doing your homework and gather the facts really well. Also do double check before spreading hearsay.
And what is this entire racket about Ather Shehzad and Khawar Riaz being moved on the side and for what? Just because three people started and created grounds for all the others to build on and they have made sure their work stays cutting edge and modern so they are considered bad?! Why? If they are old and still have work that is the best its not their fault instead the others should thank their lucky stars that they have set a standard which is still going strong and if they in this age can produce international standard work then it says a lot about the youngsters that they need to prep up their work and take their work more seriously and show more dedication! And also whatâ€™s this hoo haw about monopoly? Should i start naming the photographers working in this industry! I mean how are they working if there is a so-called fantasy monopoly going on? And why should they be cast out they are not dead and they have not stopped working yet! So everybody should be happy that there are people who still can modernize their work but critical (self proclaimed) juries like you should realize that standards are set so real talent can come up. So please stop corrupting the innocent minds of the common, with as I said before self created hearsay. And again factual information is good journalism!
I mean its not about having an award or nomination its about the rejoicing tone as if some enemy has been captured! Whatâ€™s going on here!! Its about the realization that if weâ€™re the best, its because we are!!
I always support lux and these healthy entertainment and recognition events.. We deserve respect as well. Instead of them just for the sake of it pointing us out!!
The reason for sending this message out was that a celebrity works and slaves away his whole life working to achieve a goal and make a name for him/herself. Then suddenly out of the blue come along some people who just in order to become famous or for the heck of it and to make their own name because they think they are always right, make up statements and start wrongly and negatively criticizing the celebrities or anyone who is famous by using media as their medium. Maybe they are on some trip of their own to prove something to the world.
These wannabeâ€™s do not realize that any person working in this country in the present conditions should be awarded high honors for his attempt of successfully sticking around!
And people like these few have the nerve to wrongly say anything they please. So I would like he respected journalists to please support my point of view and stand by me because all of you know what struggling truly means.
(reproduced word for word)