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25 Oct

“I wasn’t fat-shamed by the industry” – Hareem Farooq

hareem

Contrary to popular belief, the very lovely and talented Hareem Farooq insists that her fitness journey wasn’t the result of what anyone else thought of her physique. “I’m a very confident person, shukar Alhumdulillah,” shared Hareem as soon as we sat down with her to talk about her very fabulous transformation. “I started working out and eating healthy as early as 2012 but the process got delayed because I had an accident in 2013 which resulted in me breaking my arm.” Naturally, she was unable to hit the gym with a broken arm.

But due to an Instagram post shared by the Parchi star herself, Hareem’s fans started believing that she was fat-shamed into losing all the weight that she has lost now. “I put up that post on social media to get people’s attention that we need to stop judging each other, and I thought it might make a difference if I said it. Because when that post happened, I was already going through a transformation, so it’s not like somebody got to me,” she clarified.

 

 

“I still get body shamed. Now people say the opposite: “why is she so thin, her bones are sticking out, she’s lost the glow from her face. GOD, what is wrong with people? They’re not happy with anything, for anyone. So it’s not like people will stop attacking me if I lose weight.”

Hareem has been the talk of the town since she started losing a considerable amount of weight. Some people praise her while some think that she’s sending a mixed message about body acceptance. If people should be happy with whatever they look like, then why does Hareem feel the need to look a certain way? “I always tell people, be confident about your body, and be comfortable with yourself. But I cannot tell people to not be fit. If you’re fat or thin, it doesn’t matter. But if it’s affecting you or your health in some way, work on it. If I’m sitting here and eating junk food every day, and I’m saying ‘I don’t care what people think,’ that’s wrong because you should care about what you’re doing to yourself by eating unhealthy junk food. It’s just not good for your body.”

 

Hareem Farooq

 

What everyone wonders though is whether Hareem ever felt fat-shamed by the industry. Media tends to put a lot of pressure on the way stars look; did Hareem ever get told by a director or producer to lose weight? “I was always welcomed by the industry. Maybe I was lucky but I was never told by anyone to lose weight.” And to be fair, it’s not like her weight ever hindered Hareem in her work. She got the lead role in Mehreen Jabbar’s film Dobara Phir Se and was often chosen to be the leading lady in several TV serials. We believe Hareem when she says that her fitness journey was the result of her own expectations from her body.

“At the end of the day, everyone’s body is different and it reacts differently to diet and exercise. I know I can never be size zero, because I’m tall and broad, my body just can’t physically slim down to that size. So the goal shouldn’t be about losing weight, it should be about losing fat. We need to stop focusing on the superficiality of it all and focus on how good or bad your body feels,” she concluded wisely.

 

 

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Manal Faheem Khan

The author is Contributing Editor at Something Haute who has studied film and journalism from SZABIST. Will be found at the gym if not in the office.