Influencers Are Rising Due to Social Media, Not Talent: Zhalay Sarhad

Several prominent Pakistani celebrities have taken it upon themselves to school social media influencers and bloggers on content creation. Actors Zhalay Sarhadi and Fahad Mustafa have emerged as the latest advocates for a more discerning approach to content creation.

After Fahad Mustafa shed light on the challenges and complexities that come with the growing influence of online content creators in an interview, Zhalay gave her two cents on the value of ‘talent’ in a recent podcast.

Sarhadi noted that renowned stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Jon Hamm, and Oscar winner Emma Stone do not have any Instagram accounts. Her point being that their success is rooted in their undeniable talent rather than their online presence.

“For some reason, there are too many social media stars now who are getting work in the industry because of their stardom, not because they have the talent.”

Sarhadi further highlighted a misperception in the industry, saying, “Filmmakers or drama producers are now mistaken to think that the number of followers by a lead translates into the audience’s desire to watch the content.”

She also offered a more inclusive understanding of feminism and gender equality in the country, denying that the slogan “Mera Jism, Meri Marzi” emphasises clothing choices.

“It has nothing to do with clothing. It has to do with [how] you cannot do anything to my body without my consent,” she explained, setting the record straight on the slogan’s intent.

“Let your mothers, sisters and wives be independent and strong.’

Sarhadi also urged the Aurat March organisers to articulate its demands in a more “proper way” to effectively convey their message to the public.

Sarhadi noted that an excess of “aggression” in feminist spaces can divert attention away from critical issues and discourage potential allies from joining the cause.

She directly called out those who resist the label of ‘feminist,’ asserting, “If you believe everyone should have equal rights, then you’re a feminist!”

Do you agree with their stance? Let us know in the comments!

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