Cyberbullying has become an awful problem on the internet, especially on social media. People who can’t accept opinions and preferences of others, use insults and derogatory terms to bring other people down.
Saheefa, a Pakistani Muslim model, studied at Beaconhouse National University which is one of the highly reputed educational institutes in Pakistan. She has been in the modeling and fashion industry for the last two years now and has recently become a victim of cyberbullying.
Internet trolls, mainly women have slated the young Muslim model as a ‘bad role model for young girls’. Some even went far enough to say that she has a ‘masculine look’. She was turned down by several campaigns who deemed her hairstyle ‘unacceptable’ and has also been denied entrance to women only areas because of her appearance!
Saheefa was emotionally affected by the hateful criticism. She reached out on Facebook live to address the bullying and stereotypical bashing she has to face not only on social media but also in her daily life!
She said: “I always read comments because it makes me learn about my work but the recent negativity from people has hurt me very much.
“People need to get more education. They need to learn that other people can have different lives.
“I don’t use my family’s money because I earn my own and I work hard for it. I am a bad role model for young girls? When I was a young girl, I wasn’t browsing Facebook. Instead, I was in school, studying.
“Why is it wrong if I want to do something different than most women? Why is it wrong if I’m doing something for my country?
“Everyone should be free to do what they want. Dress and live how they want as long as it is not hurting anyone else.”
Her live video was well-received by her supporters while some even tried educating the bullies who were bashing her. And that caused a lot of her haters to delete their comments.
She further said that stereotyping, gender inequality and illiteracy are one of the biggest problems in society! The model admits feeling disturbed that majority of the women who were criticizing her, had such beautiful children of their own.
“I wondered what will those kids learn while growing up? They are the future of this country.
She stated that people need to learn that they don’t control the lives of others and everyone deserves a life of their own. Although she acknowledges that life isn’t the same for all girls.
“Some women thought I spoke against hijab. They clearly took it in the wrong context. I don’t hate hijab or covering up. It is a matter of personal choice and everyone has their own preference.
“I believe in equality for everyone. Everyone deserves the right to decide for themselves. I did the same when I wanted to chase my dreams.
Reflecting upon herself, she said her profession is solely based on her love and passion for modeling.
“I am very passionate about the work I do. Everyone should be passionate about their work. It shouldn’t be just for the money.
The Muslim model believes that marriage shouldn’t be such a quick decision for young girls.
“Marriage is one of the most beautiful things in life. But it should be done with the right person at the right time.
Saheefa is a strong believer in women empowerment and she raises a good point.
“I don’t want to depend on a man for my survival. All women should try to be independent and strong on their own.”