While many Pakistani celebrities believe item songs help movies score big on the box office, there are a few who are against this prevailing culture.
Last week, Hamza Ali Abbasi expressed his concerns on the culture of item songs in Lollywood movies. His comments, made during a talent show on a private TV channel, sparked a debate on social media – and actress Sarah Ali Khan is the latest to join this debate.
No Item Numbers Please
While speaking to a local TV channel, Sarah revealed that she had been offered several films but made it clear that she would neither wear revealing clothes nor perform item numbers.
Sarah said she was open to working in films, but only if they conform to social norms. She insisted that item songs were not the only secret ingredient to make a movie successful.
“What I believe is that for a film to score big, all you need is good actors, a good director, and a well-written script.”
The ‘Tumhare Hain’ actor explained that she wasn’t against singing and dancing as they were also a form of art.
“I don’t think singing and dancing are wrong, but what I am against is the mentality that forces women to think that to look attractive they have to dress in a certain way, dance to certain songs, or make certain expressions.”
“We are women, we are better than this, and we are mothers of mankind, so it isn’t justified for a woman to say that to prove her talent she has to perform on an item song, be it internationally or locally.”
Mehwish Hayat’s Take On the Debate
Tamgha-e-Imtiaz recipient Mehwish Hayat had differing views regarding the use of item songs in movies. She defended her right to perform item numbers.
Mehwish has performed two item songs – Chirya’ in ‘Chhalawa’ and ‘Gangster Guriya’ in Baaji. Her view is that at the end of the day, artists can choose what they want to work on.
To do these dance numbers has been my choice. As an actress and performer it is my job. As a woman I find my work empowering. Dance to me is aesthetically the purest form of art. https://t.co/KzGNoXJXhU
Incase you’ve missed it here’s the link ☝🏻
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) June 21, 2019
In a rare example of camadarie between two showbiz stars, Sarah agreed with Mehwish’s choice:
“Just like it’s my personal choice not to perform an item song, it’s other actors choice to perform item songs too. I am no one to criticize or to judge others choices.”
When asked if she had a piece of advice for aspiring artists, she said young talent should learn to say no!
“Women should know when, where and how she has to say no.”