In Pakistan, it’s a common misconception that modelling is an easy job. People believe that models aren’t intelligent and can get to the highest levels of fame simply based on the natural beauty they were blessed with. With the world of Instagram, this way of thinking has solidified more than it ever had been before.
But let’s face it, does anything in life come easy? Seeing someone do their job from a distance may seem like they’re hardly working and it might make you think that “I have it so much harder than she does and I’m not complaining” but that’s not how it really is.
Every profession comes with its own challenges. For the Pakistani model if industry, things are no different. To even get your foot through the door, you have to be very mentally strong. People are going to pick apart your uniqueness and call them “flaws”. You’re going to be edited, sometimes beyond recognition. You’re going to be told that “you’re not good enough and millions are waiting to replace you in an instant”. All while you’re the one making these people money. It’s your face on the campaign after all.
It’s also very hard to get paid in this industry. Models have to work hard on the campaign and then work even harder to get paid. Chasing around your employer for your hard-earned money is something models do every week. Even the more established ones.
Just like any other profession where you have internships to get your start, in modelling you have unpaid photo shoots. They’re great for learning how the industry works and building a portfolio without having to pay out of pocket.
Laila Hussain, Pakistani Model signed up for the same thing, an unpaid photoshoot with a modelling agency. Routine stuff, right? Nope.
While she was getting ready for the shoot and having her blouse pinned, the employer, Daniyal Rajput was trying to take photos of her from his phone.
This was not something she had consented to so she clearly told him to stop. To this he shouted at her, saying “tum ho kaun?” (Who are you?) “tumhey janta kaun hai?” (Who even knows you?) “tumhari himmat kaisey huee mujhsy aisey baat karney ki?” (How dare you talk to me like this?). The model added how he said these things while “literally jumping” at her. Even though the make up artist tried pushing him away.
Thankfully she was able to get out of there but this isn’t something you just shake off. She was angry and hurt – rightfully so.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else, she put up a post on social media. Detailing her encounter. To which hundreds of women responded, asking her to name the man so no other model ever has to go through this. So, she named him.
Soon after, Daniyal Rajput started calling her and threatening her. Thinking he can scare her to take the posts down. But she didn’t budge.
When he couldn’t scare her, he had his mother call and beg for forgiveness. To which Laila told her
“No woman, I respect you, you’re not the one at fault. Your son is, he should apologise”
And eventually, he did.
This is amazing. This shows you that even though people say “what’s the point of raising your voice on social media?” “If you want to bring change do something ‘real’” all the time, that’s a thing of the past. Social media IS something “real”. If you voice your truth, people will support you and you will get justice. It’s a lot better than staying quiet and not being able to do anything to right what’s been wronged.
We applaud women like Laila Hussain. They don’t only get themselves justice but they keep predators like this from ever doing anything like this to anyone again.