Ayesha Omar sent shockwaves down the showbiz with her groundbreaking revelation of being harassed during the early days of her career.
During her Instagram interview with the BBC, Ayesha, along with a number of other prominent figureheads touched upon the rampant issue of rape and harassment within Pakistan and even dived into detail regarding the victim-blaming mentality that is heavily rooted within the crux of the culture.
The short clip began with Ayesha reiterating a number of questions that usually sprout up in people’s minds, some of which include, “What was she doing, what was she wearing, what did she say, how did she act?”
Other stars also popped up for a cameo in the video, adding how people “blame the woman for being irresponsibly leaving her house a later hour” and constantly ask, “Well, why did you go to the market alone, why did you not cover yourself up properly?”
The featured women in the BBC clip all had one thing in common and it was there disdain towards the atrocities being inflicted upon women across the country.
The short clip featuring the actress, is part of an interview she did with director Rose McGowan. In that conversation, Omar claimed that she had finally gathered the strength to speak about what had happened to her all those years ago.
Omar admitted, “A huge powerful man, twice my age. I had just entered the industry, I was this young 23-year-old, fresh out of college, and bam, this started happening. And it went on for years.”
“It wasn’t a one-off incident, and I just didn’t want to process it. I put in a box, and I said okay, this is happening in my life, I have to deal with it. I didn’t wanna share it with anybody. I let it stay there for 15 years, and I finally spoke about it to someone two years ago.”
“A friend of mine from the industry also came out with her story, and TV channels started calling me up and asking ‘Do you think she’s telling the truth?'”
Ayesha Omer is a Pakistani actress, model, singer, and painter. She is one of country’s most popular and highest-paid actresses, and is often considered as a style icon. In 2019, she was awarded the Tamgha-e-Fakhr-e-Pakistan (Pride of Pakistan) by the Warsi International Organisation
In 2012, she released her first single “Chalte Chalte” and “Khamoshi” which, although a commercial success in Pakistan, was met with a mixed reaction from critics. Omer went on to win Lux Style Award for Best Album.She made her film debut in the lead role with successful romantic-comedy Karachi Se Lahore in 2015, followed by supporting characters in war film Yalghaar (2017) and the drama Kaaf Kangana (2019).
Omer was born in Lahore, Pakistan.She was one year old when her father died and her mother raised Omer and her brother as a single parent. She described her childhood as ”tough” and ”independent”.
She attended Lahore Grammar School, and went to the National College of Arts for her Bachelors and Masters qualifications.While in school and college, she participated in co-curricular activities and learnt dance through theatre plays.
Ayesha Omer started her career as a model. She has done many commercials, including for Kurkure, Harpic, Capri, Pantene and Zong. Omer first hosted the show Meray Bachpan Kay Din on PTV at the age of eight. She then hosted Morning show Yeh Waqt Hai Mera on CNBC Pakistan, Rhythm on Prime TV and Hot chocolate on ARY Zauq. In 2018, she participated in New York Fashion Week as Pakistan’s Spokesperson for beauty brand Maybelline.
Ayesha Omer with fans at Lahooti Melo in Sindh University
Omer made her acting debut with serial College Jeans which aired on PTV, after which she appeared in Geo TV’s drama serial Dolly Ki Ayegi Baraat alongside veteran actors like Bushra Ansari,
Saba Hameed and Jawed Sheikh. Since 2009, she appears on popular sitcom Bulbulay as Khoobsurat, opposite actor Nabeel. Bulbulay become the most watched sitcom of Pakistan. Following the success of Bulbulay, Omer received strong media coverage and became a household name.Its second season currently airs on ARY Digital.
Omer then appeared in PTV serial Dil Ko Manana Aya Nahi opposite Amanat Ali, and Geo TV’s drama serial Ladies Park alongside Humayun Saeed, Azfar Rehman, Hina Dilpazeer and Mahnoor Baloch.