Actress Hajra Yamin talks about her struggling days
Superstar Hajra Yamin in an interview with Asma Nabeel talks about toxic relationships outside as well as within the family, feminism and self-love.
All her life, Hajra had trouble expressing herself the only way she found she could, was through acting. However, she found herself at a crossroads when she wanted to pursue a much-awaited career in the field.
Having lived in Islamabad all their lives, Hajra's parents were quite unwilling to let her go to Karachi and into the media industry all alone, given the city's extremely unsafe conditions. They were worried about her receiving the odd stares and harassment she as a girl would face in the big city but Hajra's passion was so great it outgrew every hurdle in her way and with much courage as well as fear in her heart, she went to Karachi to become an actress and never looked back.
“I understand where they're coming from and hence I don't blame them at all,” says Hajra as she talks about the generation gap between her family and her being the root cause of their conflict.”
“My parents were still in their generation, they didn't grow up with us," she adds.
“I'm still in touch with them and we do talk now but they are still not entirely open to the idea of me as an actor, living by myself in Karachi.”
“I have always enjoyed struggles,” says Hajra with a smile on her face and she talks about the struggles she faced when she got to Karachi - all alone with no support from her family and no one to blame but herself anymore. She had no plan B at all and her utmost priority was acting which she worked day and night for.
Although a lot of people did support her in Karachi, whenever she would go for a run in the park, she would receive a lot of pictures of her in her inbox from creepy men due to which she had no choice but to stop running.
Unlike many, Hajra has always been very vocal about sexual harassment and abuse and strongly feels women should tell off such men in public there and then when they attempt to do anything of the sort rather than staying quiet and letting the matter go.
Moreover, not only is there gender discrimination present within the society but also in the media industry. Hajra further confirms this by mentioning that the characters of women shown in TV serials today are far from empowering and hence create misconceptions and prejudiced stereotypes within the society about how women 'should be.' For instance, the girl that puts herself first, is outgoing, laughs a lot, talks to boys, and wears western clothes is always portrayed as the villain or the 'bad girl' in the drama. Another form of discrimination found within the industry Hajra mentions is how actresses are chosen specifically based on a common stereotype of the girl being young and thin, having long, straight hair and a fair complexion.
“If I get married, I don't want to be a wife rather I'd like to be a partner,” Hajra said.
On an ending note, Hajra gives some amazing advice to all the women out there on how they need to learn to love themselves and how every woman should prioritize and put herself first before anyone else. She further adds that being honest with one's own self is the key to a content life.