There’s a certain stigma attached to smoking when it comes to Pakistani women. While men can smoke freely, women who want the same are looked down upon. And don’t get me started on the countless sexist policies regarding the issue. As it is said: ”Cigarettes are dangerous for a man’s lungs and a woman’s character.”
Zarish Grewal, a Pakistani model posted a picture of her smoking on her Instagram
In the caption, she wrote ”Normalizing female smokers.” People supported her for calling out society’s double standards that only allow men to smoke freely and slut-shame women who do the same
Not to forget when Mahira Khan and Saba Qamar’s smoking pictures spread like wildfire and people lost their shit. We do have a history of discrimination when it comes to smoking. Women’s smoking would remain a controversial topic as far as Pakistani society is concerned. Nevertheless, smoking is indeed injurious to health. However, this picture and the comments obviously require a more nuanced debate, for the backlash Zarish received did seem to overstep.