A popular model in Pakistan has defended herself after coming under fire for wearing blackface in an advertisement for a local salon.
Abid credited the team behind her spread, with Ikram Gohar — who works at the salon — being responsible for her hair and makeup.
“For art’s sake,” she captioned one of the photos.
Abid’s other Instagram posts show her with much lighter complexions, which some believe support Pakistan’s “obsession” with fair skin.
The series has since attracted a massive backlash, with people criticizing the salon and the 35-year-old model for promoting blackface.
Over the weekend, Abid posted a series of notes defending the photoshoot, claiming that she is “a proud dark-skinned model” and “a first-hand victim of discrimination and colourism.”
“When I initially started modelling professionally, people would refuse to hire me because of my dark skin tone.
“I am first-hand victim of discrimination and colourism that exists within our society.
“However, I fought tooth and nail to get where I am today and I am very grateful for all the opportunities I received purely on the basis of my talent.”
Abid went on to explain that the photos, which have been “misconstrued,” enhanced her color as she wanted to “empower” the “darker-skinned population” in the name of representation.
“On multiple occasions, I have been made two to three tones lighter, so why not darker?”
Abid concluded her defense with a call to stop shaming dark skin.
“I live to see the day when all skin tones are equally represented within our society and we can proudly celebrate our natural skin tones.”
Unfortunately, Abid’s statement did not exactly pacify critics, who argued that blackface is not representation.
Featured Images via Instagram / @zaraabidofficial