Defying Societal Standards – Meet Arfa Shahid, Pakistan’s First Plus-size Reporter

One of Pakistan’s biggest norm is the standard of beauty it sets for women. The majority of the women in Pakistan have to undergo and experience criticism and harsh comments from everyone they walk by.

The standard of beauty for women is to have a fair skin, long hair and no hair on their body but the main standard is to not be overweight. However, times have changed and women have learned to stand up for themselves. One example of such bravery is Arfa Shahid.

Arfa Shahid is a ‘plus sized’ Pakistani reporter and is first of her kind. She has gained popularity and respect from people all around the world supporting the same message. Arfa is a journalist but she models for different brands as well.

But fighting against such stereotypes and getting to where she is today was not an easy task. Arfa faced a lot of criticism for her being overweight. She got ridiculed and judged by those around her, as well as her teachers, Arfa had a long struggle with depression but after time chose to accept herself as she is and is now motivated to fulfil her dreams.

She is often made fun of on social media but Arfa does not let the negativity get to her head and keeps on working hard towards her goal. Her goal is to spread positivity and to teach women that it is okay to be an outcast and not fit in the standards this society has set for you.

‘’I want to say to the bullies out there, your words are actually impacting a human being. You might, for example, sit behind the screen and say something but the impact of that on the other side of the screen is very real. So, you have to be conscious about the things that you’re putting out in the universe and how you’re impacting other people’’ said Arfa.

Her message tends to be a powerful one, a message that is much needed in today’s society. During her time as a news reporter, she got a massive amount of hate for how she looks and managed to turn it into something more powerful and positive. Her message is to make women confident about how they look and to not be ashamed of being overweight and she continues to inspire thousands every day.

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