Amna Ilyas talks about discrimination against dark complexion in Pakistani entertainment industry

Pakistani model-turned-actress Amna Ilyas has always been vocal against the discriminatory approach of many people to dark complexion.

The 35-year-old star, whose dusky skin tone and sharp features rank her among one of the most beautiful faces of the Pakistani entertainment industry, has had her fair share of prejudice and sexism.  

The Saat Din Mohabbat In actress recently made an appearance on The Talk Talk Show where she criticised the casting producers who wouldn’t pick actors with a darker or dusky skin complexion. The Baaji star discussed the difficulties she faced at the beginning of her career. Ilyas herself had been subjected to discrimination multiple times when her complexion did not match that of her co-star on screen. 

The Gardaab actress said “if we look at our entertainment industry, every other actor and actress will be fair and tall in their physical appearance”. Ilyas explained the reason for this is the fraternity has set its own standards of beauty.

While the starlet has a successful career in the television and film industry, Ilyas found much more luck in films than dramas. Talking about item numbers, the Zinda Bhaag actress said, “I don’t understand what this word ‘item’ actually means. We call it a dance performance when this word originates from our neighbouring entertainment industry where calling someone an item is somewhat a compliment.”

“It is a musical performance for me,” the actress emphasized.

“I don’t want to attach a negative connotation to the word. I agree that the performance is set in that zone where a girl entertains through dance, but still why would you have to call it an item number?” the model asked.

Talking further, Ilyas said, “I think all Hollywood musicals are entertaining and serve a purpose — in the film — and they are also doing dancing, but all hell breaks loose if we show it in our films.”

If a film demands an item song, you shall produce one and if it doesn’t —  like in Baaji and Zinda Bhaag — there is absolutely no need,” Ilyas concluded.

On the work front, Ilyas will next be seen in Gardaab, Driven and Mastani.