Pop Cultural Moments of 2018

  • 29 Dec - 04 Jan, 2019
  • Attiya Abbass
  • Focus

It’s curtains for 2018, the year that will be remembered as the one that witnessed the fall of the country’s most influential political family, the rise of an eminent leader, broadened the horizons of its entertainment industry and assimilated western trends into its social hemisphere… amongst many other things. And now that it’s finally over, we take a breather and introspect over some incidents that demarcated deep lines in our pop cultural by winning over (or surprising) the masses, launching numerous memes and breaking the internet!

IK’s third marriage breaks the internet

Khan’s third marriage to Bushra Maneka made rounds on the internet and people didn’t even spare their future Prime Minister, pointing accusatory fingers at the PTI leader for the “odd” timing of tying the knot. “My crime is wanting to get married,” stated the newly-married Khan, clearly frazzled by the excessive attention his marriage received.

Eva Zu Beck finds love in a hopeless place

The first time the Polish vlogger came to limelight was the viral KiKi challenge video she made on the national carrier. The video featured Eva with a Pakistani flag draped at her back throwing some dance moves on the aircraft. Some were outraged by her stunt donning a Pakistani flag, while others laughed it off. Gradually, Eva won the heart of Pakistan by spreading love and positivity regarding the nation she confesses was very hospitable to her. And Pakistan has reciprocated her love two-fold now!


The actress made her debut at the illustrious International Cannes Film Festival, representing L’Oreal Paris Pakistan Haircare as their official spokesperson in Pakistan. Although she wasn’t the first Pakistani to achieve the feat (actress Armeena Khan and Adnan Siddiqui, too, have made their mark at the French Rivera), Khan broke the much-prolonged hiatus and showed onlookers across the globe, that Pakistan’s still got it. In a moment of brimming pride, eyes can never dispel the Mahira Khan’s picture-perfect red-painted smile and Alberta Ferretti blue gown, that spelled old-Hollywood glamour through and through.

"Jab #metoo ho, tab boldo"

Amongst the most recent accounts of victim shaming in the wake of the #MeToo movement was the notorious interview of Sadaf Kanwal on Tonite with HSY. Kanwal in a manner which reeked of misinformation and perilous insensitivity made a statement, “You know aap ke sath #MeToo jab ho, tab bol do. Baad mein aap ko yaad araha hai #MeToo, So I think jab ho bol do.” The supermodel was called out at her remarks. The most strong and on-point condemnation came from Meesha Shafi's end, who cut through (and won over) the entire argument with just a single Tweeting birdie, “Strong eyebrows.. do not a strong backbone. Pfffft,” she tweeted. Yes, we know that was for you, Sadaf!

Women set out to assassinate patriarchy at Aurat March

In a revolutionary feat, ‘Aurat March’ saw hundreds of women set out on a memorable march to assassinate patriarchy on their own. Aurat March was put to effect to banish reproductive, economic and environmental injustice and put an end to violence against women and other gender minorities. Women from all walks of life, brandished powerful posters and mindsets that were enough to rattle slumbering consciences and lay a warning finger on misogynist’s lips. Posters like, “Paratha rolls, not gender roles” and “Consent ki tasbeeh roz parhein” spelled their outrage profoundly.

‘Khud khana garam karlo!’ – A poster that irked the masculine rage

The very idea that mobilised the march and many of its posters throttled fragile masculinity and raised many eyebrows. One poster was at apex of this drama, that read ‘Khud Khana Garam Karlo!’ [Heat up your own food!]. This ensured a round of counter backs from men on social media which served as a battleground, with men retorting with slogans like, “Khud roti le ayo!” or “Khud puncture banwalo!”. The effortlessly simple poster hit the nerve of many. The magnitude of the rage was such that it became a trending topic on social platforms and was soon reported on by various news channels.

The rise of #MeToo

On April 19, #MeToo stretched its wings and took off for its maiden voyage in Pakistan, when singer and actress Meesha Shafi took to Twitter to voice allegations of sexual harassment against Ali Zafar. As media began to break the story, wits were astray, emotions blared high with people divided and fans torn apart. The controversy unwittingly made a strong attempt to “break the culture of silence” as Meesha wanted to. The #MeToo hashtag has galvanised stories from all quarters, with the masses taking to their social media feed to voice their personal stories of workplace harassment and instances of sexual misconduct. Around the end of the year, accusatory fingers were also pointed at social media star Junaid Akram and philanthropist Faisal Edhi, but nothing substantial has emerged out of the allegations as yet.

Zara Noor Abbas claps back at trolls

Who can forget the Zara Noor Abbas’ eccentric yet dramatic walk on the runway walked the ramp at Fashion Pakistan Week. Her walk was shamelessly (and rather tastelessly) mocked by other top-notch models from the fashion fraternity, namely Areeba, Farwa and Javeria. Zara took to her Instagram to call the models out on their behaviour. The kernel of her outburst was pretty simple, “Women don’t build women... It is women who don’t let each other grow.” The grace with which Zara tackled the trolls made the models apologise for their behaviour and Zara came out of it with her head held high.

The massacre of Ko Ko Karina

Momina Mustehsan and Ahad Raza Mir received a lot of critism for their “horrendous” rendition of 60’s gem Ko Ko Korina, which is deemed the first modern Pakistani pop song. The song was an epic fiasco. And it seamlessly blurred all lines between politics and entertainment by drawing in a government minister, a pop sweetheart, and even Spiderman. The country’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari took to Twitter to declare her aversion for the song, and labelling it “Horrendous”. Criticism and memes flew from all quarters but Momina singularly garnered more rebuke over her ludicrous comment directed at the Human Right’s minister, “Uncle Ben from Spider-Man said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Don’t let us down.” Whatever!