"There are so many red flags that I don't know where to begin."
Saheefa Jabbar Khattak admitted she is not a fan of Mayi Ri and pointed out the show’s “red flags” in a series of Instagram Stories.
Since its release, the show has garnered controversy for its focus on child marriages.
Things escalated when the 15-year-old protagonist Annie (Aina Asif) fell pregnant by her younger cousin Fakhir (Samar Abbas), who were compelled to marry each other.
Saheefa gave her thoughts on Mayi Ri and highlighted how problematic the show is.
The model began: “Not following all the episodes (clearly don’t want to watch the full drama), the clips coming on my feed are problematic enough.
“There are so many red flags that I don’t know where to begin.
“I rarely speak out now because I get super anxious about this back-and-forth posting drama, but this specific one is something I deeply feel for.”
She claimed the show is “normalising cousin marriages”.
Saheefa continued: “I believe they both are shown underage (below 18) in this drama. If not, they are still quite young (since they are seen in their school uniforms) most of the time.
“Whatever clip came on my feed initially stated kids being worried and trying to explain, ‘Our childhood, we’re young, our education, our lives, why are you stealing our childhood from us?’
“That beautiful young girl wants to study, the teenage boy wants to explore and learn like any other boy his age, he wants to go out with his friends, ride a bike, all the things young boys would want to do and here, we adults are promoting them getting married.”
Stating that “s**t content” was being given to audiences, Saheefa elaborated:
“We are not realising the after-effects of such shows.
“Normalising cousin marriages or young pregnancies is frowned upon even in the West.
“I get this a lot that today’s 15-year-old is not a kid.
“Fine, I am ready to accept that, but I am not ready to accept that a 15-year-old should be becoming a parent.”
“[Parents that are] educated, literate, mature, financially stable, and sorted brains make a difference in the overall upbringing of the child, and later, that child [can serve] society principally and economically.”
Saheefa also questioned how Mayi Ri amassed a large viewership.
“The same old cute teasing to keep the audience hooked, eventually getting attracted to each other, and we are not stopping there.
“They have had sex – yes, sex – after which and how one gets pregnant and even after that, they made them act shocked as if the pregnancy has happened through a miracle as if the tooth fairy came and dropped the baby in the belly.”
Saheefa concluded: “When we were younger, Bollywood would show that teasing.
“We used to get hooked on that ‘cuteness’, eventually falling madly in love and fighting against all odds to be together because families would not agree.
“Now, exactly the same content is being shown in our dramas. They are so deeply [ingrained] in us, so I don’t know who to blame really.”