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I broke down: How Mariam Ansari's pregnancy reveal attracted the worst of trolls

The Bharam actor sat down for a chat with BBC Urdu and delved into the harsh criticism she received over her heartfelt photoshoot with husband Owais Khan, announcing the couple’s pregnancy. Instead of receiving an outpouring of well-wishes, the model found herself inundated with a wave of negative comments. 

“I was probably six months pregnant at the time of the photoshoot,” shared Ansari. “It was received very negatively as if I weren’t a Muslim. People invoked culture, insisting pregnancy shoots are part of the West.”

The actor went on to question the many contradictions at play. “Do Pakistanis not have kids? Do Muslim women not get pregnant?” Ansari asked, expressing her shock and frustration at the disproportionate hate she received.

“The response wasn’t all bad, some fans reacted very positively and congratulated me,” she added, while noting, “I felt like the internet had turned my moment of happiness into a sad affair.” The Maalik actor also shared how the vitriol online forced her to deactivate her Instagram account. “Emotionally, I broke down and became very vulnerable.”

The photoshoot first made rounds on social media in September this year, prompting Ansari to address the criticism on her Instagram. The actor emphasised that her social media profile is her personal space, and she should be free to post whatever she chooses. “It’s my profile; my choice. I’ve even had my child. It’s my choice whatever I post. If you don’t like it, you shouldn’t follow me,” she shot back at the trolls.