You may have dismissed her as ‘cheap’ or ‘racy’, but you’ll have to admit that Mathira has made smart moves when it comes to bagging projects. Banking on her overnight success from an infamous late-night TV show, Mathira is now all set to make an appearance in Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, the Pakistani industry’s biggest film this year. She may wear many hats, but one thing that Mathira isn’t, is a hypocrite. In an interview with The Express Tribune, the outspoken and impudent TV personality unapologetically talks about sticking to what she believes in and dealing with criticism.
When asked why she agreed to feature in the recently banned Josh Condoms TV commercial, Mathira responds by saying, “Somebody had to do it – I believe sex education is very necessary.”
The video clip of the ad garnered hundreds of thousands of hits on social media, but the 50-second commercial was banned by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), for “immoral content” after numerous complaints were filed.
Unmoved by Pemra’s action, the TV-show host, who has been given names like “sex kitten” and “the Paris Hilton of Pakistan” by the LA Times, is irked by the “hypocritical” response of Pakistani society.
“Watching porn is not considered vulgar [by society], but this [Josh Condom] ad is – this is the height of immaturity,” she says. She then draws parallels with ads she considers ‘suggestive’.
“A woman licking her finger dunked in ketchup in an ad is considered okay, but a condom is subjected to such harsh criticism! This (behaviour) is certainly not good.”
Mathira adds that the ad, which was considered ‘racy’ by many, was meant to communicate a public service message amidst Pakistan’s increasing population.
“I gave my message very clearly. The awaam (people) must think (about the population rate). I believe what I did was right,” she says, refusing to disclose how much she was paid to take up the campaign.
When asked how she deals with the criticism – which most times is pretty personal – Mathira says she blocks it out.
“People think it’s easy to hear rubbish about yourself, but it’s not. Everyone has a heart, no matter how heartless they pretend to be. I am aware of what people say about me but my brain starts to blur them out.”
Her ‘item girl’ moment
Her attention-seeking stunts and reputation of being self-assured have landed her some high-profile spots in the industry. Not only was Mathira chosen to host and perform at the recently held Lux Style Awards in Lahore, but she is also being cast as an item girl for actor-turned-film-maker Humayun Saeed’s Main Hoon Shahid Afridi.
When contacted by The Express Tribune, Saeed was all praise for her performance. “The few people who have seen the premiere of this film gawked in awe after seeing Mathira’s performance. She has done a wonderful job. She has performed very elegantly alongside [actor] Mahnoor Baloch,” says Saeed.
The song, which has been directed by ace director Saqib Malik, may be a “bit controversial” for the audiences, but Mathira has not done it in a “cheap manner”, says Saeed. “We have our fingers crossed! The song releases this Eid.”
Mathira, who is delighted to have worked with Malik, says that the shooting of the song was strenuous. “I danced back-to-back for two days. Working with Saqib was a lot of fun. He is super-talented and this item number will surely rock the Bollywood charts, too!” She adds that Malik has the skills of a foreign director.
When selecting projects, Mathira says she only works with those who trust her to deliver. “When I work with someone, I ask them, ‘do you trust me?’. When they say yes, then I act like less of a diva and more of a robot. I only work with people who actually understand how to use Mathira,” she says, adding, “I also have to face my mom so everything happens with her consent!”
The budding artiste, who has released a music video in the past, also revealed that she will be releasing a song titled, Mathira, one week after the release of the film.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.
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I don't think ad was so much obscene, but that work could have been done in a sober and decent way which at least don't make us feel like "this is rubbish". Apart from this ad, I don't think Mathira has anything to do with the concepture of that ad - it's her work to act on screens. Anyways, Mathira needs to lessen her over-confident-outrageousness according to the limited norms of the society - hey please don't think I'm being stereotypical ;-) That's what I always felt and maybe you also agree with it.
instead of these adverts offer people ads including simple biological pointers where there is no need for models or even a video just a five second slideshow thats it.
Agreed, that the Ad is not suggestive and banned for inconceivably vague reasons. However, the preluded rationale (quoted below) drawn by the author is out of equation and actually immature, in the first place.
“Watching porn is not considered vulgar ... this is the height of immaturity,”
“A woman licking her finger ... This (behaviour) is certainly not good.”
First of all, "Watching Porn" is a deliberate action—you do it with your own intention. Secondly, it is NOT aired on the Pakistani TV, which is a public media and anyone can watch it.
Thirdly, "Sex Education", which mainly addresses different issues—including sex related crimes—is not the issue here. Just because it is about condom does not intrinsically mean it is "Sex Education".
Lastly, "Over Population" is not Mathira's, her director's or the Condom maker's headache. It is the ministry that has to find a solutions through means agreeable and definable by our social norms and religion.
I have a question. What do you think Mathira has so much pain for "Over Population" that she decided to do a TV Ad for it? No! Here's the truth. Models want fame, Ad agencies want more work, product owners want sales, and of course everybody wants Money! Thanks.
Ok members of the sensor board. It is a tv ad for condom. What do you want them to perform the whole act on television to convey the message. Well that will be good education. That is how condom ads are done everywhere. And no they are not pushing anyone to do sex, because so far we have been reproducing without it, right.
i think the msg convey way is not good.. its look like u some one push to do sex... if u want to convey your msg u can use your tongue .... speak about it even in media... but in hidden words... people never learn by watch in hidden msg... if u speak in hidden words people may b think about it... i think msg is good but its need more detailing..
i didn't see any point in the commercial reflecting sex education except harping on stamina and choice of condoms. plus showing a nerd with mathira as a wife who happens to be domestically happy for what he uses. like some tv commercials show ''before and after' then the neighbour's wife should have been transformed with the desired results, too! earlier we have seen contraceptive ads addressing birth control and discreetly: 'pleasure' - to the extent of showing the (young) male users jumping with joy! please conduct a survey as to how many models in the same league as mathira would have agreed to this commercial? and what prompted the advertisers to sign her? simply because of her reputation. and that she truly is a robot for such offers. next stop for her soon: india.
*What's with all the criticism over a model making an advertisement. I think we Pakistanis are always so judgmental. People need to grow up, seriously, it's her livelihood. These guys promote a soft image of Pakistan unlike what the mullahs/politicians/terrorists do !
Each country needs to find its own type of commercial. So that people listen, preferably enjoy the few minutes. Contraception is vital, for the woman (and the man), the marriage and the country. So how to present that in a commercial? Rather than be hard on a commercial you don't like, come forward with alternative suggestions. And express support for women and the family the right to optimal contraceptives!
@Fahad Khan: Trust me if you tell the population about flavored condoms, they would use it at least once. And more likely afterwards. And that's the point... to spice it up, which men otherwise think is less pleasing.
What message does this ad convey? Is that about population control or how to woe a beautiful girl like Mathira? I agree that there is nothing bad about advertising condoms or other contraceptives but such type of ads should make some sense in order to attract the general public. I wonder how would one explain a "Strawberry flavor" to most of the rural population in this country.
I wonder why is everyone targetting mathira for the ad she was dressed traditionally and she did not spoke any line which can be regarded as questionable it was the other characters who did the entire ad so it was the creative team to be blamed btw this ad has been shown in bangladesh with no controversies looks like bengalis are more mature in reacting to these things than pakistanis
How many of the people who are commenting here would be brave enough to ask for Josh condom next time they go to a pharmacy? The truth is buying condom is embarrassing for Pakistani men and our shops don't help either, where you have to ask for everything from behind the counter. Showing condom ad on tv is important, so people don't feel embarrassed when the want to buy them,We have so many sanitary pads ad on tv and buying them for women has become much more easier now then it was a few years back.
well,there is nothing immoral about condom ads considering the family planning issue but the Josh ad did not give any such message. There was nothing racy about it. what i am saying is that there was 'nothing' to offer in the ad. it was totally boring.i did not even smile after watching it, instead i asked myself,'what was that?' I mean,why did not i get the message that this condom brings 'josh' to your sex life....so this is why she was always chirpy and ready to do this and that for her hubby but then any newly married woman can be like that,with or without 'josh'....i mean a happily married woman.in short, this ad was a complete flop.
It is true that advertising flavoured condoms is a pubic service (no typo here).
Besides everything.the ad did what it was meant to do. Controversy awareness thought process and know.how of what a condom is.its use and the fact that it also comes in difrnt flavors:)) yummeee. Something which the green star ads cudnt do. Atleast the ones who read here wud think about using condoms, and population control and maybe those too who watch it on tv. To top it off JOsh people got publicity and would be found in every store. Mathira will get more projects and so will the creepy guy. So sab khush masla.khatm.
Pious is the person who pious when he alone..!!!
there was not a single mention of family planning in the ad but only abt pleasure, "ab strawberry flavour ma bhi dastyab hai" clearly shows this. and if you don't know what flavoured condoms are for than u should better look it up on the internet before coming here defending the ad... i am not against mathira, i am against the ones who are giving her the opportunities to do all those acts ... they should be put to justice, mathira khud hi line pe a jaye gi!!!
@anti denialist: Nope. Never. Maybe because I don't WANT to imagine about my parents' sex life, and I am not concerned with it. Or maybe that's because I don't associate romance with condoms ..
With all due respect Mathira Jee, the add was NOT 'racy'. It was out right RAUNCHY.
Plus you were not educating people about population rate. Infact you were just informing them that they can now also enjoy strawberry flavor.
i am agree with her
@aHMAD: very maturely replied! :)
The ad wasn't banned for promoting condoms it was banned due to Mathira's presence. Otherwise, there had been ads for condoms. Besides, Mathira is promoting flavored condoms!!
@Javaid: you are sooooooooo smart... But that doesn't answer his query about using flavoured condoms ....
if your wife serves you "Thandaa", she in actual is trying to seduce you and want to flavor JOSH...... Get some life Mathira.....
"Watching porn is not considered vulgur in society". Oh really??? Which society is she talking about ?? Imran khan said it right:: there are 2 different Pakistans, one of urdu newspapers, the other of english newspapers
@aHMAD: I watched it with my mom and dad. And i walked out in order for them to watch in alone in hopes it may rekindle their romance. Ever looked at it in this way instead of going all 'if your mother, if your sister'?
Too much innocent ! doing one wrong merely not mean to do other... when one lose shame then he is allowed to say or speak anything. Who see the porn in Pakistan, that is well the bulgy game being played in metro-Neapolitan cities only. In more than 60 percent areas of Pakistan you cannot speak about these things in-front of Family. These things are not the part of our sober culture. In this society we feel shame to even talk about these things openly, and we feel pride over our this "shame" because it is our culture! and no one is allowed to intervene in our sober Islamic culture...i am not against the sex education, but we dont want sex education by the sex workers of society ! we want it in sober language by sober people in a sober manner, !
@kumail: By the way.. if you by chance, with all the rest who like your comment, and the writer, and the "TV Host Mathira", haven't got any respect for your sisters, mothers or in case of Mathira for her own self left, (because you say it's immature to be offended watching this ad with your sister or mother) please don't tell the majority of the reserved and decent families, who Do NOT say "watching porn is OK" to watch the ad during Khabarnama with their sisters and even fathers and younger brothers. There is always a decent way to advertise condoms, and there have been numerous examples in the past, when condom ads have been aired, not only on pvt. channels, but also on state-owned PTV as well. IT IS YOU PEOPLE WHO NEED TO GROW MATURE AND MAKE ADS THAT ARE FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION, SO THAT A LARGER VIEWERSHIP CAN BE ACHIEVED AND FULFILL THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATING AS WELL AS ATTRACTING PEOPLE TO THE PRODUCT.
P.S: A condom can not put "josh" in your sex if you don't have it IN you. You "grow up".
@In the Know:
It helps because you can enjoy sex without the risk of pregnancy. The reason why population is booming is because the couple has sex for fun but then they also end up with 20,000 kids at home. Hopefully that answers your question.
@In the Know: The ladies prefer it, compared to the normal ones. When the ladies prefer it, men use it. When men use it, they do not impregnate the women. When the women are not pregnant, there are no babies. When there are no babies, the population growth is controlled.
Contraception is the need of the hour. If adding flavour helps then it should done. Not an inch should left to successfully uncover the psyche which leads to people using contraception for family planning.
At least she has the courage of her own conviction and is not afraid to be vocal..........in the hypocritical society that we see around us, a Mathira or a Veena Malik is needed to restore a semblance of sanity.
@Kumail: Have you ever used "flavored" condoms? Pray tell how that helps, even addresses, Pakistan's population problem?
Mathira like Veena has also proven that every thing is fair and permissible in the showbiz's world doesn't matter vulgarity,effrontery,meanness and partially dressed up scenes as the demands of the scenes........
Mathira is 100 times better than Mullahs !! Rock on baby !!
The ad had no vulgarity and was not even arousing.
When i watched the advertisement in question i found it distasteful. I for one would be the first to favor family planning in this country, where the population is spiraling out of control, yet this ad seemed to present Ms. Mathira as an item and the contraceptive as a means of acquiring this item. In contrast the ads done by Amir Khan (which come on various indian channels such as discovery) where he tries to bring awareness of malnutrition in India are done in a much more acceptable and informative way. I think that should be the example we should follow in order to promote family planning in Pakistan.
For sure, she is not a hypocrite and I commend her for that. From mosques to courts, border customs to shops, producer to consumer the society is full of hypocrites and she is NOT one.
totally agree with her....society needs to grow up as a whole...btw, theres nothing immoral or vulgar in the advertisement