- 18 Jan - 24 Jan, 2020
AYESHA OMAR - INFLUENCING THE ‘INFLUENCERS’
- 21 Sep - 27 Sep, 2019
- Cover Story
Fizzy like the tangiest soda, frothy like morning latte and as natural and effervescent as sunshine spiraling down an orchard – Ayesha Omar has been an influencer way before it became a ‘trend’. We have been nuts about her fashion sense, pursued her on the ‘gram and binge-watched on Bulbulay and now fans get to savour her jubilant aura on a new platform; behold, she’s now a vlogger. Fresh out of her much-coveted trip to Nevada, at Burning Man, MAG steals an hour with Ayesha, fishing for the nitty-gritties of her YouTube channel, her future vlogs and how she tackles hate speech like a boss!
You have been a painter, a singer, a model before transitioning into an actress. And now you are a Vlogger too. What brought this trajectory to your life?
I have been part of the entertainment industry for a long time, be it acting, hosting or other endeavors. There are a lot of things that I wanted to share with my fans about my life since I travel extensively and furthermore, research a lot about food and fitness. I consider myself fortunate enough to travel as much as I do and getting to learn about different cultures through food, fashion and other strings. I joined Instagram very late, was never on Snapchat and I am not very active on Twitter either. Hence I decided to create a channel where it’s not just about what I’m doing, but it’s about what I’ve learned and what is helping me and how I can help others. In this way, I hope that my viewers will be able to garner something significant or perhaps somebody’s life would become better. And then of course, the fans want to know more about you. I wanted to create content myself by latter traversing into direction, maybe – you never know! I aspire to create content on a bigger scale later. Vlogging has been a passion project, and I had not taken it very seriously up till now, but I do plan to. It has been very busy traveling for a year, so when I get back and when I am settling in back into my routine I plan to get heads-on with the YouTube channel.
Did you have this planned or under the wraps for a while? Or your decision to go into vlogging emerged organically?
It was organic. And it was something which came naturally, I hadn’t planned it at all. Just one day I thought about it, discussed it with a couple of friends and I made a channel and put a little video out there that I made with a friend, and yeah, things started from there.
Since vloggers are perceived as influencers, do you think that this 'influencer' badge comes with responsibility? To speak, process and do things rightfully, since you may in a way or other, would be influencing society and your fans?
Yes, I do think that the badge ‘influencer’ comes with responsibility. There’s a lot of responsibility attached to it because we have a platform and basically a channel, where you’re directly interacting with the society, where you are influencing fans. And yes, it has to be done rightfully. But who decides what’s right or wrong? That is also something to think about. Its relative, you know. Of course, morally, ethically and principally what you think is right, it might not be right for someone else. But for me ‘right’ is something which is not harming anyone else, which is not harming me, which is creating some kind of betterment in my life, or I feel can be creating some kind of betterment, or making somebody else’s life a little better if it was practiced. You should do what you feel is right, you should keep your intentions pure. Since you have a lot of people who are watching and following you, influencers do have a responsibility to say what they believe in, to stand up for what is right, for what they think is right.
Apart from your clean eating lifestyle (which has separate fan base in itself) what topics do you aim to touch base on?
Fashion, travel and health amongst others. At present since I am traveling, I admit I can’t always be eating clean. Your travels, different kinds of food you eat or your surrounding are not always complementing a healthy lifestyle. But I try my best.
You’ve been subjected to criticism which have been baseless and unfair. But you have always handled things like a boss without settling hate with further hate. How do you deal with hate speech?
I thank you and my fans for sending strength my way, by saying that I’ve handled it all very well. But personally, I don’t feel I have done a great job at facing such brutal criticism. I endeavor to do a much better job at learning every day, in inculcating more tolerance and acceptance in myself. Then again, if you travel extensively you do get a measure of love and validation packaged perfectly from people you interact with. This strips you from all kinds of insecurities, making you a stronger, more empathetic, compassionate person. When you have these attributes, hate doesn’t hit you much. You begin to see you haters through a lens, or say heart, of empathy; you understand that perhaps their circumstances, or where they are coming from, this is the way they are feeling right now. Maybe they are coming from a place of insecurity, from a place of jealousy, from where they are not being able to do what they want to do, from a place of hate for them where they have been subjected to hate and abuse. So, when you look at things from that perspective then there is more tolerance in your heart and if your intention is pure, then anybody else’s hate doesn’t really matter. That’s how I have learnt to deal with it. Of course there are days when things really hurt you, you read something and it hurts you, but then you have to let it go. You can’t beat yourself up for letting things get to you. You have to surround yourself with positive people, positivity and it all balances out.
You made it known on your Instagram that you will create a private account for your friends and family. Do you really plan on getting ahead with it (or do you already have a private account, incognito!)
I made it known that I will create a private Instagram account. Well, I’m not going to reveal that. A private Instagram account should never be revealed, right? So no, that is a personal piece of information and I’m not going to reveal that. But I do sometimes post things which are only for close friends. You have an option now in Insta stories where you can just click on the close friend’s option, you can make a group and just share stuff with your close friends.
Any vlogging personalities (local or international) which sets the bar for great video content for you?
It’s very interesting that I haven’t followed any vloggers as yet. My content is coming from a place inside me. It’s very organic and natural. I am not following any vlogger but I really want to research and follow some vloggers. Eva zu Beck was somebody who was in Pakistan and I follow her and I find her content very cool and positive. There are a couple of influencers that I follow, but no vlogger really.
You are one of the well travelled celebrities. Yet you juggle work alongside like a champ. How does this work for you?
Oops, I’ve been traveling a little too much the past year. Well, it’s been tough because I’ve been working very little. I’ve worked less in this one year, but I needed this year off, personally because I really wanted to work on myself and travel and get rid of certain negativities. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have saved up to be able to travel. And I juggle work by being on the phone, which also distracts my experience, my day that I am spending because I am on my phone constantly and I am dealing with work issues at different time zones.
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