As we have always said, personal space is sacred — people should keep a respectable distance from you, especially if they don’t know you well. And yes, the same goes for celebrities. They are people, too. Ushna Shah recently spoke about an experience she had at a mall when a woman invaded her space, upsetting her enough to ruin her day.
“The aunty at the mall will never know she effectively ruined my day by touching me (my hair, had she touched my face my week would have been ruined),” the actor wrote in a tweet.
The actor questioned whether the concept of wanting personal space from strangers is so foreign that it enters the realms of badtameezi [impoliteness].
Some of the Twitter users agreed with Shah and chimed in about the need for boundaries.
Validating Shah’s argument, a fan commented, “It’s not wrong asking for respect of your personal space politely. People should be made aware of their boundaries if they seem to not realize they’ve crossed it.”
However, many others strangely called it a part of desi culture or a product of fame and the side effect of being a celebrity.
Another user believed that the woman probably wanted to see if she was “real or not”. Calling it a common fan habit. “She just wanted to see if you were real or not. Fans normally don’t believe they are seeing their stars in real life,” they wrote.
Upon further discussion, one user stated that since she was presumably an elderly lady, and it is quite common for elderly people to touch the hair/head of a young one, which is commonly referred to as “pyaar dena” [giving love], “she was probably just sending out her duas [prayers] & well-wishes”.
Personal space or fan love?
Regardless of how well-known a person may be, it is still not okay to disrespect their boundaries and make them uncomfortable. Fans tend to forget that celebrities are also humans, with personal boundaries. They don’t owe fans an explanation for wanting their personal space respected.
Trying to scapegoat it on desi culture or fame just is not an acceptable argument because touching someone without their consent is plainly wrong. And blaming it on our ‘culture’ is dismissive of both the person whose space is being invaded and the right to bodily autonomy each individual has.
Having the status of a celebrity certainly comes with a bag of pros and cons. Actor Mehwish Hayat also lately decided to highlight this issue, sharing how a fan went a little too further by trying to wrap his arms around her back.
Saboor Aly, who was earlier recorded dancing at a private family event along with her husband Ali Ansari, also called out people for recording the two without their consent.
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