Faiza Saleem is a social media star, and a rarity in Pakistan: a female comedian.
The skits she posts on Facebook and Instagram are watched by hundreds of thousands. One sketch, about mothers in law, has been viewed over 9 million times on YouTube.
Freed from the conventions of Pakistan’s mainstream media, the former lawyer uses her platform to promote a message of body positivity and overturn stereotypical depictions of women.
“I feel social media has given me a lot of leverage in the sense that not only do I get to play the characters that I want to, I get to work with whoever I want to,” says Saleem. “It’s my house, my rules with social media.”
The 29-year-old founded Pakistan’s first female comedy troupe, the Khawatoons, and by modeling plus-size clothes for a Karachi fashion label, she hopes to increase opportunities for women of all shapes and sizes.
Watch the video above to learn more about her story.