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Pakistani cricket star calls out advertisers for body shaming

April 23 (UPI) — Former Pakistan women’s cricket team captain Sana Mir recently criticized advertisers for body shaming female athletes in a Facebook post.

Mir, 32, specifically criticized a company promoting hair removal cream. She said that “instead of sending a message to young girls that the color or texture of their skin does not matter, we are promoting body shaming and objectification.”

The 12-year veteran is ranked No. 4 in the International Cricket Council’s ODI Bowler Rankings. She broke into the top-5 last week. She has played 108 ODIs for Pakistan since making her international debut in 2005.

She became the first female cricket player from Pakistan to play 100 ODIs last summer when she appeared in the ICC Women’s World Cup.

“To all young girls out there who aspire to take up sports,” Mir wrote on Facebook.

“Make no mistake: you need strong arms, not smooth arms, on a sports field.

“We — corporate sponsors and celebrities — always talk about our concern regarding the objectification of women in different professional settings. It infuriates us most of the time.

“We see endless posts and statuses on social media expressing our anger. But when it’s time to walk the talk, I have seen very few sponsors or celebrities actually take a stand to support women being comfortable in their own skin.

“One of the ad campaigns that has finally pushed me to come forward with my concern is the latest campaign by a company promoting a hair removal cream.

“I have come to know that it’s a campaign for both Pakistan and India. It’s magnifying a girl’s concern about how she looks on a basketball court. The worst thing is that instead of sending a message to young girls that the color or texture of their skin does not matter, we are promoting body shaming and objectification.

“Are the talent, passion and skill of a girl not enough for her to play sports?

“There are female sports icons around the world who have made their way to the top because of their skill, talent and hard work, not because of the color or texture of their skin.

“Make no mistake: you need strong arms, not smooth arms, on a sports field.

“During my 12 years as a sportswoman in Pakistan, I have rejected several offers to endorse beauty products just for this reason: I want young girls with a passion for sports to know that all they need for a practice session are the will to succeed, comfortable shoes and clothes, a water bottle and a cap if it’s hot.

“I request all sponsors and celebrities to ensure that when we engage young girls to fulfill their dreams, we show them a path that gives them actual confidence rather than disabling them by making them self-conscious.”

Mir received several supportive responses from fellow female athletes. The Pakistani cricket star led her country to gold medals in 2010 and 2014.

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