Designer Maria Butt, running the Maria B design label, somehow stays more in the news because of her controversial, many times toxic and mostly disappointing point of view than her clothing brand itself. The designer has a way of getting attention for all the wrong reasons.

So a designer who has been in the industry for a long should have evolved with the changing times, but sadly, to our disappointment, Butt reflects a more significant part of our society that is still stuck in ancient times. But, like many bigoted Pakistanis, it provides little to no space for accepting people for who and what they are.

Let’s talk about her many problematic views that have hurt the sentiments of many, put the lives of marginalised groups in danger and not to forget the very recent emotional damage done to a family because of her brand’s recent photoshoot.

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Maria B has several times attempted to “raise awareness” about her apparent “vast distinctions” between the Khwajasira and Transgender community through her limited knowledge, which resulted in putting the lives of the already marginlised community in danger. People like Maria B should understand that the transgender community is struggling to stay alive, let alone benefit from rights granted to them by the laws of this country. She has a huge following and the words she utters against anyone have consequences of their own.

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How can one forget that Maria B expressed great joy in a series of Instagram stories, when the censor board in Punjab banned the film Joyland. A film that has put Pakistan’s name on the world map was widely opposed by the designer. She then hailed the Punjab government saying, “You guys rock!” when they banned the film. Maria also highlighted how this ban “gives hope” to people like her who want a better future for children in Pakistan.

Despite being from a previliged class, she has only displaying ignorance. A member of Bahawalpur’s Abbasi family, the former nawabs of the once princely state, called out the Maria B brand for posting and later deleting pictures and videos of a campaign shot in their private family graveyard. The campaign featured shots from various locations in Bahawalpur. In it, the models are seen walking and twirling around in various locations, one of which was identified as the private graveyard of the royal family of Bahawalpur. The videos and pictures have since been deleted and the Maria B page posted an apology for the “unfortunate incident”.

Needless to say, Maria B has been receiving backlash for offering her unsought and limited knowledge about topics she is no expert on. Yet, her ignorance and insensitivity makes her believe that it is her duty to raise her voice, and speak without thinking of consequences for others. We can only hope she and others like her learn for the better. Pakistan is already intoxicated by the narrow mindset of many. We don’t want additional toxicity in our country.