In 2009, Williams recalled, “I went through a really tough stage that took place when I was number one and I had surgery, and fell to almost 200 in the ranking. Everyone called me fat, saying I was really unfit. Every paper, the headline was ‘fat, fat, fat.’” This is what it’s like when you’re a powerful, successful female and a professional athlete. You’re still judged by Bleacher Report dudebros and newspaper reporters and 66 year-old tennis officials on whether they find you pleasing enough to look at.
Yes, Hollywood isn’t known for historical accuracy or impartial portrayals of any fictionalized “other.” But I still couldn’t resist trying to see what Pakistan, my homeland, looked like through its eyes. I’m a writer of fiction, so I know about imagined worlds. You look not for complete truthfulness, but for verisimilitude — the “appearance of being true” — so it can give your art authenticity, credibility, believability. And we in Pakistan long to be seen with a vision that at least approaches the truth.