It's tough being an artiste here. It's tougher when you're Muslim, female and young.
Take 21 year-old Sharifah Amani Syed Zainal Rashid, award-winning and an artiste who is very serious about her craft -- acting.
For her role in her latest film, "Muallaf", Nani decided to shave her head.
Nani has beautiful hair, like her mum - journalist/media consultant/veteran actress Fatimah Abu Bakar.
So brave and daring, I thought. Such seriousness in and commitment to her craft.
Not an easy decision to make, I am sure.
That's Nani for you. Full of idealism, vigour, zest, energy, vibrance.
She knows what she's doing.
Acting is her love, her passsion, her craft. There are not many like her in movieland here.
Either they are a dying breed or there are not enough young ones like her.
So, did she expect criticisms from two Muftis for her action?
I don't think so but I believe she is now not surprised.
But there are enough people out there who will give her moral support in face of yet another "controversy".
According to the NST, the Muftis felt that the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the Information Ministry should come up with guidelines on the dos and don’ts so that artistes, particularly female Muslims, did not go overboard in their dressing or actions.
So that they will toe the line.
But did you know that there are already guidelines in place for Muslim artistes?
Jakim director-general Mustapa Abdul Rahman said these guidelines are like the law.
And did you also know that one of the guidelines is that Muslim artistes cannot play the role of non-Muslims in films?
Mustapa is a realist because he says that the authorities cannot force artistes to to comply to the guidelines.
Wonder when these guidelines were in place?
Selangor Mufti Mohd Tamyis Abdul Majid was quoted to have said that in Islam, it is forbidden for women to go bald. (I am sure this does not apply to cancer-stricken women.)
Okay, in case you didn't know, he further said that is also sinful for men to act or behave like a woman and vice-versa.
He didn't say so as much, but the impression I got is that Mohd Tamyis thinks that going bald like Nani had done for the sake of popularity is degrading herself and the religion.
Perak Mufti Harussani Idris, on Nani's action, alluded to foreign influence on local artistes.
Muslims, he added, should not sacrifice the religion for the sake of wanting to be popular.
He said based on his observation, Malaysian artistes nowadays are "becoming too open and daring, either in their actions or attire."
In the Yasmin Ahmad's movie, Nani plays runaway youngster Rohani who is befriended by a schoolteacher named Brian (played by newcomer Brian Yap).
After she shaved her head on Tuesday (June 12), Nani said that she had no regrets and that her hair would grow back.
Aah, another controversy for Nani. And not unlike that episode last year over something she had said in her acceptance speech after receiving her award.
Controversies come with the territory, as it were, especially for a young Muslim female artiste like Nani. It is an occupational hazard and something Nani , I am sure, has learnt to take in her stride.
Well, Sharifah Amani Syed Zainal Abidin, go with the flow. There's nothing like a little bit of controversy for an artiste/performer.
(Photo taken in February 1991 in Nina's room. Nani is flanked by her elder sister, Sharifah Aleya (at right) and Khairena (Kak Olin's eldest daughter) at left.
They were earlier having fun at Adel's 1st birthday party but decided to have their own "girlie" thing in Nina's room.)