Meesha Shafi talks to Fashion Central
Meesha Shafi is ranked as one of the Pakistan’s leading Fashion models. Having charm & chic, Meesha Shafi is magnificently establishing her name as a versatile lady; by working in different fields at a time. Meesha Shafi is also working as Brand Spokesperson of L'Oréal Pakistan.
1. Which part of Pakistan do you hail from?
2. What is your Zodiac sign?
3. Where were you schooled?
I went to the Toddlers' Academy for preschool and then Lahore Grammar School till I gave my A levels and graduated from there.
4. Were you involved in any sports during your school days?
I was extremely athletic throughout school. I'm very passionate about a lot of sports and love exercise and being physically active. I was on pretty much every team and was a competitive swimmer and a gold medallist in diving.
5. How were you approached to represent L'Oréal Paris as the official spokesperson in Pakistan? What factors did you consider in making this decision, if any?
It was a very easy decision to make. I admire and respect what L’Oréal Paris stands for. Their image and philosophy are something I am proud to be a spokesperson for because I too believe that beauty is more than just what you see, it is about substance, talent, accomplishment and doing all with grace and self assurance. Because you're worth it.
6. After being chosen out of a population of 170 million people to represent the world’s leading beauty brand, do you feel you have come a long way in your profession?
I definitely feel extremely flattered. It gives me great pride to represent the world's largest beauty brand and to know that they chose me to communicate to thousands of beautiful women across the country. Yes, I most certainly feel that I've come a long way. This is a huge and very exciting achievement.
7. Tell us a bit about your work as a model and a musician?
As a model, I have set standards for myself from day one. There is a lot of work I say no to. I don't want to compromise on quality. I've tried to do consistently outstanding projects, be it print, ramp or commercial work. Up until now, I can safely say that I look back at the work I've done and am proud of it. No regrets. It's not easy to do, because nobody likes saying no to money and work. But my standards are something I do not compromise on. Music is a brand new horizon for me. I am loving the feedback and appreciation so far. The first album with Overload is full of chances. We produced, wrote and released what we as artists like. The response has been overwhelming, even though singing in Urdu, English and Punjabi could’ve gone in any direction with the audience. Again, we didn't think too much about what sells and what would be commercially desirable. Instead, we followed strict quality and aesthetic control and made music we believe in.
8. How difficult is it in your opinion to balance your personal life with your professional life, as sometimes it can be difficult for a working woman?
It works like clockwork for me. I have grown up watching a mother who runs an excellent household, is a big, successful celebrity and she takes all challenges in her stride. All you need is a little support and I am now married into a very encouraging and understanding family. I've been lucky to learn from the best and end up in a family full of artists just like my own.
9. Today 51% of the population of our country are women, how do you feel they can progress and play a more active role in the country?
Education is the key. Then comes freedom to make your own decisions and exercise your judgement. As long as they are not held back just for the sake of control, they can achieve anything.
10. Ten years from now, where do you want to see the progressive women of Pakistan?
I want to see our women studying, working, being able to express themselves and their intellect through what they achieve in the workplace, professionally and at home.
11. What makes a woman beautiful?
Self confidence, self expression and definitely her very superior ability to bring more beautiful people into this world. A woman can multitask like no man I've ever seen. It's a gift. And it's beautiful.
12. What defines beauty and glamour in your opinion?
Grace and dignity. A woman who goes through life with poise and charm, all the while hurdling the obstacles that come her way, is beautiful. Glamour is the perfect sugar-coating that any beautiful woman has the right to don herself with. Dressing up, makeup, hair, colour, scents, all these are a woman's territory. When done well, a glamorous woman is a spectacular sight.
Beauty has very few boundaries; everyone is beautiful in one way or another. Some people can be beautiful to me just for the way they think, what they have to say or how they treat those around them. Other than physical beauty, there are many ways to win the hearts of people. Glamour on the other hand, does have a lot to do with style, whether it be understated or very out there. It has to do with what you are expressing through being very elaborate or polished in your appearance, be it your face, the clothes you wear or even just the way you carry yourself through a crowd. But with glamour, I feel you have to have a certain degree of self awareness and a grounded sense of what works for you, since being glamorous is rarely subtle, it can quite often go horribly wrong.
13. How do you feel being part of L'Oréal Paris?
It's extremely flattering to be approached by such a prestigious company, to be part of a list of beautiful, dynamic and highly talented names from around the world. I'm thrilled to be one of the first brand spokespeople from Pakistan. It's a big honour and an association that I'm immensely proud of.
14. Do you have any personal goals you hope to achieve by being the brand spokesperson for L'Oréal Paris, how do you want to utilise this platform?
I would love to use this opportunity to help people become more confident about how they look, beauty is all about enjoying what God has given you, feeling good, being positive and surrounding each other with happy vibes. L'Oréal Paris is a brand which celebrates beauty and gives everyone a chance to feel good, look good and think well. Through their constant innovation and hundreds of patented breakthroughs, they bring you closer to realising what works for you, giving you customised care and thousands of options for your needs. I want to bring their message of celebrating beauty at any age, any colour and in every human being to the masses. Because You’re Worth It!
15. What is the most thrilling or challenging aspect of being part of the largest cosmetic and beauty brand in the world?
The most thrilling aspect of being a part of L'Oréal Paris is what they represent. They represent self empowerment, confidence and growth. These are essential for any individual, and with the position of being brand spokesperson for L'Oréal Paris comes a chance to inspire people to embrace their inner beauty and the way they look. It's challenging only because our nation gives little attention to the way the dress and take care of their bodies, skin, hair etc. But it's a big step in the right direction and I'm honoured to be on board.
16. To what extent do you think you can represent Pakistani culture and beauty being a L'Oréal Paris brand spokesperson?
The extent to which Pakistani culture and beauty can be represented is limitless. There is so much tradition, rich culture, exotic beauty and talent that we have to offer and the world doesn't have a clue. We have it all, all we need is to promote it, and with a patron as big as L'Oréal Paris, we can actually achieve that. As their brand spokesperson, I see the true image of Pakistan as a vibrant, colourful, young nation finally being put across to not just the rest of the world, but to other Pakistani's who seem to not realise their true potential.
17. Considering the problems the country is facing today, do you think you can use this platform to send a positive message across internationally?
It is most certainly the perfect platform to encourage the many suppressed women of our country and make them realize their potential. As spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris, I hope to communicate to women that they need to realize and embrace their worth.
18. If you were to pick a charitable cause, which one would you pick?
Most probably CARE. They have been doing a brilliant job for so many years educating and helping the less fortunate. I'm a big fan. And what our people need first and foremost, is good schooling.
19. You have garnered so much success and acclaim in your field, what would your message be for the young women of our country?
Believe in yourself, but don't ever compromise on your dignity or principals. If people around you are holding you back from something you know you're good at, do not give in. Life is bigger than what your boyfriend likes or dislikes and what your parents want you to be. If you have a talent or potential to excel in something, don't care what people say. But remember, work is work. It is trying, tiring, difficult and frustrating. No shortcuts. That is, if you want to stand out.