Model Citizens

Posted by sepoy on July 15, 2004 · 5 mins read

BBC is running a story about the hardships facing models in Pakistan. The story is as old as it is trite (really? conservative Muslims have a problem with models?). I remember when this-model-whose-name-now-escapes-me decided to go to a beauty pageant in the late 80s/early 90s and the world crashed around everyone's head. And keeping that tradition alive was the brouhaha over Neelam Noorani's participation in 2002's Miss International. India, on the other hand, has been churning out gorgeous Miss Universes all through the 90s. I think the Venezuelans are pretty mad about that. Of course, modeling and beauty pageants are related yet distinct issues. Products need to be sold and those products need sales-models - no matter how distasteful such representations are to the hardline mullahs. In terms of pageant participation, I seriously doubt Pakistan will be fielding participants any time soon. And I say, good call, 'cause the pageants are the most demeaning enterprises around. I don't care what Trump says.
But, back to models. I took an issue of Libas to the first meeting of my class on Pakistan. It garnered two responses. OMG! That is NOT Pakistan! and OMG! My cousin is in that issue. So there. Cultural norms ebb and flow and while the current religio-cultural model frowns upon models, the future may not - or it may put every woman in a shuttle-cock burka. Who knows?

Anyways, I IM'd an "actual Pakistani Model" to get her take since I really don't know much about the fashion scene in Pakistan. I have posted, with all identification removed (thanks, love!), the IM below the fold. Read.

sepoy:: who are these people? you know any? they all sound like GEEKS
model:: yeh. i do know em. i know nadia malik. i know mehreen raheel.

sepoy:: whats their story?
model:: afreiha altaf - big shot, event manager. i know aysir saeed. i kno sheraz. he is a lame-o. i kno amina shafat too

sepoy:: do these models get any money? from shoots or mags?
model:: hell yeh. the more popular they get the more money they command. some get paid by the page. some get paid by the house. its a lucrative business to be in. most money is made in adverts. lots of models do plays even if they r shit actresses. or host t.v shows. its all one big ball game

sepoy:: how much money we talking? like for someone who is only a model - not an actress
model:: depends..small fry like i was or "super" model. small fry like me would get a pittance. between 5-7000 rupees for a days work

sepoy:: NICE
model:: NOT

sepoy:: and there is plenty of work? 30-40,000 a month?
model:: u forget that you go thru transformational hell PLUS they're using your IMAGE. you are a product- as such u should be paid. depends on how you fly. supermodels make much more. normal average joe would make about that much. like if i'd stuck around i could have done about 50,000 a month. including my tv stuff. but its short term...milk it cant last for ever

sepoy:: and where do most models come from? like class wise? upper? middle?
model:: all over. its quite balanced. u have ur cultured middle class. hardly any upper class. and your lower class also

sepoy:: upper class?
model:: theres some that aquire class once they are adopted by a cerain stylist. its quite political. as in the whole scenario. theres stylists and they have camps and if you work with one stylist then the other one wont give you work etc etc. and yes- there is a prejudice against it. girls from good families do not model. its not a done thing in pakistan- model= ho. looked down upon

sepoy:: ha - but what about fashion shows? arent they held in lahore etc? so people are aware of such things
model:: they are. u see the cream goes to watch the shows...and they want to mingle n be seen with the beautiful ppl of the industry. but they dont want their sisters or daughters anywhere near it
sepoy:: ah ha. the old double-standard


s¯nee | July 15, 2004

the-model-whose-name-now-escapes= Anita Ayub and her sister Amber Ayub. Karachi based.. You forgot about their catwalks at Ayedada Clifton's seaview villa?? Moaziz bhai has the details.

sepoy | July 15, 2004

no, i didn't forget moaziz's dalliances or the catwalk...just her name. now i remember. i wonder what happened to them.

tsk | July 16, 2004

interesting that you mention the venezuelans. my best friend's cousin is the venezuelan that won miss universe back in the early 90's. an interesting fact: plastic surgery is covered by medical insurance there. god DAMN that's a purdy-lookin' country. :o)

ubaid | July 16, 2004

How come I don't know any super models? not even through cousins or best friends :(

Anita | May 17, 2005

Where is Anita Ayub??? She was a pretty face.

guldan | January 07, 2006

i want some more pictures of anita ayub