Mushk Kaleem - A Supermodel In the Making
I have always been tall. Even as a kid I was the tallest girl in all my classes, taller than most of the boys too. So it didn’t come as a surprise to people when I joined the modelling industry back in 2017. I was discovered by Tabesh back in 2015, but I waited till I completed my education, got a corporate job, did a play at the Karachi Arts council, before I gave it all up and surrendered to my one true passion. of course, the price of modelling was a lot of raised eyebrows and gossip, but I wanted to change that. In November 2017, when I entered the doors of the Nabila salon to do my first ever shoot, I knew I wanted to put meaning, power and a voice to my work. I guess whatever it is I did, worked!
Why do you think models have to be a certain height and weight doesn't it add to body dysmorphia issues?
I believe the Pakistani fashion industry isn’t yet ready to see diversity yet. We still have colorism deep set into our minds. Designers still want those size-zero waists and the above-average 5ft 10 height. So yes, it might lead to severe body dysmorphia for models, but it is what it is. I know I pull back on my binging before fashion weeks. Photographers are quick to drop models from their campaigns if they gain the slightest bit of weight and believe me- word gets around. So yeah, if you want to be successful, at least in Pakistan, get ready to drop that extra weight.
It's often heard in the fashion industry that models are clothes hangers but you seem to be made of a different mettle tell us why you wish to be opinionated?
I was shocked when I heard models call themselves hangers when I came in. It is insulting to objectify yourself like that. I wanted to change that. Why couldn’t models be good speakers, brand ambassadors, leaders, game changers? Why did they have to be hangers? But no one wanted to answer these questions. I have a great fan-base and every time I have spoken up about an issue, my fans have supported me. They respect my voice and my knack to challenge. My opinions are a part of my identity, and I hope that young girls who join the industry feel that they’re in a safe space where they will be heard and respected! I’m glad I could do that!
What kind of beauty routine do you follow before sleeping?
Lots of water, lots of aloe Vera gel, under eye cream and a good layer of moisturiser. I have dry skin so gotta keep those wrinkles away! And yes, a nice, light scrub every two days is a life saver.
Do you work out a lot what health regime do you follow?
I’m very inconsistent about working out. Modelling takes a lot of my time. Some days, I’m shooting for 18 hours and functioning on 2 hours of sleep. But when I can’t work out, I try to eat clean. I also try to incorporate some stretching in my routine too.
As someone who has represented Pakistan abroad in an international designers show did you feel intimidated how did you feel?
Milan Fashion Week was a dream come true. I opened the show for Stella Jean and god knows I was crying with pride after the show was done. I believe I was nervous at first, but I knew that I had earned my place there. I recited my prayers, waited for my cue, took a deep breath and the moment I set foot on the ramp, all my confidence resurfaced. I wanted to make my fans, my family, my country proud. I gave it my best and the designer came and gave me a huge hug after the show was done. I still get chills everytime I think about that experience. I feel proud, but also very humbled that I was chosen to represent Pakistan in one of the biggest fashion weeks!
What are the three things you cannot do without.
My phone, my wallet and my pets!
Do you feel Pakistan lacks a grooming academy for young entrants in the business ?
Absolutely! There are no channels for young girls to get proper training from, if they want to join the industry. No one to guide models. We learn our own poses, do our own walks. I feel like this is a huge untapped space for the Pakistani market. We need training institutes for young aspiring models. We need grooming schools. Even if senior models could be given a platform, to teach their junior what they know, it could make things so much easier for younger incoming talent.
What's the one thing a Mushk from now will say to someone entering the industry for the first time?
Be punctual! It is so important to be professional right from the get-go. And one more thing, don’t work for free. Your talent is worth much more. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You’ll thank me later.♥️