When it comes to beauty, various cultures have different definitions and perceptions of it. But, the truth is that we cannot truly define beauty, as it lies in diversity and inclusivity. Fortunately, beauty, health and cosmetic related companies are starting to embrace this idea. We are now broadening the traditional definitions of what it means to achieve your ideal self and spreading imagery beyond those of culturally accepted (but impossible) beauty standards. Fortunately, this wave is picking up speed and has reached our country as well.
Recently, the much-touted three-day beauty expo ‘Beyond Beautiful’ took off in style with a Gala Night held at a local hotel in Karachi. The concept behind Beyond Beautiful was to create awareness and information about beauty and its various aspects - health, wellness, hair, makeup, skincare, extreme beauty, men’s grooming, etc all under one roof.
Catwalk hosted Beyond Beautiful Awards & Expo under its initiative Catwalk Cares, which aims to empower beauty and education by sharing the life-changing techniques and giving out self-grooming sessions and scholarships to those who deserve.
The Gala Night kicked off with the red carpet graced by the A-listers. Frieha Altaf welcomed all and said, “This is not a beauty pageant. It’s not! The idea of beauty is, if you are not beautiful inside than you are nothing. This is the reason, we gather here today, to celebrate all those who are beautiful from the inside as well as the outside... the people who are beyond beautiful.”
This segued into the awards ceremony for the stars of Gala Night - trailblazer Khadija Rehman from Generations; Sameer from Robin Hood Army; Sitara-e-Imtiaz winner Shahzad Roy; the man for all causes, Mushtaq Chappra; the number one female ODI bowler in the world, Sana Mir; the animal-rights champion, Ayesha Chundrigar; changing perception through films, Adnan Sarwar and Asim Abbasi; Leslie from Dar-ul-Sukun; the unmatchable healthcare professional, Dr. Farah Bari Khan; and finally the woman who managed to become the identity of transgender in Pakistan, Kami Sid.
Among all the other causes, National Institute of Child Care was also part of the show. The ambassador of the institute, Shaniera Akram, was also present and she brought the new light on the institute, which has been saving hundreds and thousands of children around the country.
Some of the highlights of the evening, besides the award ceremony, were a dance routine choreographed by Wahab Shah; an enchanting performance by Suhaee Abro; hair show by SABS for girls and by Sajid Mehmood for boys featuring the contestants, including a transgender, selected from the BB Model Hunt, who walked the ramp confidently; and the mystic performance of Amir Khusro’s Kalam by Fareed Ayaz.
Beyond Beautiful Day 1 started with the open exhibition for the audience to visit, where various national and international brands showcased their products. Breakout shows in between kept the audience hooked - a flash mob dance by Wahab Shah; modern-day bride show by Nabila; the Nail Art show by Orly’s Ambassador Elizabeth Schutz (something that has never been done in Pakistan). The makeup show by world-known brand Lakme featured the models selected for the BB Talent Hunt, which also included a grandmother model.
The last day of the event was all about exploring beauty in-depth and understanding the real version of it. With a masterclasses and thought-provoking talks, BB Day 2 managed to change perceptions and create a buzz. Makeup Masterclass by Zeena Feygina, an internationally acclaimed Makeup trainer and a creative director, opened day 2 and was an instant hit. She introduced makeup techniques that would enhance the natural beauty and features. Her makeup was all about being confident in your own skin and highlighting both your perfections and imperfections, which was the agenda of the entire event. Feygina is best known for enhancing the natural beauty and bringing out the best in people’s true selves. Through her makeup, Feygina showed the audience how to improve what you have been blessed with.
The cover shoot Masterclass by Nabila was a much-anticipated segment for our eager audience. While on Day 1 Nabila had whipped up a modern-day bride show explaining in detail how today’s bride should look and how to achieve that look, Day 2 was all about how to make Cover shoot makeup accessible for all, simply genius. Sabs and Lakme also partnered together for a makeup Masterclass and Saba Ansari’s fluid and easy-going style kept the audience captive. Certainly the highlight of Day 2!
Also lined up for later that day were panel discussions. ‘My Face, My Body, My Choice’ was chaired by Salima Feerasta with Plastic surgeon-cum-actor Fahad Mirza and Masarrat Misbah. This discussion was quite elaborate and focused on getting rid of unwanted societal pressure as far as the bodily standards are concerned.
‘Social Media and its Impact on the Perception of Beauty’ was chaired by Aamna Isani alongside Alia Fawad from ITP Dubai, actress Mawra Hocane, general pediatrician Kishwar Enam, and Dubai-based beauty blogger Manal Muffin. All of the panelists were of the view that the media has changed the way people view beauty and perceive it.
The third topic of the session ‘Masculinity In 21st Century’ was chaired by Hamna Zubair alongside actor/director Adnan Malik and comedian Shehzad Ghias, the conversation was all about the millennial men and their mental health.
The final discussion was on ‘Wellness, Nutrition & Exercise’, chaired by Maliha Rehman along with the famed activist Shaniera, CORE founder Sheema Sultan, Conatural’s co-owner Myra Qureshi and the nutritionist Amna Mujib. The focus of the discussion was organic and natural diet and all the ways through which wellness and fitness can be achieved without chemicals and harmful elements.