Mahira, Mehreen give powerful speeches on women empowerment at PLBW 18 finale

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LAHORE: The eight edition of the prestigious PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week concluded on a high note Thursday night. The three-day event, a collaboration between the Pakistan Fashion Design Council and world renowned beauty brand L’Oréal, featured some of the most prominent and esteemed designers of the country including Ali Xeeshan, HSY, Nomi Ansari, Faraz Manan and Nickie n Nina.

While the show, on the whole, was a treat for fashion-goers, one of the highlights from the event definitely have to be the speeches by L’Oréal Paris Pakistan’s local spokespersons Mahira Khan and Mehreen Syed, who looked absolutely gorgeous as they graced the ramp. Mehreen looked stunning in a black dress with Hollywood style waves, while Mahira looked elegant in a cream pink pantsuit by Elan.

The two leading ladies made an appearance under L’Oréal’s “Worth It Show” segment, which was introduced earlier this year by L’Oréal Paris at the Cannes International Film Festival 2018. The motto behind the segment was to open up a conversation about and on women empowerment in order to bring forward women’s voices and to unveil the woman behind the actresses, with their stories, their triumphs and their obstacles.

The brand’s official spokesperson, supermodel Mehreen Syed, who under her NGO, iCare in collaboration with L’Oréal’s Beauty For A Better Life program, trains girls from underprivileged socio-economic background said that she “feels lucky in life to be associated with a brand like L’Oréal which genuinely believes in empowering women worldwide to feel confident to control their own lives through education, employment and economic uplift.”

She shared that this year they trained almost 500 women including those who are challenged by physical disabilities.

Mehreen said that “it is our duty to help those women who are held back by difficult circumstances,” adding that the organisation aims to “empower women and enable them to stand on their own feet.”

She stressed on the importance of strengthening and educating women because it not only helps to uplift them but also helps uplift entire families.

L’Oréal Hair Care spokesperson Mahira Khan began by saying, “Last year around this time, I stood here and my knees were shaking. Today my hands are.”

“I was nervous because it was a weird time in my life and I stood here and said that ‘You must not allow anybody to define you and the only person who matters in yourself,” she continued, “One year from then, my perspective has changed just a little.”

“This year I got to go the Cannes International Film Festival with L’Oréal Paris and I am very grateful for that honour.”

Recalling her memorable experience at the Cannes Festival, Mahira said that she truly felt special that she got the chance to go there and represent Pakistan on an international platform. She remarked that she was extremely nervous about the whole experience and considering she was the first one from Pakistan to go to the festival, she had no one to look up to for advice and guidance. However, she praised her team and all the ladies present there from Sonam Kapoor to Aishwarya Rai to Jane Fonda for giving her confidence to walk the red carpet with ease. She said that even though she didn’t know any of them personally, they made her feel comfortable.

“A mere thumbs up, a mere smile was enough to give me the confidence to walk the red carpet,” she said, adding that “the festival was truly a joy to attend because of how women together were uplifting each other”.

Speaking further, Mahira also addressed the plaguing concerns in our society especially relating to online harassment on social media.

“It is very easy to pick on people,” she remarked, adding that such behaviour will take us nowhere.

“Women should uplift women, men should uplift men, men should uplift women, women should uplift men; its as simple as that,” Mahira said encouraging people to be kind to one another.

Mahira concluded her speech saying, “I strongly believe that empowering women with better education, being sensitive towards their well being, health, happiness, ensuring equal opportunities and respecting their rights will go a long way in transforming Pakistan. Here’s to all women knowing that they truly are worth it!”

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