Globally acknowledged makeup giant L’Oreal launched a philanthropic program “Beauty for a better life” which aims to bring a positive change in people’s lives by providing them employment chances and professional training, boosting their self-esteem in various ways.
There, Mehreen Syed-Chairperson ICARE disclosed about her journey from rags to riches and here is the snippets from her life story which might empower you and prove to be inspirational.
Pakistani super model Mehreen Syed, instead of being appreciated after her first photoshoot, was beaten by–a close relative.
Yes… You read that right; Mehreen Syed’s paternal uncle (Chaaacha) thrashed her so badly that she couldn’t walk for several weeks. He did it because he believed that her being a professional model was an embarrassment for their family. On the contrary, Mehreen was too brave and did not commit to surrender.
Through this program, ten girls were selected from underprivileged sections of the society and mentored for three months in hair and beauty. They also received training of personal grooming and were taught basic vocational skills to help them become independent, working members of the society. Mehreen Syed was the lady in-charge of this endeavor.
“When bread winner of a family dies, instead of empowering the women, people put hurdles in their path,” Mehreen criticized the role of society while speaking to the audience. She said that “Beauty for Better Life” would help such women who were committed to move forward but needed basic support.
“After the death of our father, there was time, when for several days we couldn’t buy food,” Mehreen continued to talk about her personal life. “For many years, we did not have resources to buy new clothes, so I and my sisters would wear second hand clothes, given by some relatives,” she revealed with a bitter smile on her face.
The uncle, for whom, Mehreen’s struggle for empowerment was a matter of shame, had never felt ashamed when his nieces (Mehreen Syed and her sisters) had to struggle to make ends meet.
Mehreen’s brave and committed mother decided to support her and on her encouragement she bounced back and continued her efforts in the field of fashion modeling. During her early days in the profession, Mehreen would go to different fashion agencies holding her portfolio, only to be rejected. It took her years to get a break in the industry and now we all know her as one of Pakistan’s most successful super models.
Mehreen Syed proved her mettle…
“I am what I am today because of the support and courage of my mother.” declared Mehreen.
She told the astonished audience that despite her mother got married at an early age, she refused to give up her education. On her insistence her husband (Mehreen Syed’s father) allowed her to continue and she later on, after his death, became a lawyer.
At the end of the ceremony, graduating girls received their certificates with pride.They were all thankful for the initiative that gave them the opportunity to escape from clutches of poverty and helplessness. It felt like, along with training and certificates, Mehreen had handed these girls her commitment and sense of self respect as well. Every girl who got training through this course could relate with Mehreen Syed’s life because all the problems those girls have in their lives, Mehreen has already overcome them.