Sophia’ schoices

She has the face and the figure, the attitude and the charm, and grace and elegance just seem a natural part of her. Even though Sophia Mirza falls a bit short, height is nothing but a mere extra in Pakistani modelling.

What started of as a favour to a friend three years ago has become a full fledged career in modelling today. After modelling for various commercials and numerous fashion shows and shoots she is scaling new heights in the glamour arena.

After starting out with Lahore-based photographer and style guru Khawar Riaz, she became a freelancer. “You have to sell yourself as a model and it’s up to you how you go about it,” says Sophia whose negotiating skills have become well-honed. “In the beginning it was hard to bargain but now it’s a part of my life.”

While talking to Sophia Mirza, you realize that the woman speaks her mind. Which politically-correct model would say: “you need brains to become an actress and to learn three or four pages of dialogue but you don’t always need brains to model.”

Her grooming has been a constant process, as she learns from past mistakes. However, she feels that her modelling career has only recently started to pick up. When asked whether modelling can be a career of choice for girls from good families, she bluntly replies with a firm “No,” and further explains why. “You have to be brave and cunning and clever. You also have to be strong. Girls who want to model should be ready to cope with all kinds of situations.” She doesn’t elaborate on what kind of “situations” a model can be faced with, she just states that “everything happens.”

Sophia does concede by saying that she has become more daring but she also knows when to draw the line, “But I can never be a part of any lingerie show such as the one that was held in Karachi,” she says, ” I was offered quite a lot of money for it but I still refused. I respect myself too much.”

She says that in Pakistan modelling is being taken professionally but then contradicts herself by adding that “local girls cannot work abroad because of lack of resources, opportunities and short height.” When asked about who her role models are her prompt replies are Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer from the international circuit and Vaneeza and Iraj amongst the Pakistani models.

According to her there is hardly any scope for men in the modelling industry and with a rather dismissive verdict on male models, she says, “There is no concept of male models in Pakistan. They don’t get paid much here.”

And as for the relationship between the models, Sophia spills the beans, “Professional jealousy is always there, but it’s good.” When asked more bluntly about the backbiting and backstabbing which occurs in the modelling world, her straight forward and frank reply is “Don’t even ask!”

When questioned on her single status and whether she has any intentions of getting married soon her prompt reply is, “I want to be a star, so let me become one and maybe then I’ll think of marriage”. Sophia is currently acting in a Younas Butt serial in which she plays a role of a daughter-in-law.

On what she wants from her career in the future and where she sees herself moving towards, she says with an undisguised ambition, “I just want to be a superstar.”

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