Making a difference: the Beyond Beautiful Awards

Beyond Beautiful this weekend at the Marriott brought together some of the country’s best beauty brands for a three-day festival that included a gala awards night, an interactive exhibition, live demos and panel discussions. As well as exploring the best beauty products and treatments available, this exhibition was about celebrating beauty in all its forms and looking beyond conventional standards of beauty. As the show’s organiser Frieha Altaf said at the gala night,

“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 beautiful from the inside as well as the outside. The people who are beyond beautiful.”

Lesley Middlecoat and Kuku from Dar-ul-Sukun accepting an award

The Beyond Beautiful Awards were truly inspiring, recognising people who have striven to make a real change. The winners included Sameer who created the Robin Hood Army, a group that takes excess food from weddings and other events and gives it to the underprivileged with dignity.  Khadija Rehman from Generations won for her inspirational campaigns that take fashion into a more ethical and inclusive direction. Sitara-e-Imtiaz winner, Shahzad Roy and Mushtaq Chappra of the Citizens Foundation both won for their charitable works.

The number 1 female ODI baller in the world, Sana Mir also won an award as did the animal-rights champion, Ayesha Chundrigar. Filmmakers Adnan Sarwar who made Motorcycle Girl & Asim Abbasi who made Cake, also won for their work on changing the narrative and showing a more positive image of both men and women. Leslie Middlecoat from Dar-ul-Sukun won for her exemplary work in creating a home for all and for the wonderful work the charity does in arranging operations for children born with cleft palates and other disfigurements. Dr. Farah Bari Khan won for her incredible work at Civil Hospital as did the woman who managed to become the identity of transgender in Pakistan, Kami Sid.

This incredible group  of men and women exemplify the best of civil society and are an inspiration to us all to make a real difference in Pakistan. Kudos to the Beyond Beautiful Team for providing a platform to celebrate their admirable work.



Salima Feerasta
Salima Feerasta
Salima Feerasta is chief editor of and one of Pakistan's top fashion and lifestyle journalists.

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