My first and biggest beef with Miss Veet Pakistan revolves around the fact that the show has become extremely vague and unclear. For example, in earlier seasons, Veet had been looking for supermodels. The demands and expectations from the contestants were clear – they had to be models. This time round, the show has changed its format and from looking for supermodels, the show is now looking for more well rounded personalities who can become Miss Veet Pakistan. Veet had organized an introductory lunch on Friday (a day before Episode One was aired) and I met with the team behind the show and was told by the brand manager for Veet, Maha Changez, that they would be looking for girls who have a personality and can talk and interact with people. So Miss Veet Supermodel appears to have grown into Miss Veet Pakistan.
What sorts of professions can these girls go into after this show, I wondered out loud, if the goal isn’t to primarily train them for modelling? “They can be anything they want. They can be entrepreneurs or businesswomen.” But then why does the judging panel consist of judges from the fashion industry? There are three main judges and one mentor on the show: Tapu Javeri, Aisha Khan, Aamina Sheikh and Fayeza Ansari, respectively. Why couldn’t the panel hold someone from another profession then, for instance a business woman? Or a fitness instructor? Or anyone other than models and actresses and fashion photographers, who are of course professionals but are also known for their good looks, glamour and brushes with modelling?
The first episode released on Saturday and it took us through the Karachi auditions. Four girls were selected for the competition and these four would be travelling to Sri Lanka to participate. During the auditions, again it was unclear what the judges were looking for. What is clear is that they are looking for confident girls who aren’t afraid of challenges. The girls who did get selected stood out from the crowd because they were confident and well groomed. However, ironically, one girl stood out because she apparently couldn’t speak Urdu, as she said herself on the show in her thick American English accent. Is Miss Veet Pakistan going to be a girl who can’t speak in our mother tongue? Again, it doesn’t make sense what the show is trying to establish.
During my meeting with the team of the show, I also had the pleasure of meeting with the ace photographer, Tapu, who discussed the dynamics of the program. “The girls were put through some rigourous tests that did not just revolve around beauty and fashion even though that is also a component of the show.” Apparently there will be an adventure challenge as well in which the girls have participated in extreme sports, such as jumping off a cliff. Perhaps the essence of the show is to give these girls a platform that helps in building confidence and self esteem, so that the girls can believe in themselves and go on to do bigger and greater things in the future. It’s all a little vague at the moment but hey, we have only seen one episode.
However, what I was interested to know were the judging dynamics. There is always one Simon on every panel and I asked Tapu who he thought the Simon was, to which he chose not to respond. He sweetly added that he’s probably the Paula.
After watching the show for myself, I can safely say that Aisha Khan is probably the least likeable character on the show. It’s justified that the panel requires one bad cop but what Aisha has displayed on the show so far is definitely a little over the top. During the judging, Aisha berated two contestants a little unnecessarily. She seemed harsher than the situation required her to be, although it could be the editing process that is at fault here, which didn’t show us exactly what the girls did to provoke Aisha. Even Fayeza Ansari is critical and scary when she needs to be but her anger doesn’t seem unwarranted.
We are excited and nervous to see how the show unfolds. While Miss Veet Pakistan is a great platform to encourage the young women of Pakistan, we just hope that the show doesn’t lose it’s way as it appears to at the moment.