LAHORE: Faryal Makhdoom is not just another pretty face. While she may boast an enviable social media following, courtesy her looks and antics, the Instagram sensation owns a popular makeup line and an extensive modelling portfolio. Accompanying her pugilist husband Amir Khan on a trip to Pakistan, Makhdoom spoke exclusively to The Express Tribune on love, life and everything in between.
The Express Tribune (ET): Why did you come to Lahore? And, how did you like it?
Faryal Makhdoom (FM): We came to Lahore because we had some work and Amir always likes to come back to Pakistan after he fights. He wants to show Pakistan that this is for you. He is the pride of the country and he makes so many Pakistanis happy, and to be honest he does it for Pakistan as well. My experience of Lahore is always great. My mother is from Lahore so it’s good to be in your motherland and see all the love you get. Sometimes I don’t realise how many people know me here so it’s so nice to come and receive so much love because at the end of the day we are Pakistanis before we are British or American.
ET: Congratulations on embracing motherhood for the second time. How does it feel?
FM: It feels absolutely amazing to be a mother for the second time. I can’t believe at such a young age I have two kids so when I go out with my older daughter Lamaisah, people think she’s my sister. Now I have another girl so it’s like three girls in one house.
It feels great to be a mother too and I just can’t wait for them to grow older. I thought Lamaisah would be jealous and she would still want all the attention to herself but surprisingly she is such a good big sister. Whenever the little one cries, she always runs to her with her toys. It’s good to see the bond she shares with Alayna and how she looks after her.
ET: Tell us about your experience of motherhood, especially raising children in the public eye? What’s your mantra for doing it right? Or is there no mantra?
FM: It is very difficult to raise children in the public eye. Sometimes I go out with Lamaisah and people recognise her and ask if they are allowed to take a picture with her. I don’t really like my children’s pictures on social media but I also don’t want to hurt anyone so I say yes but I think sometimes she gets confused as to why people are taking pictures with her.
ET: What are your hopes for the two little ones? How would you like Lamaisah and Alayna to be when they grow up?
FM: I never want Lamaisah to grow up thinking she’s better than anyone else. I want her to know that her father is famous at this age because of his hard work. I want her to know of his achievements before she starts thinking ‘oh we’re better than someone else’. I never want to spoil my children, I want them to work and earn it rather than just getting it on a plate. I really hope one day they follow their dad’s footsteps and become really hardworking individuals. I really want to push them in education and sports and everything I possibly can.
ET: It must be really hard managing a home, work and the public life. How do you go about every day?
FM: I don’t work as hard as I did when I was single. I used to have my own YouTube channel, travel the world a lot more, be at fashion shows and be seen at every place I possibly could. Now I need to pick and choose because my kids are my priority and then it’s my career and everything else.
ET: What is your idea of true beauty?
FM: I believe true beauty lies within you. I think all that is outside such as makeup and beauty is nothing unless you have a clean and beautiful heart. I think that is so important.
ET: According to you and the experiences you have had in life, what is the trick to make marriage work?
FM: Marriage takes a lot of trust and understanding. Communication is so important. Sometimes when Amir and I argue, I just give him silent treatment and don’t talk. It goes down so badly, so I think the biggest thing is communication; you need to be able to communicate with each other. Before being husband and wife, you should have that relationship where you speak to each other like friends and take time out to understand each other, rather than just assuming things. I think it’s so important to make sacrifices for each other too.
ET: How did marriage and motherhood change your career as a vlogger/makeup guru?
FM: To be honest it is very difficult raising two children, having the responsibility of being a mother and a wife. But, you have to be strong. I have my business line, I do cosmetics, I do modelling and I do house work. I am a wife and I’m a mother but I somehow manage to find the right balance. I have my mother’s support and I couldn’t have done this without her. She is always pushing me and helping me look after my children. My husband is a great father who looks after my girls and really helps push me to do what I want to do and make my dreams come true.
ET: What does the future hold for Faryal Makhdoom, the international beauty icon?
FM: I do want to have more children. I want a big family. I also want my makeup line to expand. It’s doing so well and I love how so many Asian women look up to me, and follow my fashion so I definitely want to give back to them. I want to open my salon one day.
ET: Any thoughts on the fashion industry in Pakistan? Who is your favorite designer and why?
It’s so lovely to see the Pakistan fashion industry groom. I am so impressed with the amount of potential Pakistan has and the beautiful work here. Faraz Manan is one of my favourite Pakistani designers and is also a very good friend. Élan is another favourite designer. I am also so proud of Ali Xeeshan’s creativity and I absolutely love his work.
ET: There have been ample speculations about your marriage to Amir, with almost-divorces, cheating rumours and reports of an alleged fall out between you and his family. I couldn’t help but wonder… why go public with your domestic issues instead of sorting them out in private?
FM: Everyone has problems, everyone! And, if people say they don’t have problems in marriages or family problems, they are lying because that is impossible. The thing is people like us are always in the public eye so we can’t hide anything either. Mistakes happen with all of us; we’ve put everything behind us and my husband is my best friend.
ET: So what is the truth behind all the speculations? Can fans be assured that all is well between the two of you?
FM: I truly believe sometimes things happen for you to open your eyes and appreciate one another even more. We both have come out stronger than ever. Now, I look back to everything that has happened between Amir and it makes me laugh to think how childish it was. It’s so good to be in the position we are in now with our second child. We’re in a much better place now and everything is forgotten like a bad nightmare.
ET: Isn’t it hard watching someone so close to you getting punched all the time? Do you let Lamaisah watch Amir’s matches?
FM: When Amir fights, my daughter never watches it. I don’t want her to see her dad fighting. I have never watched any of Amir’s matches nor have I attended any of them. It’s very difficult to watch someone you love and the father of your children getting punched even if he’s doing so well. But, I’ll always support him and cheer him on and allow him to box for as long as he wants. It’s just something that I can’t watch. I can’t watch other boxers fight, let alone watch Amir fight.
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