MUSCAT: It is not easy balancing a life of glamour and style while also focusing on education and family, and while some will favour one over the other, but this person, both are equally important.
#OmanPride features Balqees Al Balushi, a rising star in Oman’s fashion industry and one of the few Omani women, who has been brave enough to break stereotypes and social customs to pursue her ambition. With over 23,500 Instagram followers in just over a year since she started her modelling career, she hopes to be among the top names in fashion.
Al Balushi was discussing her ambitions of becoming a model with her friends and said it was a coincidence that she was offered a job by a fashion designer through one of her friends, which sparked her modelling career.
“The fashion designer came to my college and took a look at me and was determined I was fit to be a model,” said Al Balushi.
Al Balushi said she has faced several challenges since she is Omani. “Here, they want models that are more open, so they use expatriates; and because our society is so conservative, they are hesitant to use Omani models,” said Al Balushi.
“An Omani model has a hard time getting to the top. In every step she takes, she has to listen to negative comments from some people and the community,” she added. She said because the society is conservative and holds on to tradition, they are not used to seeing an open-minded and “modern” Omani woman.
“Everyone has their own dreams and ambitions; why stop them from achieving their dreams?” said Al Balushi.
“If you want to guide or advise someone, talk to them properly, not insult and abuse them to do what you want,” she added, saying that she has received her share of insults and abuse on her social media account.
A hard working woman, she tries to balance her modelling life with her academic life as well as family, and is majoring in Radio and Television by day and helps around the house by night, such as preparing dinner for her family or helping her younger sibling with homework.
“I try to keep my photo shoots on weekends so it doesn’t interfere with my studies,” said Al Balushi.
In terms of fashion wear, Al Balushi said she is happy to model any design as it helps her build a repertoire of fashion.
She had this advice for aspiring models, “If you keep listening to negative people, you will not achieve anything. You should break the barriers and be confident in yourself and your abilities. You should know the people you’re working with, especially photographers.”
“You should also take care of your health and always eat healthy food,” she added.
To support her, follow her on Instagram at: balqees.albalushi