How was life growing up?
Life growing up for me was very challenging. I was raised by strong women, and it was interesting to grow up without the men in the house. It was really challenging at the same time as it was interesting. I was very young when I started working. Now when I look back at it, it was great!
What were your aspirations, and how did you end up in modeling?
My elder sister used to model — the whole world knows that. That is how ended up in modeling.
How did you dress as a teenager?
I was a total tomboy, and didn’t care what I used to wear. I would just put on anything I got my hands on. I was more into studies, sports, movies and extra-curricular activities.
Being in the spotlight 24/7 with media pressures and constant comments on body image, what advice do you have for women and young girls nowadays?
I am very vocal about the fact that social media has given everyone unlimited power to impose their opinion, without considering how it can impact someone’s feelings. Those who brutally troll people on Facebook and instagram are actually insecure themselves. One should not give importance to these people and take them seriously. Their opinion should not matter. One should be comfortable in their own skin and do what they want to do in life.
You are one of the seasoned models out there, but you seem to manage to stay so down to earth. How?
I am a little down to earth I would say, but I think I also have my ups and downs and then I behave according to my mood. Mostly I am very respectful towards other people, whether they are younger or older, more powerful or not, I try to be respectful. I believe in giving respect and getting respect in return.
From modeling to acting to being a judge and mentor, how was the experience?
My overall work experience with everyone has been great, I just like working and whatever I do I enjoy. I enjoy modeling, being a mentor and all. I like to know about people, their struggles and their stories. I have a lot of empathy and if I can do something for someone, I am all for it. I am loving every bit of my career and I am very content.
What is next in the pipeline for Amna Ilyas?
Well, my movie ‘Saat Din Muhabbat Inn’ is coming out soon. Another movie ‘Ready Steady’ will also be launched soon, and you will get to see me more on television. So, a lot of things are in the pipeline.
How would you best describe yourself?
I am a very patient person. I think I am a great daughter and sister. I love my family, and I can be a good partner as well. Overall I think I am a funny person, with ups and downs.
You have always come across as naturally lean. How do you maintain looking physically perfect?
Well, I obviously take care of my diet. I see what I am eating, I don’t have carbs and fat. I swim. There are a lot of thing I do and when I don’t have time to exercise, I definitely eat less. I eat a lot of dry fruits which is a new addition to my diet, and I think it’s helping me feel more energetic.
What are your healthy habits?
I mainly try to sleep early. I think that is the best thing you do to yourself.
What do you enjoy eating for:
First thing upon waking: I think I like breakfast
Favourite drink: Don’t have a favourite drink, because I don’t have fizzy drinks .
Do you have a favourite fashion label?
I love Gucci, and that is the only store where I shop.
What’s the favorite thing in your closet right now?
My whole closet is full of my favourite clothes, shoes, bags, belts. I love my wardrobe.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
The best advice I received that my mother gave me she once told me “Amna, you will be able to gage very early on in relationships, work etc. whether something or someone isn’t right for you, or if it isn’t the right thing to do. We often tend to continue for our own reasons. But if you have the feeling it isn’t right, just leave it right there.”
What is your favourite thing to do on a Saturday night?
Most of the time I like watching movies with friends, eat dinners and chill at home.
Your motto to live by?
My motto is to keep myself and my family happy, to work, enjoy life and learn something new every day.