Maya Touati – she is smart, beautiful, top fashion model and she comes from a muslim/arabic country. Not easy you think?
We sneaked into her shooting with the photographer Marc Evans for the 10ten Magazin and asked her a few questions.
What made you first become a model?
Actually it’s pretty funny , in the beginning I was more interested about taking photos than posing, I wanted to take photography lessons with a french photographer and he proposed to make me some photos and that’s how I started as a model.
How did you feel when you did your first ever fashion show or photo shoot?
I started modeling very young, in that time fashion industry wasn’t very developed in Tunisia, the first Tunisian fashion week was held and I had the chance to be part of it. It was my first experience on stage as a model and I loved it. Year after year I grew up as a model and Tunisians designers I met in that year grew up as well. Now we are a family and we are proud of the place that fashion takes in Tunisia nowadays. I’m thinking about Ahmed Talfit, Ali karoui who’s making a great career and becoming more and more famous. Or my lovely favorite tunisian designer Seyf Eddine laouiti with who I worked all these years and with who I learned a lot, and last but not least Steevy the best make up artist I’ve ever worked with. I remember I was very confident and happy to wear an amazing dress and to have such a great make up.
What did your parent first think of you being a model and where they supportive?
Haha big question. Actually in the beginning it was really difficult to convince them , they were scared because all what people say about fashion industry and it was really important for them that I finish my studies and that’s what I made. I’m from a Muslim Arabic country so it wasn’t easy for my parents to accept the career I choose. I remember I was attending castings without telling my parents and escaping some high school lessons to go for photo shoots. One day my mother found my picture in a magazine and she was shocked! Hahaha now my parents are very proud of me.
How do you feel about the controversy of the size 0 debate in the industry?
As I said earlier I’m a Tunisian woman a Mediterranean woman, with curvy body and I’m proud of it. I deeply thing that the 0 size is not the real problem, the problem is our appreciation of ourselves, each woman should be proud to herself and to her body, each woman should accept and love herself. And always remember that mens are more attracted to curvy body’s. In fashion industry things are changing and I’m very happy with that. Now we can see plus size models having worldwide campaigns and published in most prestigious cover magazines.
If your were not a model, what other profession would you have been doing instead?
I studied business management and I love fashion , if I wouldn’t be model I would opened my own modeling agency, I’m still thinking of it and I will make it one day for sure!
What are guilty pleasures food wise?
Oh my god! I love food! I never starved myself. I (really) eat everything I want. I know that many models just say that but in reality they eat nothing. My guilty pleasure food would be a plate of Lasagne with double cheese! I love Italian food.
How do you cope under the pressures of being a model?
I don’t really think about it. I try to have a healthy life, try to keep my values and stay faithful to myself and who I am. I’m not opposed about weight and all that stuff.
What beauty tips do you swear by?
Natural Beauty, beauty that inspires healthy life. I don’t put make up in my daily life. I’m just trying to keep a healthy skin by using good creams and eating good food most of the time.