Dove instigated a series of campaigns to fight against prejudices related to women and ageing. Based on its campaign programmes, it arranged a roundtable discussion – 'How Old Are You' at The Daily Star centre on the 18th of October, 2016. Eminent guests from all walks of life were present at the discussion to share their viewpoints regarding the prevailing stigma. Azra Mahmood was the moderator at the event. We sat down and asked about her understanding gleaned from the discussion. “The dialogue was very effective and I have learnt a lot from it. I have become more assured, since the day of the conference that 'prejudices against aging' is a serious issue that exists even today and needs to be addressed urgently in order to be eradicated.” Being a professional model, always in the limelight of the fashion world, Azra accepted that such ludicrous discrimination existed vehemently in her world of profession. But she also assured us confidently, “I have never let my age bother me at all! I believe, with age, I have been able to gain more experience and that has helped me become a better human being”.
Opinionated and mentally strong, Azra Mahmood had a few suggestions to provide. “I really thank Dove for its initiatives and campaigns; I think the brand is doing a commendable job reaching to young girls and instilling confidence in them. I believe these kinds of conversations and communication are extremely important and should begin at an early age, during the school years. That's when people get their identities developed.” Azra Mahmood also informed us that, at the conference, she was particularly moved by the dialogues of young student panelists. “The future is definitely bright for all of us. Today's young girls are very self-assured and confident. The young panelists had so much to say. I can't imagine myself being so self-assured back in those days. But these girls know what they want and they are not at all affected by -societal standards of beauty. Young girls like them clearly show us that we are definitely on the right track.”
Photo: Rashed Shumon