Name: Tehmeena Afzal (Miss Meena)
Dimensions: 32DDD – 24 – 37
Occupation: Car Sales, Fitness Model
Hometown: Queens Village, NY
Bio: We have seen this Pakistani Princess grace the pages of SMOOTH, KING, SHOW Magazines and she even appeared as a Playboy Miss Social. Tehmeena Afzal is a Mother, a woman with a degree and presently going for her make-up artist license. She is the top car salesperson at her dealership, a model, a fitness guru, a sponsored fitness model and a Business Woman! A true Wonder Woman and an amazing fit for ShotsWeekly Batman v Superman inspired cover.
ShotbyJason: How did you get your start in the urban modeling industry?
Tehmeena: I used to rap back in the day. I was a rapper. This is how it all started. I wanted to get on to mixtapes and I was contacting different DJs to get on their tapes. They wanted to charge like $500 for a slot on a mixtape. I said you know what, I can’t pay all these guys to feature one of my tracks for $500 each. So, I started a mixtape website. I would buy mixtapes from all these DJ’s to support their hustle and sell them on my website. So I was making money and putting money in these guys pockets.
In return, they were getting exposure by me selling their tapes. That’s how I first started off. Once the DJs started meeting up with me, they were like wow, can I use you on my mixtape cover, you’re pretty. I was like sure. I didn’t start off modeling. It just went from one DJ using my picture to another. That’s when the magazines, like Smooth Magazine, King, XXL, that’s how it happened. I originally started off trying to make it as a rapper.
ShotbyJason: Do you still rap?
Tehmeena: OK. No, but actual recorded something a year or two ago. I still could if I wanted to. I just know it’s not me. It got me to where I’m at now and that’s how I started, but I just know, it’s not my image anymore.
ShotbyJason: What was your first big gig or experience in the industry?
Tehmeena: I actually all within a two year period, I was in Smooth Magazine, I was in King Magazine, I was in two issues of Show Magazine. Once I got into these magazines, then I started getting hit up by the rappers. I did 50 Cent videos, I did a Dream video, Fat Joe. It was mostly the magazines is really were the big things that got me out there.
ShotbyJason: Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
Tehmeena: I’m not really into the whole hip hop scene anymore. I haven’t done a music video in three years. I had my son three years ago. He’s about three and a half now. While I was pregnant, I said you know what, I want to do something totally different, go into the fitness world, compete, bikini competitions. I would like to be on the cover of a fitness magazine, do something like that. Inspire people to be healthy and fit. I’m competing right now. I’m doing these bikini competitions. Now I want to earn my pro card and do pro shows and then get on the cover of a Muscle fitness magazine. I’m really into health and working out and dieting and I just want to help people achieve their goals. I really just see myself being more of a fitness model / guru.
ShotbyJason: I know because I see you training and we put you through a little training too. You passed out or got little faint on set. When they said you passed out, I almost passed out myself.
Tehmeena: That never happened to me before. It might have been a combination of not eating and sleeping because I was so excited about the shoot, and then the paint fumes. I’m not one of those girls that, bougie. No, I need this. I was really embarrassed that I almost passed out. I was like, I was going to finish the shoot. I did not plan all this and have everyone come out here for me to be like I don’t feel good, we’re not shooting. No, I’m going to finish this. That’s just how I am. Once I start something, I make sure I finish it. I always keep my word, so I don’t know. I just made sure we got it done.
ShotbyJason: Now, you’ve gone through an evolutionary process, as far as your modeling. What advise would you give to an up and coming model?
Tehmeena: A lot of girls ask me “How did you make it?” You have to invest in yourself! That’s one thing I know. A lot of girls out there just trying to shoot with anyone because they want free shoots. They want to just use anyone for free makeup. When I started, I found one of the hottest photographers in the hip hop industry. I shot with him. I don’t know. Back when I started about 10 years ago, Felix Natal Jr. He was hot. He was shooting cover after cover. He was shooting Gloria Velez, Vida Guerra, all the rappers, all the athletes. I found him and I said listen, I want to shoot with you. What do you charge? I wasn’t looking for a free handout. The shoot cost me over $2000. The wardrobe cost me over $1,000. I went, I spent the money, and those pictures are the pictures that everyone saw, which is what got me published. Those are the pictures that were on the covers of all the mixtape CDs. I went out and I was like you know what, people want to use me as a model, let me go and let me invest in myself. Let me spend money. I would just say you have to invest in yourself. That’s it!
ShotbyJason: I see a lot of girls trying to take the easy way out. They don’t understand that it’s an investment. It’s like a plumber buying his tools. Buy great photos and profit from your investment.
Tehmeena: I try to tell them. A lot of girls ask me and I’ll refer them to photographers and then they’ll email me back, he want’s to charge me. Of course, he wants to charge you. Who are you? You’re not known yet, of course. I don’t really pay for shoots anymore, but I’ve put in my money, my time, and worked on my following so much that people can use me to help build their following. But, you have to pay. A lot of girls don’t see that. They just think I’m pretty, I have big boobs, I have a big butt, everyone should just want to work with me. It doesn’t work like that. You have to establish yourself and you got to put money into yourself.
ShotbyJason: On the other side, you’re switching over into the fitness world, what kind of advice are you seeking from the models that are in that industry?
Tehmeena: I’m very good friends with Vida Guerra. She was very big in the urban, hip hop industry and she switched into fitness. She got her pro card in 2011. She’s one of my good friends and I’m always looking up to her for advice. She helps me, as far as telling me how much cardio I need to do or little tricks that she did. A lot of girls don’t like to give their secrets away. I’m all for helping women and Vida is like that too. She helps me a lot.
ShotbyJason: On your way to getting your pro card you have already got sponsors, right.
Tehmeena: I have only done two shows, but I’m sponsored. All my supplements are sponsored, my gym clothes are sponsored, my meals are sponsored. All these companies pay me and they give me stuff just to promote them because I’m in the fitness world. And earning your pro card puts you up at a level where you can actually earn a lot of money doing these shows and doing fitness appearances. The next goal is getting that pro card! When you have your pro card you are in a very prestigious spot in the world of fitness.
ShotbyJason: So you are training, you’re working out and our photos look amazing, what’s that like?
Tehmeena: Right now, I’m in prep. I’m on a 20 week prep, so I’m on a very strict diet. I’m on strict cardio. I do a gallon of water a day and as I get closer to a show, I start cutting my carbs. I start doing more cardio. This is very intense. I’m very cranky. I’m very irritable right before the show. It’s mentally exhausting, not just physically, but it’s very mental. It’s crazy, but I love it. Anything that mentally challenges me, physically challenges me, I love. I ran the New York City Marathon last year. 26.2 miles took me 7 hours and 23 minutes. I was freezing. I was running in a Wonder Woman costume. I was so cold, my knee was twisted but I dragged my way to the finish. I love doing things that challenge me.
ShotbyJason: I know you are a fan of Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is a symbol of inspiration and power. Just describe a little bit of what Wonder Woman means to you.
“I just love Wonder Woman. She’s strong. She’s independent. She’s just, I get compared to her. A lot of people just call me Wonder Woman. “
Tehmeena: You know what it is, I just love Wonder Woman. She’s strong. She’s independent. She’s just, I get compared to her. A lot of people just call me Wonder Woman. I have two children. I have my bachelor’s degree. I play softball. I got a full scholarship to college. I sell cars full time. I have my real estate license. I’m in school for my cosmetology license. I run marathons. I train for competitions. I do so much and people just started calling me, they’re like wow you’re really like Wonder Woman. You do it all. You really are and I’ve just always loved the look. I love the way she looked. I always thought she was so pretty. I loved her costume, which is crazy because I got one custom made and that’s not normal. Normal people don’t have custom made Wonder Woman costumes in their closet. I walked into your shoot with the boots and everything. You guys were like whoa. That’s so weird that you have that. I’m so obsessed with Wonder Woman, that I have a costume for every one of my New York sports teams, for the Mets, for the Giants, for the Knicks, for the Rangers, I have a Batman costume, but it’s Wonder Woman style. It’s made her outfit. I’m just obsessed with her. I get everything. Yeah. I’m basically Wonder Woman in all different outfits. I don’t know. I just have an obsession with her. I just think she’s awesome. While we were shooting and the way the paint was done, I just felt like her. I just felt so powerful and so strong. I was just like yes. Everything was perfect about the shoot. I really felt like Wonder Woman. I really did. It was amazing.
ShotbyJason: Cool. Did you see the movie? Batman Versus Superman?
Tehmeena: No because you know why? Nobody wants to go with me because I’m going to dress up like Batman and everyone’s embarrassed. All my friends were like, let’s go. I’m like all right, I’m going to wear my costume. They’re like no we’re not going with you. I don’t want to go by myself, so I’ll just wait until it comes out on DVD or something.
ShotbyJason: Who is your favorite model or #WCW?
Tehmeena: I’m obsessed with Kim Kardashian. Everyone is like she got famous off of a sex tape, blah, blah, blah. No, that’s not it. She’s a very smart business woman. She knows how to make money. She knows how to market herself. She has more going for her than just her looks. She’s got her own clothing line. She’s just so business minded. People only see her for her sex tape. No. There’s so many people out there that come out with sex tapes that aren’t famous. There’s obviously something else behind her than that. I’m really intrigued by her whole marketing sense and her business mind . I think she’s amazing. She is. Everything she does, there’s a reason behind it. It’s not like she does dumb things like post a topless picture because she’s retarded. No. She knows what she’s doing. She’s making money off it. The whole family is genius and everyone thinks they’re just these dumb people that got famous off of nothing, but it’s something. I respect their hustle.
ShotbyJason: How do you feel you’re empowering yourself and others by what you do?
Tehmeena: I’ve posted everything from my pregnancy to pictures of me when I was really heavy. I was nine months pregnant to after I had the baby when I still had a gut. I’ve posted pictures of me transforming, showing because a lot of women are like I just had a kid. I can’t do this. I’m showing women, listen I have two kids. I work full time. After I had a baby, I literally took six days off from work and and went right backto work. I didn’t take maternity leave or anything because I work off a commission and I need to make money. You can’t say I don’t have time for this, I don’t have time for that. I’m probably the busiest person you’ll ever meet in your whole life, but I always make time for things that are important. I’ve shown pictures of me fat to the way I look now and I’m not scared to show people how I look. Women, they’re really inspired by that.
However the men, a lot of men are intimidated by me. When I get the hate on my social media, it’s almost 100% from men, not from women. Guys calling me you’re a slut. You’re a whore. You’re this, you’re that but women are like oh my God, you’re so amazing. I wish I could be like you. It’s so weird. I get so much hate from men. It’s the craziest thing ever. They hate me. They’re so mad at me. They’re just like how can you do this ? You have kids, what are you doing like that on the internet? The women are the ones emailing me oh my God, you’re so inspiring. I want to be like you. Just tell me how you do it. It’s really crazy.
I’m not afraid to show people how I look with makeup or without makeup. I’ll post a picture of me right out of bed in the morning. I will not Photoshop it. I won’t do anything. Then, I’ll post a picture of me all glammed up and they like that because I show the real me. I’m not just on social media showing this dolled up person all the time. I show the real me. I think that also inspires a lot of women that I’m not afraid to let people see how I really am.
ShotbyJason: How was it shooting with shotsweekly.com for the Wonder Woman theme cover for April?
Tehmeena: Honestly, it was probably the coolest shoot I’ve ever done The whole body paint thing it was awesome. First of all, it was Wonder Woman, which was awesome. Then, I was body painted as her, which was the coolest thing ever. It wasn’t just like I threw on a costume and that’s it. It was just so different. It was one of the most unique shoots I’ve ever done. I was very comfortable. You guys were amazing. Lia, I’ve known her for years. Everything just was so nice, comfortable, I wasn’t uncomfortable at all. It was fun. I had a good time. It was really cool. I don’t know how to describe it, but awesome.
Body Painter: @fernello
Graphic Arts: @stevendzyn