WOW | Coverstory

All about Aastha

Aastha Pokharel has captured the attention and admiration of many with her looks, candor, and stellar talent. By making her mark in a competitive international arena  she has raised the bar for the new generation of models in the country.

In 2011, the leggy lass stepped into modelling; thriving and shinning on the covers of well-known magazines and ramp shows. She won the title of Supermodel Nepal in 2013 and the same year she came  fifth in the first season of Asia’s Next Top Model held in Singapore. In 2014 she emerged as the winner of NDTV Good Times Kingfisher Supermodels 2 and was nominated for India Times Most Desirable Women.

The dusky diva is perhaps one of the most admired names in the fashion industry today.

What makes Aastha Pokharel?

A ceaseless sense of wonder, creativity, empathy, some love and laughter.

How do you think you have evolved over the years?

I think I have a long way to go but I might have become less restless and more practical and goal oriented over the years. I’ve become more considerate of perceived flaws in myself and others. Patience and gratefulness is something I have learned and am still learning. I have also become more protective of myself, my time and space as I grow older. When you are younger, approval seems like an achievement but now it’s more about self-improvement, growth, the quality of our relationships and the work we do.

What’s keeping you busy these days?

Other than modelling, I am working on some personal projects which I hope will materialise later this year. I also head the marketing and branding at Level 3 Terraces, Labim Mall, Lalitpur.

What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty for me, besides what you are born with, is how you think, speak, act and make others around you feel. It’s how you carry yourself in good days and bad. While physical beauty will always be desired and I am no exception, I’d say I am more impressed by style and substance that comes with experience and wisdom.

People often remark on how the fashion and beauty industries put pressure on women. What do you feel about this?

It’s definitely true!  Being in this industry can mess with your self-esteem. So it’s important to keep a perspective. Lately, it has become more inclusive and diverse and that’s such a wonderful change. It should always be about being the best version of you and not trying to fit into preconceived ideas of what is beautiful. Confidence and self-love will always look beautiful, although it might take some learning to finally feel it. We all grapple with insecurities on some days. I am also learning to love myself enough to overcome them.

What does strength mean to you?

Strength is the ability to smile in the face of obstacles. It means not basing your self-worth on the opinions of others. It’s not only doing well yourself but also lifting up those around you.

What would be your biggest strength and weakness?

I think while impatience and sometimes indecisiveness is my weakness, my strength is that I always believe in myself even when I think I don’t.

Tell us about your approach to fitness

Not too proud to admit I am really a slacker with a sweet tooth. I workout when I feel my body is begging me to (laughs). I am not quite regular but I enjoy insanity classes and power walking. I soon want to start strength training.

What is your daily diet?

My daily diet consists of mostly simple home cooked meals, fruits and greens. I love coffee and baked goods. I do not watch my diet but I try to control my junk food and sugar intake as it isn’t great for the skin or mood. It’s difficult to control those cravings though.

24 Ways to Aastha’s heart

All-time favourite movies

Amélie, The Godfather, Breakfast at Tiffanys, The Devil Wears Prada, Forrest Gump, Queen, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam etc.

One thing in your wardrobe you wouldn’t give up

My coats and shoes.

The last thing you ate

An orange.

How do you take your coffee?


Best city in the world

I want to say Tokyo but I haven’t even been there. From the places that I have visited I like Bangkok.

Most-played song on your iTunes?

Currently its Tadow by Fkj & Masego

The adjective you use the most?


Current book you’re reading

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

If you weren’t a model…

I don’t know but I think I’d somehow find my way into the same industry probably more behind the scenes or behind the camera.

Your greatest fear

Waking up with sudden dementia. Fear that some people will never improve their ignorant attitudes. Fear of stagnation and rot and insects.

Your go-to movie snack?

Caramel popcorn and titaura popsicle.

Mountains or beaches?

Tough call but beaches.

The strangest item in your fridge right now?

My mom keeps nail polish in the fridge for some reason.

One person you most admire?

Can’t decide between Michelle Obama, Queen Elizabeth and Beyonce!

One food item that always takes you back to childhood?

Cadbury Dairy Milk.

A historical figure you most identify with?

As many people say I resemble Audrey Hepburn, I see her as an inspiration

One food item that repulses you?

I can’t think of a repulsive food.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Backhanded compliments and dishonesty.

Your childhood hero?

Mr Bean

Your closest friend in the whole world?

I have few close friends and I love them equally.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d make myself less anxious and more productive.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Nature, music, fashion, literature, travelling, dogs, food, family; there’s a lot to love but not enough time.

Perfect Sunday breakfast?

Blueberry pancakes with fruits and cream.

Desert island companion

Me, myself and I. 

Text and concept: Mannat Shrestha
MUA: Shradha Maskey
Photos: Indepth Photography
Wardrobe: Aakash Shrestha/KDA Fashion Home
Accessories: Meraki Nepal
Location: Level 3, Labim Mall