Gutsy & Gorgeous

Posted on August 23rd, by Helen in Celebrity, Interviews. 5 comments

Gutsy & Gorgeous

Nazanin Afshin-Jam Mackay has it all: beauty and brains. A former Miss World Canada, Afsin-Jam Mackay (her hubby is Peter Mackay, Canada’s Minister of National Defence) has admitted in interviews that the best part of winning the beauty pageant back in 2003 was that it gave her the platform to fully utilize her true passion: standing up against oppression against women and children.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and political science, and a master’s degree in diplomacy with a concentration in international conflict management, she is a human rights and democracy activist and co-founder and president of the organization Stop Child Executions. She’s a sought-after public speaker within the Canadian Iranian dissident community –  most recently speaking out about the need to close the Iranian embassy in Ottawa.

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She recently released her first book, The Tale of Two Nazanins (HarperCollins, 2012), which tells the story of her journey in helping to save a Kurdish girl, who shares the same name, from being executed for stabbing a man who tried to rape her. The profound novel details how Nazanin confronts the sinister side of her birth country where honor killings and violence against women and children are state-sanctioned. Says the 33-year old, “I thought it was important to tell her story, raise awareness on others like her and mostly inspire others in thinking that they do have the power to make significant positive changes in their environment.”

Here’s The Skiny on this fire starter…

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The Basics

Your name and a sentence that defines who you are: Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay. “If you have a dream…make it a goal.”

Your birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Where you call home now: Ottawa, New Glasgow, Vancouver and Paris

What drives you in a positive and negative way?

Love and injustice.

Describe a typical day for you (from bed to bed).

The one thing I can count on in my life is that one day will not look like the other. As a human rights activist I do not have a conventional job and therefore there is not a “typical day”. For example this month I traveled across the country, did book launches for my new book, did media interviews about helping earthquake victims  in Iran; called for the closure of the Iranian Embassy which has been used to spread propaganda and spy on the opposition; encouraged certain First Nations Chiefs not to travel to Iran because regime officials are using them as a way to serve their own self interest;  helped refugees at risk in Turkey in need of help and support: recorded a documentary on women’s rights issues, joined the board of an organization called JusticeNet;  made steps in forming my own foundation to help women and children in need and became a godmother to my friend’s baby girl.

What’s your healthy life maintenance routine for:

i) Exercising

Walking, biking, weights at the gym

ii) Diet

Eat when your body tells you to. Stop when your body tells you to. No restrictions, just everything in moderation. Chocolate is good for the soul.

iii) Beautiful skin

“My skincare routine is pretty straightforward; take off all your makeup and wash your face before bed. I like The Body Shop’s eye makeup remover because it doesn’t leave an oily film. Clarisonic is a pretty great tool for the rest of the face. I use it every night before I go to bed. A good toner — I like Dr. Hauschka’s — and a moisturizing cream with SPF during the day. My husband recommended Bag Balm [a topical balm intended to soothe dry cow udders]. You know how sometimes the bottom of your feet get really dry? Well, I’ve tried a lot of moisturizing creams that sort of work, but nothing that has really taken away the problem. This really works.”

iv) Fun

Spending time with my family (especially nieces), playing with animals and vacations. I just had a chance to swim with giant sea turtles in the Carribean…that was fun!

Follow her [gn_fancy_link color=”black” link=””]@NazaninAJ[/gn_fancy_link]

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