Opens up: The multitalented star and inspiring role model is known to be vocal about the struggles in her personal life. Catch her at her candid best as she speaks about her recent miscarriage, body positivity and work-life balance in this exclusive tell-all with Haider Rifaat
Everyone is familiar with Juggun Kazim as a celebrity, but what are you like in your personal life?
Iâ€™d like to believe Iâ€™m a down-to-earth and uncomplicated person. I believe in keeping my life simple, which helps me avoid leaping into depression and anxiety during a rough patch. There are no grey areas for me.
You were brave enough to speak publicly about your recent miscarriage. How are you holding up?
Iâ€™m taking it one day at a time. Itâ€™s been a rough journey because Iâ€™ve had a miscarriage before. My initial experience was traumatizing and I still have nightmares about it. This time, I feltÂ my world came crashing down yet again, but having a supportive family was helpful. Iâ€™m doing better now.
Another struggle youâ€™ve been vocal about is post-pregnancy weight, something most women are body shamed for. Do you feel added pressure as a public figure to stand up against the unkindness?
Itâ€™s definitely been a struggle losing baby weight. I had my firstborn, Hamza, early on in my career and gained around 20 pounds while breastfeeding. People constantly made fun of me. They would call me fat and chubby. It made me feel uncomfortable. The funny thing is, after I finally lost all those extra pounds, I was body shamed for being too thin. People said I had started looking old. Later, when I was expecting my second son, I put on 70 pounds and the cycle repeated.
Iâ€™ve been body shamed my whole life. Before having kids, people would compare me to a lizard. Nobody ever lets you be comfortable in your own skin. Youâ€™re either too thin or too fat. I donâ€™t understand why someone elseâ€™s weight matters so much.
Iâ€™ve spent a large portion of my life abroad and weight was never a point of discussion there. This negativity is a product of a regressive mindset and yes, as a public figure I do think itâ€™s important for me to use my platform to talk about an issue like this that affects most women around me.
As a hands-on parent yourself, what advice would you give to first-time mothers?
Your body undergoes major changes during pregnancy, but itâ€™s important to understand that everyoneâ€™s experience is different. My suggestion would be to not get overwhelmed by the onslaught of unsolicited advice and just focus on enjoying the beautiful process. Seek guidance from those you look up to, but donâ€™t let unnecessary criticism bring you down.
What about women who choose to have children later in life to prioritise their careers?
More power to them! I had Hamza at a young age and it was challenging for me to strike a balance between motherhood and work. Everyone should have the freedom to do whatever works for them. I think if you have children early, you get to enjoy your forties and fifties more. However, if your career is what you want to focus on before having children, thatâ€™s alright too. You should have a baby when youâ€™re ready. Itâ€™s very subjective.
What were you like as a child?
I was unruly, someone who got herself into a lot of trouble. I enjoyed driving my teachers and parents mad. I was obsessed with firecrackers and pretty much anything that caused chaos. I would set them on fire and throw them inside strangersâ€™ homes. I remember getting into a fight with one of my neighbors when I was eight years old. I wanted revenge and tried to set his house on fire with kerosene oil. Thank God it didnâ€™t work! I was trying to replicate an Indian movie scene.
Your parents separated when you were pretty young. Do you think that impacted your relationships as an adult, particularly with your children?
Yes. Iâ€™m motivated to invest in my marriage and the precious relationship I have with my children. Iâ€™ve never really seen my parents together, but their separation has been a life lesson for me regardless.
Having said that, your parents are human beings before anything else. Sometimes two people just donâ€™t get along and thatâ€™s fine. I love them dearly. Whether together or apart, theyâ€™ve always been great humans and role models. Both of them taught me to be a good person and Iâ€™ll continue trying to be just that.
You radiate positivity and always seem to emerge stronger after a hardship. Is there any particular incident in your life that you would credit this attribute to?
My father passed away when I was 21. Losing him was an experience that made me look at life differently. I realised that life is unpredictable and you never know when itâ€™s time for you to depart. I want to make each day count, keep working hard and focus on investing in my relationships before itâ€™s too late. Iâ€™ve learned not to take my life and the people I love for granted.
Whatâ€™s the secret to your successful marriage?
There are three key elements to keep in mind if you want to make a relationship work; honesty, conviction and dedication. Relationships get boring with time. It takes relentless effort each day to hold on to it. No matter how attractive you find someone, theyâ€™ll lose their charm if both partners arenâ€™t willing to constantly work on nurturing their bond. Itâ€™s also important to be transparent and trustworthy. Everything else follows.
What does a normal day in your life look like?
My day starts with Fajr prayers after which I spend some time playing with Hassan. Then I get Hamza and Hassan ready for school and go to the studio for my morning show. I work out at the gym right after. I usually attend a couple of meetings before checking my YouTube channel. I make sure Iâ€™m home to have dinner with my children. My routine gets a lot crazier when Iâ€™ve signed on to an acting project.
From hosting and producing, to acting and modeling, you seem to have done it all. Are there any avenues you still wish to explore?
Iâ€™m currently involved with three business ventures; a restaurant (Bamboo Garden), a salon (Magnifique) and a fitness studio (Fit Culture). Iâ€™m managing them with my business partners and have invested in the projects myself. Iâ€™ve swiftly transitioned into entrepreneurship and hope to achieve some level of success with it.
What inspired you to launch your YouTube channel despite a hectic schedule?
I first thought of starting a YouTube channel while I was pregnant. People had been asking me many questions related to pregnancy on my show, so I had to start somewhere. I took my first plunge into the world of internet with â€œMom Matters,â€ a portal for mothers.
Did you find it hard to create space for yourself in the entertainment industry?
Not at all. Iâ€™ve been fortunate. My seniors in the industry created space for me with their support and comfort. Sultana Siddiqui encouraged me to persevere, while PTV proved to be a great support system. They ensured I was at peace.
Iâ€™ve focused my energies on working with dedication and avoiding controversies.
Why have you discontinued acting? Do you plan to make a comeback?
Since the past eight years, Iâ€™ve been focused on hosting my morning show on PTV. While itâ€™s been a great learning experience, Iâ€™ve recently resigned from the channel and joined Channel 24 for my new show, â€œJuggun at 9.â€ Iâ€™m very excited about it. Being with a private channel allows me to embark on a new journey with the understanding that Iâ€™ll take on acting projects as well. So to answer your question, yes, I am returning to acting this year.
Can we expect to see you in films?
I acted in a Pakistani film ten years ago, but it failed to do well at the box office. I was a little put off by my experience because I wasnâ€™t used to working with kind of standards being upheld on set. I stayed away from films for a long time after that. However, Iâ€™m currently working on two new projects. Letâ€™s hope for a positive feedback.
What would you say was the defining moment of your career?
There are many. When I started, Asim Ali directed a drama serial called â€œSaiqaâ€ in which I played the titular character. It did extremely well. Iâ€™ll always be grateful to Sultana Siddiqui, Momina Duraid and the team at HUM TV for having faith in me. They trusted me to do justice to a lead role as a very young artist; that was a big achievement for me.
Being signed on by Garnier was also a professional milestone. Iâ€™ve been the brandâ€™s official representative in Pakistan since over nine years now.
What are the cons of early stardom?
You donâ€™t have time for your personal life. Everything you say or do becomes public knowledge and will likely go viral. The media tends to highlight your weakest, most vulnerable moments. The lack of personal space and privacy can be stressful, but besides that, there arenâ€™t many cons to this profession.
SHORT & SWEET
A skill you wish to master?
Singing, cooking or horse riding
Describe your personal style.
Minimalistic. I go with what suits me, rather than whatâ€™s â€œtrendyâ€
Your summer go-to look?
Jeans and a t-shirt
Three essentials every woman should own?
A good pair of jeans
A white button-down
A pair of fabulous stilettos
Vintage or modern fashion?Â
Your view on Pakistanâ€™s thriving fashion industry?
Itâ€™s doing extremely well and Iâ€™m proud of all the designers
A fashion faux pas to avoid?
A fitted shalwar kameez; it really puts me off
The best style advice youâ€™ve received?
Wear what suits you. Develop your own personal style and rock it.
Wardrobe: Juggunâ€™s own
Makeup Artist: Razeen Arshad
Stylist: Areesha Chaudhry
Photographer: Abdullah Haris