But a closer look at her face betrayed the months of physical pain and psychological struggles that led to the 19-year-old’s moments of fame at New York Fashion Week.
Quereshi was attacked by her brother-in-law in 2014, pinned down by his friends while her face was doused with acid.
After she was attacked, in the north Indian city of Allahabad, she had many painful skin grafts and even considered killing herself.
But then she met the founder of Make Love Not Scars – a group helping survivors of gender-based crimes – and became the face of their online video campaign, reaching 1.3 million people.
The campaign caught the attention of FTL Moda, a fashion production company that challenges industry stereotypes of beauty and has previously featured models with disabilities, amputees and those with crutches.
The company invited Quereshi to open their show at New York Fashion Week on Thursday.
“I couldn’t believe it was happening to me,” she said. “In that moment I felt extremely happy.”
The daughter of a taxi driver and abroad for the first time, Quereshi seemed overwhelmed when she met reporters before the show.
Speaking in Hindi through a translator, she said politely that New York was “very nice”, despite having barely had a glimpse of the skyline since her long flight.
The attack on Quereshi two years ago was one of an estimated 1,500 acid attacks that take place in India every year, many of them by men seeking revenge on the women who have rejected them.
While the attacks are rarely fatal, they cause severe physical and psychological scars and often leave victims shunned by society.
Quereshi said she hopes her modelling will inspire other acid attack survivors and encourage countries to regulate the sale of cheap and widely-available acids.
She added: “No one else understands what an acid attack is except the survivors themselves.
“I do not want this to happen to anyone else.”
The attacks are still happening but there are signs that Quereshi’s home country is finally showing a willingness to punish the perpetrators.
Her show came on the same day that an Indian court made a landmark judgement – sentencing a man to death for killing a 24-year-old women with acid after she refused his marriage proposal.
News Source SkyNews