Picture:
Picture:
Jiah Ali/Instagram

Arshad Khan is 18 years old and up until recently was serving tea in a Sunday market in Pakistan.

His life has changed completely after he was photographed at his day job.

He was snapped by Jiah Ali, a photographer, at the Itwar Bazaar in Islamabad a few months ago, but she only posted the photos to Instagram earlier this week:

Soon #chaiwala was trending globally, and Arshad was the subject of large scale media attention.

Arshad even made waves in London:

Arshad told Samaa TV he's one of 18 Pashtun siblings and is from Mardan in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provine.

He told them that "40 to 50 girls have visited me since morning", on Tuesday, and said he was open to acting in films.

Following numerous articles by global and regional media brands, he accrued enough attention to make himself a commodity.

He's since been signed by online retailer Fitin to model for the company.

Arshad seems to be pleased with the development, however some have complained that the attention on social media was objectification.

Others have claimed that his rise is emblematic of a class divide in the country, as he was clean shaven, suited and coiffed instantly by his new company prior to appearing in publicity photographs.

Columnist Frahanaz Zahidi wrote in The Express Tribune:

What I would and do have a problem with is the accompanying surprise that he is a chaiwala. That this is a man from an obviously lower-income background and is yet so good looking.

Regardless, he's now a topic of international interest.

HT Quartz

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