Saturday, 8 March 2014

International Women's Day

When I was younger I wanted to be a Ballerina, I also wanted to be a singer, an actress and above all else Barbie. These "career" choices all had one thing in common, being in front of the camera. There was one big thing stopping me from doing any of these - confidence. Those who know me now are probably laughing because I have bags of confidence these days. 

From the age of 10 I started getting spots and I was being bullied by my best friends for having sticky out ears. I didn't realise then but that would change how I perceived women for the next 18 years. Now I'm about to tell you something even more personal and would appreciate your utter respect on the subject. When I was 11 my farther took advantage of me. He didn't rape me but made a child do something that no child should. I had been silently dying inside having to hold onto that secret. I thought I would end up taking it to my grave because no one understood, but a couple of years ago I found out my mum had known but thought I was too young to remember. I had never told her for fear of her thinking I was lying. My dad left the UK not long after to pursue his career and has never returned. I was very close to my Dad but because of what he did it affected how I see men and always will unfortunately. 

I kind of drifted through life not knowing what direction to take. A part of me was trying to hold onto my childhood. I tried every avenue from hairdressing to administration. At age 16 I dropped out of college and went back at age 18 to continue with thanks to a scheme from the job centre. I spent the next 4 years getting my HND in Fashion and Textiles. Several more years followed where I worked night shift at Sainsbury's. Age 28 I had to decide - am I going to spend the rest of my life working in a job I hate, which is making me ill, or try to find a different path.

I had been an Advanced Sales Leader at Avon while working at Sainsbury's and I had caught the self-employed bug. After a failed attempt at working in Telesales I got a job working on less than minimum wage in a hotel. Somehow I managed to scrap enough money together to do a course at Jackie Hamiltons School of Beauty. I had an interest in make-up but didn't really know how to apply it. I was always asked as a beauty blogger about makeup techniques so this seemed like a natural avenue to take. 

Despite struggling every month to make rent and flitting between temporary jobs makeup seemed to draw me in. I was being inspired on a daily basis by the likes of Karla Powell, Alex Box and several new starters in the industry. Every time I would put up an image of my work on Instagram or Facebook I had a huge response. I couldn't believe people actually liked my work. I have met many new friends by being a part on the beauty industry. I feel accepted and have learnt that not all woman are bullies. There is a strong bond between women who support each other.

I know I have a long way to go but I've finally found my calling. As a makeup artist it's my work instead of me that shines. My inner child is happy she will never look like Barbie but she has found something much better - the love of friends and family, support from her peers and confidence.

So that's my story - What's yours? 

oX Wendy Xo