I am a Life Warrior
Recently I have been proud and privileged to be part of a team with Esteem Visions and Chantilly Hair design to work on a project to help a young girl who was born with a cleft palette to demonstrate to the world what a Life Warrior she has been and what a a shining example to others who have experienced this or similar facial trauma of any description, to regain their self confidence. These beautiful images are testament to her inner warrior.
Hair By Natasha Leigh Massey of Chantilly Hair Design
Photography by Esteem Visions
As a young teenager and young adult I struggled with self-confidence when it came to my face. Growing up with a cleft palate had its trials and tribulations; most of which I overcame. But some days I still looked into the mirror and remembered. I had days where I just wanted to hide behind a scarf, or to face my face side on in a photo to hide my nose. I even had days where when my boyfriend kissed me I hoped he didn’t feel the difference in my nose. I guess that’s where my story starts.
Although I struggle with confidence and my scars; I still believe in looking natural and showing my flaws. This is where Jules Derrick from Outside The Box Make up fits in. I was introduced to her by my mother. Jules believes in showing women to be confident and to help them achieve the look with beautiful hand pressed make up that will give you the confidence to walk out the door and be proud of who you are. And I wholly endorse that. I know how it feels to walk out the door and think “Oh god can they see my scar, oh god can they see that one side of my nose is flat”, and so forth. So discovering Jules and her makeup was perfect. Jules asked me to test her makeup and I fell in love with it. As a person I support Vegan make up and chemical free products because for me it’s important to be as natural as you can! Meeting Jules and testing her make up is how I got to meet Alison and Rod from Esteem Visions. Now I am going to say here that the day that I went to shoot with Esteem Visions wasn’t my best day. Because the last two years I’ve been dealing with my own mental health, anxiety and low mood. And for anyone who has gone through this knows that some days you wake up achy, tired and you feel just riddled with fear. For me that day, it was my confidence of being able to be in front of the camera when I wasn’t quite myself. To look down the camera and feel confident. But with Outside thebox make up by my side and the curiosity to try something new I went; And wow am I glad! Alison and Rod are a brilliant team. They really listen to you. I had discussed with Jules the outcome of the shoot. For me it was to show the warrior I am. To show the strength I carry, to be proud of who I am. When I sat and talked to Alison and Rod they really listened to me. Rod worked with what I was comfortable making sure that I felt confident with every shot he took and involved me with the whole process. And for me that was fascinating and it really helped me boost my confidence and feel more relaxed.
I guess my story is that no matter what is thrown at you in life you must always turn it around into a positive. The bullying I experienced in school only made me stronger. The anxiety I feel reminds me that my mind is stronger that what I think. And even though some days I wake up and I ache; every day I remember that I have been through so much and I am still standing. And that in a funny way the world helps to show you that. To show you that there is always something positive at the end, to remind you of who you are. And to remind you that when you feel at your weakest; it is actually when you can change things around. And that somewhere within you no matter how small the sparkle within you it can turn out to be the biggest light. And that my friend is when you push your limitation. And what is life without testing the boundaries?
Thanks to Outsidethebox Makeup, Esteem Visions and Chantilly Hair Design. I have pictures that will forever remind me of the warrior I have become. For my future I am hoping to help people who have experienced what I experience; because every person should be reminded how strong they truly are.