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I Left My Job To Follow My Passion Of Becoming A Makeup Artist

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By Chandini Wig:

I took my passion calling seriously and  today there’s no regrets

The decision to leave everything behind, and follow my passion didn’t happen in a day.

Sitting in front of my office desktop, hurrying to complete the day’s task, my mind would often wander to an alternate universe – “What if I was doing something I loved, life would be so much more exciting.” That’s when the voice of my boss asking me if the management note was ready, would transport me back to this mundane job that had become my life.

I was a Company Secretary (CS) by profession. My Accounts tutor suggested CS, while I was pursuing B.Com. Thinking maybe it’s a good idea to do this additionally, I enrolled for CS  without really understanding what I was getting into. Imagine years of classes and tuitions, fat books to mug up, studies extending till wee hours of the morning, recurring exams, assignments, and long internships!

I had a good job, standard working hours, monthly salary credits to my account and a bright future in the field, but in spite of it all, I wasn’t happy and something was missing. Every day was turning into a struggle, to wake up and go to work, to follow the same routine and to do an ordinary job.

Ultimately, after working for more than a year, in May 2017, I took the call of quitting CS and joining the beauty industry.

Breaking all rules

How everyone reacted? It was a jar of mixed reactions. Being a typical fauji, my father had no idea whatsoever about the world of makeup and he was unhappy. “It isn’t going to be easy,” my sister remarked. I remember saying, “Nothing in life is easy. CS wasn’t easy, yet I did it. If this is something I really like and enjoy doing, I’ll put in all my efforts, no matter how difficult it will be.”

There’s more to makeup than just makeovers

My mother, on the other hand, was quite supportive. I used to see my mother dressing up for Ladies Club when I was young – her impeccable chiffon sarees, blow-dried hair, and high heels. I would sit next to her while she would put on her makeup, admiring the way she would apply her lip liner first and then her lipstick. I used to be in awe of how beautiful it made her look.

I think that’s where the liking for makeup and everything related to it started. Having those memories etched in my mind, I enrolled for a professional makeup artistry course and by October 2017, I was a certified makeup artist, ready to take on the world with a set of new hopes and dreams.

To new beginnings

As a makeup artist in the making, I knew that I didn’t want to limit myself to doing makeovers only. For me, makeup was much more than that. I wanted to explore the confidence, change in attitude, positivity, smile, and the feeling of awe and shock in people when they looked at themselves. It’s important to ‘feel’ the beauty rather than ‘see’ it. I wanted to give back in some way, to reach out and help, but I had to figure out how.

 It was great connecting with women over beauty queries

One day I got a call to be a guest moderator for the SHEROES Beauty and Makeup Community. Instantly, the light bulb in my head lit up because this was exactly what I’d been waiting for – an opportunity to get up close and personal with women across all ages and to strike the right chord with them.

I spent two days on the SHEROES platform, engaging in real-time conversations on problems/queries related to beauty and makeup – acne to pigmentation, dark skin to skin whitening treatments, eyeliner application to full-fledged makeup routines. Most of the questions had an underlying pattern of low confidence and low self-esteem, hinting towards inferiority complexes.

But what I loved was women coming together to answer each other’s queries in spite of being complete strangers, sharing tips on beauty and fashion and expressing love and support over unfiltered photographs and outfits of the day.

I tried passing on what I’ve always believed in – Beauty can be superficial if it doesn’t have a soul. My aim has always been to make people fall in love with themselves and to give them confidence that makes them shine from within.

About Chandini Wig:

I’m a SHEROES community manager and a certified makeup artist. I love what I do and I work hard at what I do. I believe that with the right kind of conviction, you have the power to make your dreams come true – no matter how big or small they are.

                            SHEROES Communities for women are accessible via Sheroes.com and the SHEROES app
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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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