#Faceyourfirst with Clairol Nice 'n Easy



 First times, now I know for a fact your mind instantly is drawn to thee first time. Sex, the first time you do the deed. But the reality is we have many firsts in life. Some significant, some not, but with firsts we all know for sure we’re going in to the unknown because we’ve never done it before.
Now some firsts for me are emotional, they are sad, heart breaking and ones I just wish I could go back and change, some are amazingly happy, joyous and ones to celebrate.
I was invited along to an event, by the iconic hair dye company Clairol. Now the invite mentioned grey hairs and a celebration, which coming from a hair dye company that essentially wants you to do the complete opposite, leaning more to teach you to cover and hide them away, I was intrigued how this marketing ploy was going to work. #Faceyourfirst, now I’ve never had a naturally grey hair that I can remember, and well quite frankly I’ve purposely dyed my hair 50 shades of grey over the last couple of years (still haven’t perfected that granny silver chic colour I envy the older generation for though.) But I know and remember my mum taking so negatively of the first time finding that grey hair and the many that come after. The campaign wants women to have the option though, the choice, and to celebrate whatever decision they make.

Now as a marketer and a rebellious woman, I hate when I’m told to do something. Do not tell me I have to wear this or do this because, well I’ll do the exact opposite. And I know I am not alone feeling this way. But market something to me that gives me the options and knowledge to thin, consider and come to my own conclusion? That’ll work best for me, and I am all ears. And well even though I did feel a little uncomfortable with the idea this campaign will support and draw attention to the body positive movement (let’s save my rant on that for another post) I loved the idea of thinking back to your first times, and all the future first times ahead positively.

Guest speaker, Cosmo editor Farrah Storr was in attendance and her words were so inspirational. When we’re younger first times are natural and pretty easy, well because at the age of 8, no matter how tough, strong and knowledgeable you think you are, you seriously have not had one millisecond of life experience or experienced ‘the real world.’ & the older we get the less inclined we are to put ourselves in first time situations due to nerves, fear and the discomfort. She explained there’s a split second where your body reacts, sweaty palms (and the rest) shaking lips, giddy tummy, all signs we’ve naturally assigned to fear, but in that second if you can turn your brain to encourage positive and confident thoughts, you can face the challenge head on. I couldn’t agree more with her, and I instantly resonated with what she was explaining. ‘fear’ is a motivator, and for me the fear of the unknown in most situations can spur me on with determination and excitement for the task ahead.

Now my first kiss, honestly, I’m not 100% sure who or where it was. No, I wasn’t drunk, I just think I was seriously naive and well almost in a rush to get it out the way. My first time, well I was intoxicated this time, and as a result of pressure, not feeling like I was attractive, and I’m sure other underlining issues, I just got it out the way with someone which resulted in me being made out to be a liar etc and losing a huge group of friends (of course no one wanted it announced they had sex with the fat girl.) I can’t say it wasn’t traumatic, and these important firsts really bring up a feeling of sadness. I would give anything to go back to change them BUT, at that moment it was exactly what I wanted, and well HUGE life lessons were learnt.
Of course, there’s my first ever job, which I loved and seriously felt so grown up and confident with, my first time moving out, the first time I moved to London, the first time I met friends. I think my favourite memory is meeting my best friend Dano, at our school Christmas church show practice. Whilst the choir was up on stage we decided to start a Mexican wave in the pews, to distract and be nuisance, and well 10 years plus she’s still one of my closet best friends. And I certainly have her to thank for introducing me in to a rebellious lifestyle and friendship group that completely made me the person I am today.
And talking of rebellion. My first piercings, my first tattoos. A little painful, but permanent reminders to never let go of my rebellious infectious attitude.
And now to my most recent first, the first time I heard my mum say, ‘I’ve got Cancer.’ Now this one hit hard. Harder than any other first, harder than any other news I’ve been given. Cancer has always been just another horrible word, horrible disease, that selfishly never affected me. I would purchase the novelty key rings at the check out supporting cancer charities, buy the tickled pink range because of the cool prints or slogans, but cancer could never touch me or my loved ones. And well of course I was wrong.
My mum is my best friend. We have our moments, and like any relationship we have extreme highs as well as lows (we’re better off out of each other’s pockets let’s put it that way) but my love for my mother is endless. Coming as a complete shock she even found a lump and was having it all tested, I was so sure in my instinct and my determination, my mum did not have cancer. How could someone so strong, beautiful, healthy and happy have cancer? Not my mum. And well that week waiting for the results was the longest and hardest week. It was a week of sweaty palms, running mascara, giddy tummy, but I had those split seconds to change my thought process to determination which I did, and a lot more naturally than I could have ever imagined. Sadly of course no amount of determination could change the fact that my mum did had cancer, but losing my control over that outcome, didn’t mean I couldn’t control my reaction. I’ve cried, by god I have cried, I’ve sat up all night worried and clock watching from midnight, to the sound of my 7am alarm for work, I’ve thought of all the what if’s and broke down at the mere thought of loosing my mum, and well my anxiety no matter how hard I’ve tried to calm it, has been a storm in my body. And well I know I’ve been the most difficult person to be around and well I can’t thank my friends who have stuck around enough, BUT being put in this discomfort, has motivated me. I need to stay strong, I need to influence and support my mum, I need her to remain calm and strong, so I need to be that example for her. It’s a complete 180 in roles. I need to look after my mum and now support her, like she’s done me for the last 27 and a bit years. Her first time as well as mine, we have the choice to see this first time as a challenge to overcome, and of course make it a last time with that too.
After the lump removal, we had since discovered the cancer has spread, and well another blow to a shit situation, she’s decided to go for the further operation and chemo to get rid of this horrible disease, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of my mum. She’s remained strong, determined and completely inspirational through it all. And well I can’t wait to celebrate in Vegas when all this over.

But back on track, the point being first times shouldn’t be seen as negative or avoided. When we’re older it’s less uncommon to see things as first times, but every day we’re met with them, and in that spilt second of fear, we can determine how we react, and we can completely own that situation. Can you find determination and motivation in fear? It’s something I’ve realised is how I cope and how I spur myself on to progress forward, and I can’t recommend it enough.

I was completely inspired by Farrah last night and was so grateful to get to thank for her for the Tess Holliday Cosmo cover, as well as being able to talk to her and her be so interested in my story. I’ve never been one to see myself as a writer or even with an interesting story, but her words last night certainly have helped me consider that my voice is important, and I can make a change, no matter how small.

Just think back to your first times, and just take a moment to think of all the first times to come. No matter how small or big they seem, you have the choice to change the fear in to confidence and determination to over come an succeed.

Now at Clairol Nice’n Easy, a survey that found 71% of women would not feel happy about finding their first grey hairs. The #Faceyourfirst campaign is a mission, one to make every woman feel beautiful in her own skin, confident and help her live her own truth to the fullest!

And well this new campaign is challenging you to #FaceYourFirst grey hairs with confidence, giving you the option to choose to colour them, or not. All they ask is whatever you decide, 100% Own It!

Love
Michaela
xo


1 comment

  1. Hey Michaela it was great to meet you at the #faceyourfirst event. I found Farrah very inspiring too, definitely going to check out her book. Hopefully see you again some time at another event!

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