“I don’t think I can do this anymore”
These are the words I whispered to my friend when Harry Judd (I went to a lot of McFly concerts when I was younger) walked into the room and it all got a bit too much. Oh and THEN I won the award and that was it. DONE. But I’ve gone too far into the night so I’ll start from the beginning…
The idea and meaning of diversity to me has been something I’ve been passionate and learning about for a few years now. I’ve learnt (and experienced) that diversity isn’t tick boxing, it’s ensuring that people from certain backgrounds and identities, who put in more effort in life just to get to the same level as their peers – get recognised and highlighted. So when my nomination popped up on Twitter I was absolutely over the moon.
I don’t think I really anticipated these awards if I’m honest. I was super honoured just to be nominated, then shortlisted. I would share the link on my blog posts and on my social media because honestly, I thought I want to maybe get a few votes just so it’s not too cringe on the night. #tumbleweed and all that.
The Outfit, Make up and Hair
If you’re like me and interested in people’s outfits, read on. Now, what do you wear to your first proper award ceremony!? People that know me, know I’m at my best when I sparkle. So I opted for a sequinned skirt, which can only be described as glorious. Parts of it were velvet mixed with rose gold and blue sequins, depending on the angle of the sequins. I know it’s all too much already…
Now I love doing my make up, it’s the one thing i can really experiment with. So this was the perfect opportunity to just go for it. I decided to go for a rose gold theme with a slight sparkle on my eyes. And for my hair, I can always trust my Babyliss wand to do it’s job. Then I added a little plait on one side – because why not?
Imagine being a person who watches telly a lot, then throw me in the Diversity in Media Awards, oh em gee. I kept it together, just about. I’m a bit like a little Miranda wheelchair user in life, I was making Northern jokes and crashing into tables and walls (yes I was drink diving before you ask)
Genuinely though, it was so amazing to be in a room full of people who all shared a passion for diversity. You could feel it in the room. Diane Abbott, Saira Khan, Linda Riley, Lily Allen to name a few in the room. I was so honoured/weirded out to be part of it.
When it got to my category I wasn’t nervous, because I genuinely was ready to clap for the winner, not even comprehending that I would win – no one literally knows who I am (well, most people think I’m the girl from the Maltesers advert…).
Then boom Munroe Bergdorf announces me as the winner!
I am absolutely over the moon that I won. It also feels weird because I feel like I have a very small audience. But I think this just shows how wonderful my audience is, you came together and got me a national award! I cannot thank you enough. This isn’t just an award to me, it’s a life change.
I could do the cheesy thing and mention my family and friends, but they know I love them. I want to dedicate this award to the teachers that said I ‘can’t really do much’ at parents evening and to the people who gasp when I say that I have a job and I’m happy.
This is for you, because that’s why I started this blog in the first place, to voice what it’s really like being disabled, challenging people’s perceptions on fashion and beauty and showing that actually the biggest barrier I face are the people around me.
Finally a massive thank you to (one of) the co-founder of Diversity in Media Colin Campbell – Austin in particular who I met many years ago at a 4talent event. You’ve been a massive part of why I started my media career in the first place. You’ve started something incredibly exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing the event grow in future years!
To find out more about the Diversity in Media Awards check out their website.