Veronica commenced her illustrious career in the film and TV industry by training at BBC Pebble Mill in 1984. One thing Veronica has become particulary aware of over the last few years is the dearth of male hair and makeup artists, especially from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
As a BBC trainee Veronica witnessed an influx of men into the TV industry which in turn fed into the already male-populated film industry. However, since then very few males have entered the profession and even less from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Veronica does not know of any Asian or black male film makeup artists.
The usual male route is SFX/prosthetic makeup, as opposed to the more stereotypical female pathway of general makeup, hair and wigs.
Veronica wonders whether this gender bias is because people don’t understand the technical skills the job actually entails. There may be a misconception that “its just a bit of make-up which anyone can do” – and constant posting of everyday makeup tutorials on social media may have reinforced this misleading idea, further detering men from entering the make-up industry.
In reality, to succeed a professional media make-up artist needs a broad set of skills incorporating hairdressing and haircutting, period hair and make-up, the application of wigs and facial hair, ageing and character make-up, SFX, mould-making and prosthetics and contemporary hair and make-up. Even more important are the right ability, aptitude and attitude!
Veronica says “do young people in the process of choosing a career have an inaccurate perception of what a makeup artist actually does – so contributing to the gender and ethnicity imbalance in the industry? I hope to enlighten the public and ultimately recruit and train outstanding students of both sexes and from all walks of life”.
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