HOW ONE 17 YEAR OLD TURNED A PASSION INTO AN INSTAGRAM FOLLOWING
Hey, I’m Beck, also known as @UglyDollFX on Instagram.
I’m a student at The Grange P-12 College, I’m 17 and I’m a special effects makeup hobbyist.
I’ve always been into horror movies and gore, as well as had an interest in beauty and makeup. When I was about 13 I was playing around with some old makeup and, as a weird horror-obsessed child, I decided to turn myself into a zombie! It was completely without instruction; I had no idea what I was doing but thought it was the coolest thing ever!
When I went onto the internet and found out that it was a real thing you could do, I dedicated my days to learning whatever I could about this thing called special effects makeup and kept practicing and practicing. It consumed most of my free time because I was just so in love with it!
How I learned to keep on keeping on…
Having something to throw yourself into and focus on can help get through some really difficult times like experiencing bullying. You don’t have to have expensive equipment (like name-brand makeup or the most high-end tennis racquet) or even be any good at what you’re doing to begin with, as long as you have a love for what you’re doing and it makes you happy, it’s an amazing tool! It can help you escape from the sometimes downer outside world and by immersing yourself into an artwork or a sporting game, or even just a really passionate silly dance in front of the mirror.
Social media = Cheap group therapy
When I discovered Instagram, I decided to start posting my work on there in a way to share my love and passion with others as well as follow like-minded artists. On my insta-journey I learned a lot from other makeup artists, professionals in the field and even those who weren’t so friendly taught me a lesson in responding to hate online (Aint nobody got time for that! – Just delete the comment and move on!).
This platform and an increasing amount of followers allowed me to interact with some amazing people who supported me from the beginning, when I was confident and when I was having my doubts, to even celebrating my birthday with me or allowing me to use the platform to get across pressing issues (such as LGBT related issues). While having a few thousand followers is lovely, I still feel the same pride and support that I felt when I had 30 followers, because I made my space a safe, happy and interesting place for everyone to be
While trying to create a safe and creative space online, I was still dealing with some hassles offline IRL (in real life). I have experienced bullying in one form or another – from name calling to physical altercations – since I was in Primary School. Something that I noticed later on however, was how useful and settling it was having allies in the form of teachers. Even if it’s just a teacher you trust that you ask to keep an eye on a situation, or having that one class you feel comfortable in, it honestly makes all the difference.
At first you may think it’s a bit daggy, or fear being the “teacher’s pet”. But to be completely honest your teachers have more to do with your education than any of your peers, and are the ones that can make more of a difference in regards to your experience in school.
I’ve had the blessing of having some amazing teachers (Shout out to Miss K, Ms G and Mr D!) who have supported me through bullying and coming out, as well as created a safe environment for everybody to learn and be free from any kind of harassment or judgement. I’ve also been greatly supported by my teachers in regards to my passion, encouraging me to continue and follow my dream.
I strongly encourage you to find your passion. Try new things, because you could honestly be the next flute-player extraordinaire, or the chess champion of the world. You could find your true happiness even with a piece of scrap paper and a chewed-on pencil.