The Girl With No Birthday // Glama Lea
Updated: Oct 8, 2018
As I entered the first day of our first Glama Shoot, I wasn't sure what cast of characters would be presented to me. One thing I knew for sure was that there would be 6 to 7 ladies waiting for me who blindfully signed up for a "makeover program" because their assisted home had just added it to the list of activities they offer.
Knowing this, I packed up my little roller kit filled to the brim with my personal makeup stash, a bag full of scarves and costume jewelry (most which was donated by my mother), and a "welp here we go!" attitude that I prayed would get me through the day!
Luckily this day, I also had some help. My mother and Aunt had flown in all the way from St. Louis, Missouri to ensure my first event went as well as possible. They promised to be my "little helpers"and that they'd keep things organized and they vowed to be my stylists for the day so I could keep my focus on makeup.
As I strolled into Belmont Village I was met by my equally as nervous counterpart who was aiding as my guest spot photographer. Justin and I had met over coffee and discussed how we thought this day may proceed but you could tell we were both thinking - WOW, I really hope we can pull this off!
To add a little color to my nerves, know that before this I had never really done senior makeup up before. Aside from the Glama Shoot that I had gifted my grandmother for her Birthday. she'd been my only guinea pig! Needless to say, my palms were sweaty, my hands shaky, and I was just hoping that all the shades of my IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Creams would be the right.
It was then that I was greeted by Lea - my first GLAMA of the day.
Right away she began talking. Words coming out of her mouth a mile per minute, I couldn't keep up. All I initially picked up on was they were being said in the cutest French accent. I wasn't even totally set up yet when she said the words "I had to be the first person to sign up, I have been waiting for this ALL morning!!!"
It was then and through those words that somehow a calm came over me. I realized this wasn't about me and how I FELT- it was what this day meant for HER and how it would make HER FEEL.
<note important lesson there>
I then sat Lea down and said "well then we better not waste another minute... let's get started!"
As I began to tuck Lea's white and beautifully coiffed hair behind her ears to apply primer, I began asking her some general "get to know you" type questions. - How are you feeling today?
- What's your favorite color?
- Did you grow up in San Diego?
It was this last question that I began to learn more about Lea's story.
By the time Lea was able to mutter her first words, her family had endured more than I could ever imagine. I learned Lea was Holocaust surviver and was separated from her family very early on. It wasn't apparent that she went into hiding - but that is what I had collected from her story. She continued to tell me of her struggles, the hardships she endured and what is was like to feel like she couldn't speak for so long in fear that she'd be caught or taken back to a place where bad memories remained.
When I asked Lea how old she was - she actually didn't know.
She said "You know what, I don't know when I was born!"
There was something about Lea while she was telling me all of this that stuck out - she was somehow still amazingly positive. Though she'd clearly been through so much in life - she sure didn't show it. She carried this kind of energy that I really admired. She complimented each of her neighbors as she walked by, she was engaging in trying to get to know me, and she just had this sparkly "pizazz" that couldn't go un-noticed. She truly was a positive light.
Finally I asked Lea "You're so positive about everything... how do you do it?"
"When you've been through what I have you look at every day as a gift. For so long I couldn't talk - I was afraid. Now you know what, I never shut up! I may not know how old I am but each day I get up and take a guess by how I feel. If I went by how my body feels - I'd be 100. But if I went by how my soul feels that's a different story. So it's important to put good out so you can feel good from within."
I kinda just sat there in awe. This was one of the coolest things I had ever heard. I then couldn't help but ask her (after she looked in the mirror) when makeup was complete...
"How does your soul feel today?"
Her response (said in that cute little French accent).....
"Today, I am 22."
To view Lea's full Glama Shoot, click here.