A few weeks ago I was approached by the lovely Creative Director of Colour Me Beautiful, Veronique Henderson who asked whether I’d like to be interviewed for the new CMB YouTube channel. It’s hardly like being asked to appear on The Graham Norton show, but a big deal to me. You see, standing in front of a camera, or worse, seeing myself on screen is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat. I’ve always been a little (video) camera-shy and I’m not sure that looking back at my teenage self in videos from the 90s has helped matters! But if there’s one thing I hate even more than the camera, it’s saying no to something I should have a go at. Saying that, on one occasion I was stopped one the street by Myleene Klass to comment on a 10 Years Younger lady and refused! Anyway, on this occasion I managed to say ‘I’d love to’.
It seems I’m not the only lady who shies away from the limelight. Last week, I was invited by Anna De Vere, CMB’s Director of Corporate Training and Development, to accompany her to a ‘Women in the Media’ networking event run byPrimedia Solutions. The event was about encouraging successful female executives to engage more with the media. Guest speaker, Siobhan Kennedy, Business Correspondent for Channel 4 News, highlighted the difficulty of recruiting female interviewees, to the point where entire stories often have to be shelved in order for the channel to comply with equality regulations. I had no idea that this was a problem common to other women.
My role for the evening was not ‘successful female executive’ but to give mini-colour consultations to the guests. Also on offer were hair consultations and mini-makeovers. Why? Well, one reason for this under-representation of women in the media is that women tend to worry more than men about their appearance on camera. This proves a distraction and impacts on performance in an interview situation, which in turn affects self esteem – so a vicious circle emerges. So the idea of the event was to get these women feeling confident enough to take their place in front of the camera next time the opportunity arises.
The evening was hosted by Andrew Barton, celebrity hairdresser from ‘1o Years Younger’ at his gorgeous salon in Covent Garden. As he said, not a typical venue for networking, but actually what could be more natural place for a group of glamorous women to gather?! After a some inspiring words from some seasoned interviewees including Dale Murray CBE (who has appeared as a panellist on The Apprentice – You’re Fired’!) and Peter Ibbetson, Director at Primedia Solutions, the champagne and canapés were flowing and guests could try the treats on offer. Within minutes we had a long line of ladies queuing to find out their colours. Everyone I saw was super-enthusiastic and amazed to find new colours that could make them look and feel younger, healthier and more confident, and mix and match to create an easy capsule wardrobe. A moment that stands out is one lady who was convinced I couldn’t tell her anything new, who was absolutely stunned to see a combination of purple and burnt orange transform her!
As for me, well I’m going to practise what I preach! I recognise now that I’ve learnt a thing or two since those embarrassing teenage videos (not to mention the braces are off and I’ve discovered hair mousse!). Maybe I still won’t like being in front of the camera but feeling that I’ve dressed to my colours and shape may give me a little extra confidence. Coming soon to a small screen near you soon!