As a young girl my mom would ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My response every time was the same. “I want to be a famous make up artist and travel the world!” Ever since I was 5 years old I loved playing with make up and would practice on myself and friends. I enjoyed the art of drawing creatures on faces as well as applying beauty make up with pretty shades of eyeshadow and lipstick.
``I want to be a famous make up artist and travel the world!``
During junior high and high school I continued to do make up for my friends. A woman from Hollywood even hired me to do make up for a two day shoot (braces and all!). After high school I attended The Blanche McDonald Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada for special FX make up. Once I completed my time in Canada I moved back to California, still pursuing my career in the film industry.
In 2013 I was asked to do make up for a short film called “Stop Traffick” that would be entered into a film festival. I was super excited about the job, especially because we would be filming in Las Vegas! On top of that, I got to work with my first “known” actor, Steven Baldwin.
I arrived in Vegas and everything was going as normal as a set production could. It was about 3 am and a visitor came on set. She was the mother of a young girl who was abducted right off her high school campus in broad day light! Apparently she met a guy online and arranged to meet after school. Her daughter was missing for 5 months until she returned home. She told her mother that she had been sold for sex by someone she thought “loved her”.
Standing there and listening to this story I’m thinking “Wait, this happens in the U.S.?! I thought this was a third world country problem.”
I returned home later that week and contacted a close friend and mentor who is involved in a woman’s ministry to ask more questions. Through that conversation I learned that human trafficking is far more common then I could have imagined and that I have probably seen it in front of my face and didn’t know what I was looking at! She encouraged me to get involved in any way I could. That’s when I knew it was time to dive in!
Since then, I have gone through multiple trainings and heard countless, horrific stories of what these victims have endured. When traveling the state and educating individuals on the reality of human trafficking the number one question I get asked is “How do I teach my kids about human trafficking?” It’s simple… Be real with your kids!
Unfortunately, kids are growing faster and learning mature content at a very young age. But parents, do NOT be afraid of your kids being mad at you! I emphasize this because to help keep your kids safe you need to know who they are talking to. That means, looking in their phones.
Will they be upset? Probably. But it’s better to involved and in the “know” then to be blindsided. Growing up, there was absolutely no expectation of privacy in my home. Every time I would get mad at my mom she would say, “You can tell me how mad you are when you are 30!” Haha. Its actually funny now. Although this subject is scary, my advice is to not live in fear but to be aware of the reality and your surroundings. Educate yourselves and your kids by doing your research. Most of all, live your life to the fullest, be thankful for what you have, and never stop loving!