At age 9, a hot oil spill at her family’s restaurant left Shalom Nchom with severe burns on the face, head and neck. But she found out what make up can do aged 13, and she’s made it work for her.
Being teased and stared at by peers and adults drove her to depression as a teenager, though it didn’t take long for Shalom to discover the art of makeup in an effort to shield herself from bullies.
“I developed skills of doing makeup by watching YouTube tutorials all the time, and just paying close attention. Sometimes I replay videos many times. It took me a while to know how to draw on eyebrows due to the fact that my natural ones were burned off, but it’s so easy now.”
With time, she became such a makeup pro, the same kids who bullied her at school would soon be offering to pay her $5-$25 per face.
From Shalom Nchom she became Shalom Blac, beautiful as she is inspiring to all those women who have to live with a scarred face.
The 20-year-old’s latest video entitled “Power of Makeup Collab with Yunnierose” shows Shalom applying makeup to only half of her face. Before conducting the skillful tutorial, she touches upon how she has learned to gain confidence in herself, with and without the help of beauty products.
Even though her makeup application greatly minimizes the appearance of her burns, hiding the skin she’s in, isn’t the end goal. Shalom frequently posts pictures of herself bare faced on social media to show the importance of self-acceptance.
“You have to be grateful for what you have, because you never know what someone else may be going through,” she reveals.
“Makeup is not the reason why I am happy. I’m happy because I love myself.”
Triumph of the human spirit is the ability to rise above our problems and not only survive, but thrive in the face of adversity. No school can teach you to turn your disability into ability. It’s really about how the body adapts to the diversity. It’s about having the spirit and the will not only to survive but to overcome a handicap and win.
There has been another kind of triumph of the human spirit which people don’t talk about but which enriches the human tapestry and shows ordinary people showing extraordinary strength and endurance to withstand torture and persecution by heartless dictators. There are so many heart wrenching stories of holocaust survivors. Even today, in China there is a relentless persecution of Falun Gong practitioners who put up a peaceful resistance with their extraordinary faith. Even when they are targeted for their organs and picked up for slaughter they show an incredible quiet fortitude which the perpetrators find unsettling and often boomerang on them!