08 March 2018
On Sunday, 4 February 2018, hundreds of women dressed as Marilyn Monroe descended on Brighton beach to take part in the iconic Marilyn Jetty Swim as part of the Brighton Jetty Classic. Since the first event in 2014, this group of inspirational women has raised in excess of $325,000 on behalf of Cancer Council SA. Theresa, Director of Sphere Medi Spa, has been on board as a sponsor from the beginning, helping every Marilyn to look her best.
Looking and feeling good are such essential elements of this event, and it’s such a great opportunity to utilise the beauty salon for a good cause. Many of the women involved might be going through cancer, or have seen someone close to them diagnosed. By wearing the same white bathing suit, and dressing up together, it really creates a sense of sisterhood and fun. It brings a smile to people’s faces, whether they’re taking part, strolling past the beach, or an eager supporter.
As the makeup sponsor, myself and a team of makeup artists are on-site to provide the final flourishes for the Marilyns’ preparation: winged eyeliner, red lippy, and that famous beauty spot! As well as helping out on the day, we also choose to give to support this fantastic initiative and a worthwhile cause.
Supporting an important cause has always been a big motivator for me, and I’d been thinking about how I could use my beauty salon to make a difference on a bigger scale. Sarah Tinney, one of the original Marilyns, is a good friend of mine. One day in my kitchen, she started telling me about this fantastic idea she had to raise money, all while having a fabulous time and celebrating life, femininity, and her favourite 50s style icon.
It immediately caught my attention. Her ideas, passion, excitement and vision for the event made me really want to get behind it, so I offered to be the makeup sponsor, and every year I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
There are so many strong and inspiring women involved. Maybe they’ve been through it personally, or have known or lost someone that has battled with it. To hear their stories is truly inspiring, and to see their determination to make a change is so uplifting and it really does make you think there is hope, we can do this if we all come together. It’s infectious—when you’re immersed in it, you become more determined to do more and help where you can.
My family friends lost their mum to leukaemia 11 years ago. I met them just after she had passed, but from what I have heard she was quite an amazing woman—mother, partner and friend.
Then my aunty passed away a couple of years ago from a brain tumour. That was one of the hardest times for my family. The sicker she became, the more she slept. She had so little energy and deteriorated quickly. It was heart breaking and I remember we felt so helpless because all we could do was be there for her and try a make her as comfortable as possible. Even though you know the reality of the situation, I think you still hold on to hope that they will get through it. Sadly, it doesn’t make it any easier when they do let go.
I’ve also come into contact with some memorable stories of clients at Sphere Media Spa who have had personal experiences with cancer.
I had a client who came to see me who had breast cancer which spread through her lungs, kidneys, lymphatic system and then into her brain. She came to me because she had lost her hair and her lashes, she told me she just wanted to feel good about herself and would I be able to give her lash extensions. I remember sitting down with her and her telling me she had been told she only had six months to live. I got to work and she went on to tell me how it really couldn’t have come a better time for her. Puzzled, I asked her how. She told me that she appreciates everything so much more now, and makes sure she does something every day and every chance she gets to make herself happy, and she felt she hadn’t done that before.
I cried for her, I was so upset. I just thought she was the most remarkable woman. She started consoling me, telling me it was okay, and she’s fine with it and to not be sad for her. This woman was so amazing, so strong, beautiful and gracious—she visited me for a number of months until one day she didn’t come to her appointment. She really left a piece of herself with me; I learnt a lot from her and for that I am truly grateful.
There was another client who came in with a gift voucher from a friend of hers who had recently passed away from cancer. They were supposed to come into the salon to have a treatment together in our double room, which they had done previously. This unfortunately never happened. Instead, she said to me it was her son’s wedding and she was going to use the voucher to have her makeup done. She felt that by having this done, using the voucher her friend bought her, it was like having a piece of her there on the day. Being given that trust to make this lady look and feel amazing on behalf of her friend was very intense. I felt enormous responsibility to do her best I could.
And then, every now and then, you hear or experience a story that gives you hope. A friend of mine was diagnosed with a brain tumour, but after going through surgery and treatment, she’s now completely cleared—which is incredible!
I cross paths with many people daily from all different walks of life and some of the stories I hear are truly unbelievable. It really does make you appreciate your health, happiness, family, and your friends. They have taught me to focus on what’s important and don’t get caught up in the small stuff. And of course, to contribute where you can, because every little bit helps. I’m hoping to host an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea at the salon next May.
The best part of being involved in the Marilyn Jetty Swim is the spirit and fun of everyone who takes part to make it what it is. Every year, there are new faces giving it a go. It’s like a community, and you build good bonds and friendships with the people that are involved.
Anyone on the fence should sign up. It’s a bucket list event, and the people are so welcoming to newcomers. What have you got to lose? It’s so much fun, and eye opening to the need for funding—you never know what someone next to you is going through.
As Marilyn Monroe once said, ‘imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring’.
So give it a go!
Director Sphere Medi Spa