A WOMAN who decided to follow in her dad's footsteps by becoming a plasterer has revealed she's constantly told she is too pretty for the job.
Melissa Borsellino from Hudson, Herts, confessed she has always been a 'girly girl' and continues to do her job with fake nails, hair and eyelash extensions.
The 27-year-old made the move from bar manager to labourer due to her anxiety and feeling overwhelmed by the crowds.
She decided to jack in the job and push herself out of her comfort zone by learning a trade.
Despite being in overalls and working on building sites, Melissa still keeps to her girly routes sporting a full face of makeup hair extensions, and false nails.
Her glamorous appearance has been known to cause confusion and doubts in the male dominantly industry and she has even been told she is ‘too pretty’ to be a plasterer.
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She said: “I am yet to meet another woman in the industry… I understand it is unusual seeing a girl turn up with 24-inch hair extensions and false nails, but I have learnt to ignore the shocked faces.
Melissa added: “I needed to leave the hospitality industry because it was making me anxious but I am dyslexic, so my options were limited as I struggle with computers.
“I thought 'what can I do to earn a decent income like a bloke? Then I had a light bulb moment and asked my dad Tony, 56, to let me work with him as he has been plastering for 40 years.
“He was sceptical as I am a girly girl, so I had to prove myself. I did this by painting his shed which has nothing to do with plastering, but I just wanted him to show I am up for manual labour and don't mind getting mucky.
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“The transition from bar manager to plasterer hasn't been easy. I couldn't even lift a bag of materials when I first started so I joined the gym and within weeks I was flinging it over my shoulder."
But it wasn't just the physical tasks, Melissa had to adjust to but the ‘undermining’ comments from others as well.
“I have had to earn my respect from other tradesmen or male customers but I am getting better by the day so I can take the banter on the chin," she revealed.
Melisa added: "There’s nothing more daunting than having to work on a construction site with just men.
“It can be patronising, but I have learnt to shake it off."
“I have been told I am ‘too pretty’ to be in this profession, but I didn’t realise there was a certain look for it.
“Some people assume I am a cleaner or labourer, I used to correct them but now I let my work do the talking," she explained.
When dolled up, Melissa says strangers are in disbelief when she reveals her job role and the only way, she can prove it is by showing the callus on her hands.
Working in construction has helped Melissa’s anxiety massively, she has learnt to conquer her fears by stepping completely out of her comfort zone.
She adds: “Work is fun, and I am always laughing and joking.
“We spend the day singing to songs whilst working so it is home time before we know it.
“Times have been tough, but I have pushed forward and now my work does the talking.
“I hope my story inspires other women to become whatever they want to be.
“It is a man’s world, but it doesn’t have to be.
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“It doesn’t matter what others think about jobs that aren’t stereotypically for women.
“The only thing that matters are being happy within the workplace and continuing to thrive.”
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