Wednesday, 18 May 2011

In the Powder Room of the Hoxton Hotel

Picture the scene.

Here I am, standing in the Powder Room of the Hoxton Hotel, adjusting my brand new dress (that cost as much as a whole week's groceries) over my 'Trinny and Suzannah Body Shaper' enhanced figure (thank you Bitchin' Wives Club Blog for the competition to win that particular godsend) and trying to pull off the casual "I always hang out in establishments like this" persona... when who should walk in and take her place at the mirror besides me?

Who indeed? That is the question. Who would I most like to meet in the Powder Room of the Hoxton Hotel?

I have given this question a lot of thought and there is one truly inspirational woman that stands out to me and who I would be honoured to powder my nose in the presence of - and that is Katie.

No. Not Katie Price aka Jordan. As much as I love her outrageous lifestyle and admire her ability to remain firmly in the public eye, I felt so disappointed when her extravagant fairytale wedding to the lovely, but nowhere near as talented as he thinks he is, Peter Andre, ended in mundane divorce. I've never quite forgiven her.

My Katie is Katie Piper.

Life is such an unfathomably strange and fragile thing. One decision or one chance meeting can set you on a completely different path. We have no idea what might be around the next corner.

Katie Piper would almost certainly have been just another pretty face and perfect body earning a living as a model and passing under my radar had a brutal and horrific event not been waiting around her next corner.

An ex boyfriend (and I can only imagine how seriously messed up a human being he was) had arranged for an acid attack to be carried out on the poor, unsuspecting woman.

Someone throws some liquid in your face. You are shocked and dismayed and trying to make sense of what has happened. Then you feel the burning as the soft tissue literally melts away from the underlying bone. Fear. Disbelief. Utter panic as you realise that you can't breathe because acid has gone down your throat in the instant the liquid was thrown and you automatically opened your mouth in surprise. Acid that is now burning through your windpipe.

I once had a pint of maggots thrown in my general direction when I was in a queue for the cinema with a group of friends. That was bad enough.

In a moment, the acid ruined the once beautiful face of Katie Piper and nearly claimed her life.

She could have curled up an died. She could have become a bitter and twisted version of her former self. She could have the let the unfairness of it all eat her from the inside in the same way that the acid had eaten her from the outside.

She didn't.

She endured operations and pioneering treatments to rebuild her face and restore function.

Remarkably, she decided to share her story to inspire other burn victims.

She pieced her life together, walked with her head held high and worked tirelessly to promote The Katie Piper Foundation - a charity set up to help people living with facial disfigurements.

The woman is an inspiration, not just to the people coming to terms with disfigurements but to all of us who complain that we have another grey hair or a new wrinkle or a bit of excess flab.

So there I am, in the powder room of the Hoxton, adjusting and preening and feeling a little bit self conscious when in walks Katie Piper. She stands besides me at the mirror and applies lip gloss to grafted lips that have been redefined by a tattoo artist's ink. Her skin is almost reptilian in texture beneath the heavy, concealing makeup and one eye that will never see again since taking the full force of the acid attack, looks a little bit watery with a reconstructed eyelid that doesn't quite shut properly. But she IS beautiful. Completely beautiful.

She sees my reflection in the mirror smiling at hers and she smiles back. 

She makes me feel beautiful.

We are all made of the same building blocks to the same basic design yet there is infinite variety. Katie shows by extreme example how to embrace who you are and let your true nature shine through.

Who would I most like to meet in the Powder Room of the Hoxton Hotel? Katie Piper -  the woman who can show us what it really means to be beautiful.

This post is an entry to the Super Duper ITPR Cybermummy Contest.


  1. That is a brilliant post. We are sometimes all too wrapped up in our personal appearance, complaining about our failing diets, our ageing faces and worrying about what other people will think of us. (Especially when faced with the prospect of meeting 400 Mummy Bloggers at Cybermummy!) Katie is an inspirational woman and someone who shows us what real beauty is all about. An excellent take on the In the Powder Room prompt! Good luck x

  2. Such a lovely post! I talked about Katie Piper in my Guardian post and I named her a person I most admire. Best of luck with this post ;o)

  3. She is amazing - I've seen her interviewed and she has an incredible inner strength and calmness. Great post.

  4. What a wonderful post- I agree that Katie Piper is truly an inspiration. I have her book and she really is so articulate, intelligent and ultimately a brave and inspirational woman.

  5. Fantastic Paula, a really inspiring post, well done. I hope you win. Mich x


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