Courage has many shades and we lose much when we link it with simply performing gigantic physical tasks. Sometimes it is quiet: when you are crushed before you start, however you start in any case and see it through notwithstanding; this kind of courage is truly underestimated.

“Courage is when you break free of your limitations and overcome the fears: how will I do this and will I really be able to do this?" Seemah says.

Seemah Obaid is a well-educated and highly motivated lady. She is a mother of two and passionate to achieve her goals in life. She has always been into creative things like arts, cooking and makeup.

Born in the extremely conservative family of Mardan, right from her childhood Seemah wanted to use her own wings and strengths to explore the new horizons. She never wanted to just live. She rather wanted to passionately pursue her dreams: those dreams that she crocheted being a part of highly strict culture.

When I was a little girl, I didn’t know the definition of “Culture”; for me the world was like a beautiful garden without any cultural fences where little Seemah could do anything she craved for. Like a cheerful butterfly I enjoyed my early childhood without any burden of cultural gadgets. I never realised the fact that time would come when I’d be asked to wear the specs of culture and see my dreams through those hazy lenses.

I can’t deny that I am blessed to have very loving parents. They raised me like a princess. My father worked hard all his life and provided the best things to me. Despite being a son of very strict and conservative parents, he sent me to the best educational institutes. I regard my father’s efforts, but one thing that I want to change about him is: his views about my dream. He thinks it’s a shame to be a makeup artist. He just wants to see me as a lecturer. If I become a makeup artist, it will be against his dignity.

Like an obedient daughter, I always followed his dreams until I came across my own vision. After completing Master of Arts in English, I taught for some time then worked for the aviation industry as well. In any case, I never found interest in those fields because I always wanted to be a makeup artist.

Today, I am a mother of two. My husband is very supportive, am lucky because he believes in me. He thinks I should pursue my dream. After becoming makeup artist, I can enhance the underlying beauty and give that extra boost of confidence which is sometimes needed. It’s something that will give me recognition. I will then teach this art to those who want to learn it.

For other women the idea of being a makeup artist can be as easy as anything but for me it is a herculean task. Albeit many people have come forward in this field, still most families in Pakistan have negative views about it and don’t support women for this field. I still remember when I told people about this; the responses were really weird:

“What? Makeup artist! Are you in your senses? In our culture people don’t like it…

I can’t believe this! Log kiya kahain gy?

Itna perh likh ker yay kon sa profession select ker liya hay. MA English kiya hay teaching bahtr hay teaching kero.

I believe, the most daring act is to have an independent perspective. Every now and then people question my dream. What is passion for me is a taboo for many people in my social circle. Be that as it may, I am determined to be a makeup artist. I face a lot of criticism, but I have never found anything wrong with this profession.

While acquiring this art, I met several ladies from different areas of Pakistan. Most of the them were Pathans, they were so passionate about their dreams that they would travel all the way from distant areas of KPK to Islamabad. Many learners had exceptional educational backgrounds: doctors, lecturers and engineers. Some had full family support whereas some were perusing their passion despite their parents’ will.

It's only a start. I am making little strides however am not halting by any stretch of the imagination. I am working from my home at the present time. Although it’s a small set up, I have drafted short/long term plans for a proper setup. I feel confident to share that I have attended several courses and am acquiring the skills required for this field. I have imported heaps of beauty care products from various countries for my clients. I feel empowered when people book appointments for various events.

Currently, the challenges I confront are: the taboo and stigma attached to this field; the mind-set that people from good families don’t even think about being makeup artist. I want to break this taboo and let people know there's good and bad in everything; it completely depends on how you use your skills. And the other challenge would be financial constraints in setting up a base for myself and then getting myself recognised as well, as it is always hard for a new comer to set up when there are already well established setups around.

Despite all odds, I feel very strong and independent. I feel content. I am very satisfied for what I have achieved so far. Now I don’t care about people and their bitter views; it’s all about me and my choices. I stay motivated by telling myself that underlying obstacles consistently appear to be frightening however there's nothing impossible in this world: you simply should be persevering with your objectives. Make a solid effort to defeat these obstacles. When you do, you will glance back at your battles and be pleased with your accomplishments.

Seemah strongly believes that women are as capable of being something as men are. The misconception that women cannot be independent is a myth, to have a strong family foundation women need to be educated, confident and encouraged so they can be able members of the society and contribute to its growth.

Good Luck Seemah and all those women who are boxing cultural taboos and trying to make their way out!

Seemah can be followed on Instagram.