My condition is so bad, that my life
is a bit more sheltered. You can say what you want,
do what you want, be who you want and we don’t care. I think I’m ready to bring the real Kerri out instead of
hiding in the shadows. I was diagnosed about
three years ago with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The everyday struggles for me
are the pain in my spine that always happens when I get up.
It can be very debilitating. But there’s really
no cure for it. I think I started escaping reality
through art and I think that’s what started off my cosplay. What I love about cosplay
is that you can be someone else. I wear a lot of different looks and nothing really speaks
to me as myself. This is not about shoehorning
someone into some fashion trend. We’re not trying to make anybody fit
in. What we’re trying to do is find out whatever’s going on
on the inside and reflect that out
onto the outside. So you’re ready for a big change?
Yeah. When I first got with my other
half, I was healthy, I was myself. I kind of gave him an ultimatum
when I got diagnosed. I said to him, “Leave me,” because I was so ill. Sorry. And he didn’t leave me. Fibro breaks me down. It breaks me down so much
and this is why I want to do this. I wanted to show people
that they can be their true selves when they have an illness. I’m in my shell, at the moment.
I just go, like, hide. Because I do costuming, I always hire a…
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Costuming? Tell me about that. I am a cosplayer.
Oh, my God! How fun. Do you feel yourself, or is it like an escapism
from yourself? Escapism. It’s definitely escapism. I would love to let that
shine through, so that you get to feel
that small amount of escapism kind of every day. It’s so great that we have
the opportunity to express ourselves through costume. My job is about helping people
find their real character. I do actually need to know
a bit about your hair. You said you might give me a bit
of free rein on this colour. So what does that mean? What sort of
colours are in the spectrum? I like fire. I think fire colours
are absolutely beautiful. Oh. I’m thinking a sunset – tequila sunrise blend
of all colours together. Like a fire sunset tequila. I’m so excited. Are you ready to find you? OK, let’s do it. Yes! Before we start with any
of those beautiful, vivid colours, I guess you know this is going
to start with quite a lot of bleach? Yeah. So excited. Are you used to spending this much
time looking in front of the mirror? The confidence… I’ve got
a mirrored wardrobe at home and I have to cover it, because
I can’t look at myself. The condition affects
my self-esteem a lot. I find that I’ve put on weight. I’m a bit fed up of being
just plain old me. When’s the last time you remember looking in the mirror and liking
looking in the mirror? To be honest, the only time I look
in the mirror is when I’m in cosplay. Oh, let me change, Kerri,
let me change that. Ta-da! Look at that. Oh, my God. Hair and make-up shouldn’t be able
to have this power. But it does. And if you just do something
that makes you love what you’re looking at
in the mirror, it is amazing what it can do
to your mind. Because you came in in black…
Yeah. ..do you feel ready
to have more colour? Er, yeah, I’m…
I love bright colours, so that’s a really big
thing for me. I love having colour on my hair
and I’m such a colourful person, normally, like, at the moment, I am so far from that in my life. I’m so drab and just bleurgh! I should be going bowling
next Tuesday and I’m not sure if I want to. I used to love bowling and I can’t
do it any more because… Physically?
Yeah, I have to use the kiddie rail. It feels like I’m cheating… Yeah. ..for bowling. I want to bring your cosplay
into your life, because I think it’s a shame that you’re saving
all the best parts of you for a small period of your time. And I want to bring all the best
parts of you to all of your life. All right, darling, are you ready?
This is going to be your amazing new colour. SHE LAUGHS Ah! It’s good, isn’t it? What…?
Look at that. Wow! Look at that. You don’t need a wig any more, love.
Absolutely not. That’s all you. Thank you.
It’s so good. I’m so happy. Tell me… Tell me about Kerri’s
everyday style. Like what you put on every day. Talk me through your wardrobe.
My wardrobe. Not very much. At the moment,
it’s just like pyjamas, or onesies, or just really like jeans
and T-shirt. The colours I normally wear
are my blacks. Very black, very bland. Yeah, I have
more black in my wardrobe. I would love to have colour
come back into my life. Just generally want to be in
something that’s flamboyant. Enough over the top
that people turn their heads. Who are your style icons? I’ve got a lot of style… I
can’t… Talk me through them. Er… I love, like, the old divas,
like the old Hollywood… Like Elizabeth Taylor,
Marilyn Monroe. Oh! I’m thinking, with the hair that
Sophia’s given you, I’m thinking some kind of
like phoenix rising from the ashes
kind of colour palette. Yes. Yes. Do you reckon that would be
your vibe? Oh, yes. The dream would be to be
my persona, which is Diva K. I want to bring the diva back.
Diva K is my cosplay name. We’re going to take you from
diva of cosplay to Kerri everyday. How does that sound?
That’s amazing. I’m so excited! The same! Let me talk to you about styling. You told me you don’t want
your hair cut. And I don’t think I should. I think we should do you a full
set of beautiful, long extensions. Oh, my God. I would really like a vibrant,
bright, colourful hairstyle that will really make people
turn their heads. What do you think, my love? It’s like fire! Yeah. That’s amazing! They’re going in. OK. All right? What is your style of make-up? Give me give me a little sighting.
What’s your style? Er… My everyday is not wearing any. Don’t wear any at all. I don’t wear make-up every day. I do eyeliner, but because my
hands tremor, because of the fibro, I do it very, very rarely. I love glam. I love glitter,
I love… So you’re talking my language! Yeah. You’re talking my language.
To be a diva, you need to be able to rock a red
lip and I think you can do that. OK. Yeah? Are you ready?
That’s amazing. I’m really going to accentuate
your cupid’s bow, because it is… I just love it, it’s cute. And it’s going to give you, like,
a much fuller lip effect. I actually have a cupid’s bow!
Yeah. I don’t hide it. When you have a chronic illness, it just takes over your life and it
could strip away your identity. When I’m in character,
I feel different. I feel powerful.
I feel like I can do anything. I would love some magical
cosplay in my everyday life. So much has gone into this look.
I just don’t think there’s anyone that deserves it more than Kerri,
right now. Kerri, we wanted
to bring out the colour that was on the inside
to the outside and I think we might have found your
new identity. So, when you’re ready. Three, two, one. Open your eyes. It’s just amazing that this can
happen with someone like me. I feel confident again. I feel ready to go out into
the world and go like, “Hey, look at me again.” Oh, bless her, she couldn’t speak.
It was so sweet. I never realised I could look
like this. I’ve found my true identity. And I’m going to flaunt it
as much as I can. This look is exactly
what she wanted – led by her. That’s what makes this makeover
so special. CHEERING