Mikkie Bradshaw – Volante
For someone who has always dreamed of being onstage, knowing that I’d be constantly scrutinized for how I look – I was always conscious of that.
From a young age, Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante knew that she wanted to be a stage actress. It was the dream she felt her entire being was made for; she lived and breathed theater. But as many dreamers have found, chasing your passion isn’t without trials and tribulations, and the world of theater is famous for being one of the harshest to break into. From grueling auditions, to erratic rehearsal schedules, and irregular meals, trying to maintain the body that landed you the role seems to be an impossible task.
“They’re always going to say you’re too fat, you’re too skinny, you’re too tall, you’re too short, you’re too dark, you’re too light,” says Mikkie. Speaking as someone who isn’t naturally slim, she’s always been very conscious about her weight. “[These days] Borders are being broken down, but it doesn’t change certain things. If you want to fit a certain role, you have to fit a certain size, whether you like it or not.”
Over time, the constant need to check and measure herself became an obsession, leading the aspiring actress to pursue unsafe solutions that she found online, including purging.
“That’s the danger of the Internet,” says Mikkie. “Everything is so accessible.”
As Mikkie found herself trapped in a cycle of one eating disorder after another, it wasn’t long before the frequent purging took a physical toll, as acid reflux started damaging her vocal chords. With her primary source of income affected, and her dream on the line, Mikkie was well and truly suffering the consequences of her obsession with size. It was then that she decided that enough was enough.
The vocal cord damage was only the beginning; at this point, Mikkie was losing weight, but at the cost of her overall health, as medical conditions began popping up one after another. Attempts to curb the symptoms only resulted in Mikkie misdirecting her attention further, resulting in her never being healthy and slim at the same time. Adding to the pressure were the challenges that came when she and her husband decided to start a family.
With her maternal instincts placing everybody else’s needs before her own, it was only when she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror during a rare breather that she realized she had a problem. It was only then, on seeing the damage she’d done to herself, that she was able to admit to herself that she’d lost sight of herself in pursuit of her dream job, where a single pound could spell the difference between booking a role and unemployment.
“[I realized] I’m my own product,” said Mikkie. “And it has to look good, or I have no sales. This is my instrument, I sing through this, I dance through this, I act through this. I need to keep my instrument in tip-top shape. And if I don’t, my work will suffer.”
“I had the money ready, I was setting up an appointment [for liposuction], and out of nowhere, Marie France fell into my lap,” Mikkie says. “I said, ‘Oh my God, let’s try this first.’ [Because] if I can do something more naturally, I’ll always opt for that.”
Following that moment of realization, Mikkie knew that something had to be done, and that was when she decided to give Marie France a shot.
As of this writing, Mikkie is undergoing Vara Pulse for legs and arms, Thermo Magnetic Pulse for the tummy, Plasti Dermi Treatment and FMS Elite. Mikkie has lost 3 inches off her waist and 2 inches off her tummy on her first two months with Marie France. Check back here or follow us on https://www.facebook.com/mariefranceph for regular updates on how this dreamer’s Marie France journey turns out.