Glam plasterer faces sexist comments because she does construction wearing fake nails

Hannah says nails and makeup don’t stop her from being good at her job (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

A teenage plasterer says she faces constant criticism for working while wearing makeup and long acrylic nails.

Hannah Uddin, from Coventry, West Midlands, says she has been branded ‘attention seeking’ for pursuing a job in construction and has even been told by men that she is ‘taking up space’ on her construction course.

After the 18-year-old shared footage of herself plastering walls wearing her acrylic nails on TikTok, she split opinion as some called her a ‘girl boss’ while others questioned why she went to work wearing makeup.

But the criticism has not deterred the construction student, who says it encourages her to keep going – even though people told her the qualification would be a ‘waste of time’ for her.

‘Just because I wear makeup and have long nails, that doesn’t stop me from doing what I like. That was the point of the video,’ says Hannah.

‘The way I see it – if I look good, I feel good, then I’ll be able to work good.

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‘I’ve been getting nails like this since I was 13, so it’s normal to me now. I can work away with nails.

‘I have broken a nail before whilst carrying plaster bags, but it doesn’t upset me or anything. It’s only happened to me once.’

Hannah says she was inspired to get into construction by her dad, who would take her to work on building sites from the age of 12.

Since starting a construction course at college, she has been supported by her family and teachers and she is hoping to inspire other women to consider a career in the construction industry.

‘Since the video, I’ve had a few direct messages on Instagram and TikTok from people asking me how I got into construction,’ says Hannah.

Hannah says she has only broken a nail once while working (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘I did not expect the video to get so many views. It was a big surprise. The majority of the comments were nice and positive, so it gave me a boost to carry on. And it was nice to see that other girls wanted to get into construction after seeing that you can.

‘I did have a few supportive comments on the video hyping me up and calling me a “girl boss”. They were saying how I was proving stereotypes wrong.

‘There were quite a few negative comments on the TikTok video too. I think they were all from men.

‘I think a lot of these comments stem from a stereotypical view. Many men do this job, and for some of them, it’s not normal to see a woman doing it.

‘I think it does hurt their ego a bit as well. Negative comments won’t stop me being who I am, it pushes me even more.’

It’s not just on TikTok where Hannah has faced sexist comments, she also received some negative remarks since opting to take a construction course.

‘When I was applying to the course, I was speaking to a male teacher about it. He had to ask a few times, before moving on, “Are you sure you want to do this? Is anybody forcing you to do this?”

‘Hopefully it’ll be the new normal and people will stop judging and criticising’ (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘Certain people find it hard to believe that a “girly girl” would want to look into something like this, because it is a male-dominated job, and it is a bit difficult, I’m not going to lie.’

Hannah says she is the only woman in her whole department. When she turned up on the first day, some of the boys told her she was in the wrong class.

‘Everyone questioned me and I had a few people make sexist jokes about it,’ she says.

‘The teacher on my course has helped me a lot as well, as he has shut down boys in the class when they’d make comments. He supports me.

Hannah says she has been told she is ‘taking up space’ (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘The boys in my class would tell me I’m not doing it right, that the course was a waste of my time, that I was taking up somebody’s space in the class. It’s really shocking that in 2022 and people still think like that.’

Hannah credits her interest in building to her dad, who is a plasterer, bricklayer and interior designer.

‘He’s my biggest inspiration,’ she says. ‘I used to always volunteer to go along with my dad when he’d work on projects. He’d let me tag along and learn the basics.

‘I enjoy doing it, and as I was looking into it, I realised it was a good career path to follow. It’s the one industry that will never die out – people will always need something built.’

Further down the line, Hannah wants to put her skills to work and flip houses for sale.

‘I want to buy and sell houses in a smart way,’ she says. ‘Rather than spend money on builders, plumbers and electricians, I’d rather learn it all myself.

‘If it’s something you like to do, it’s more like a hobby than a job. I love the physical side of the work, and I like the effort put into it.

‘I see a lot of women in construction on TikTok. There are women getting into it, so hopefully it’ll be the new normal and people will stop judging and criticising.

‘It’s not just with construction, it’s all male-dominated jobs. Hopefully it’ll become the new normal, it just takes time I guess.’

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