Glow Up’s Alex was grieving while filming for the show (Picture: BBC)
Glow Up series 3 star Alex has revealed her grandad died while she was filming for the show earlier this year.
The 27-year-old freelance make-up artist from Liverpool became the fourth contestant to be eliminated from the competition, after losing a Face Off to Face Off assassin Samah.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, following her exit from the BBC Three programme, Alex said that she was coping with grief behind-the-scenes.
‘I had a lot of stuff going on,’ Alex said. ‘My grandad died. I just got in my head. I can only blame myself and it was how I responded to the pressure.
‘He was super proud of me,’ she shared, adding that she didn’t want his death to become a sob story on the show.
‘I think doing the show was the right thing,’ Alex added.
Alex’s make-up look featured a sewn shut mouth (Picture: BBC)
In the second episode of the BBC Three show, the hopefuls were challenged to produce a look on a model based around the theme of freedom. Alex’s look was deeply personal and reflected her ordeal.
It featured a sewn shut mouth to reflect the difficulty in speaking out, as well as blisters to show repressed feelings bubbling up to the surface.
Alex reflected on using her trauma as part of the brief and said telling her story was freeing.
‘I spoke about being raped and how that stopped me in my academic career but it led me to make-up,’ she told us. ‘Talking about that and processing it on the TV was like a weight being lifted. My confidence has grown and I feel like that’s not going to hold me back anymore. I’m just ready to fly.’
Of her sexual assault, she shared: ‘When it first happened to me, I was Googling it and trying to find other testimonies. Unless you’re reading a blog or something, the accounts are very dramatized.
‘Depictions of people who have been raped on TV are also very dramatic and sad.
‘I wanted to show that this is my strength.’
Alex was the fourth make-up artist to be eliminated (Picture: BBC)
After the episode aired, Alex said she received hundreds of messages from viewers who said they resonated with her story.
‘It’s such a nice feeling,’ she said. ‘Maybe my make-up looks weren’t the strongest but I’ve been able to tell a story that resonates with so many people and be a tiny bit of hope that you are so much more than your trauma and you can free yourself from it – and you can channel it into your art.
‘That’s been the best part of the experience for me, connecting with other people maybe at different people in their recovery.’
Alex also flew the flag for lesbian women and the working class during her tenure of the show and was proud to represent the community.
‘A lot of the lesbians we see on TV are more butch and even now there are so few lesbians on TV,’ she continued. ‘The messages that I’ve got from people who see themselves in me are just amazing.’
BBC Three’s Glow Up is streaming now on BBC iPlayer, with new episodes every Tuesday at 7pm.
Victim Support offers support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. You can contact them on 0333 300 6389.