‘I’m judged for being a glam mechanic – men call me weak but I prove them wrong’
A female mechanic is often judged over her glamorous appearance.
When Peyton Cicconi isn't working on cars, she's striking a pose as an alternative model.
She drives around wearing sky-high stilettos – but some find it hard to get their heads around how she juggles both jobs.
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The 25-year-old, from California in the US, has been branded "too small" to work on motors.
She's also had to put up with catcalling and mean comments in the male-dominated industry – but doesn't let this hold her back.
Peyton said: "People don't believe me when I tell them I am a mechanic.
"Especially when I'm dressed up in something glamorous or when I am wearing high heels…
"I've received every comment in the book.
"I've been cat-called. I've been told I'm too small, that I'm too weak.
"People say this isn't a job for a woman. The majority of men don't take you seriously until you prove it to them.
"I've gotten death threats. Men leave mean comments on my posts online. They try to bully me.
"Men are threatened by a woman who can do everything herself.
"Men don't support me simply because I do modelling and I am a mechanic.
"Surprisingly many people in the automotive industry don't like tattoos and still look down on them. I've faced lots of judgement and assumptions.
"It is actually easier to do the work of a mechanic, the professional side of people taking you seriously is more challenging."
Peyton gets through the negativity by drawing inspiration from the strong women in her Italian family.
She said: "My mum did construction, bartending, sailed boats and was a fisherwomen.
"My aunt made pasta and wine from scratch and rode motorcycles.
"My aunt owned her own business on the island doing upholstery on cars and building her own house from the ground up."
Following in their footsteps, the businesswoman spent £135,000 setting up her own mechanic business.
She is also an alternative model for goth clothing brands including Killstar and Vera's Eyecandy.
While it can be tough at times, she's glad to be challenging perceptions.
Peyton added: "Old men can't believe that I'm a mechanic.
"It's funny to see their faces once I start talking about cars.
"Women often give me compliments. Even children come up to me to talk to me…
"I am an advocate for fair treatment of women in the industry and I've had many women come forward to me.
"They tell me that they have stayed quiet about the abuse in the industry due to fear of retaliation and being banished from the local community."
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