March 1, 2021

Finding body confidence in midlife.

How I have overcome my lack of body confidence to become a silver haired curve model, modelling lingerie at 50.

Rachel Peru model

If someone would have told me in my twenties and thirties that I would become a full-time model in my late forties I would never have believed them.

To the point where I actually booked to have a breast reduction because I hated the size of them and honestly thought this would make me feel happier, thankfully I reconsidered. It makes me feel sad that I wasted so much time and energy on these thoughts instead of living life to the full.

I was very shy when I was younger and didn’t have a big career mapped out when I left school, I really wanted to go to Drama school, but my lack of self- belief held me back. I spent fifteen years in various retail roles until I had my three children and then retrained as a nursery school assistant as it fitted in with family life easily. I found myself getting divorced at 39 and decided to finally go to University and gained a 2.1 Education Studies degree aged 41. I was delighted and thought I had finally got my career mapped out and imagined a new career in teaching. Life has a habit of turning plans upside down when you least expect it and shortly after my eldest daughter became ill with crippling and anxiety which resulted in her being home schooled and me having to leave my full-time job. Little did I know what was in store for me in the following years.

Four years ago, I began a new career, aged 46 as a model. I’m a UK size 14-16, with grey hair and a 34G bust.

I didn’t plan to do this; it just sort of happened at a time when I least expected it. After getting divorced at 39 I went to university and gained a BA in Education Studies and worked as a nursery teacher which I loved. My eldest daughter was struggling with severe anxiety which in the end led to home schooling and me leaving work. This really knocked my confidence being at home and I definitely felt very isolated for what felt like a long period of time. I was asked to model in a local McMillan charity fashion show by a close friend and although nervous about it I agreed. This was just the thing to help me regain my confidence, because it took me out of my comfort zone, and it was exhilarating. I had also decided to stop colouring my hair after battling grey hair since I was a teenager. It’s hard to explain but for the first time I truly felt like me, this in turn helped my confidence grow even more. After volunteering for McMillan for a few years I decided to send photos off to agencies after some encouragement from others and to my surprise I was offered contracts.

I am now signed exclusively with Bridge models in London and I love my new career, I get to meet so many different people, travel and wear some fabulous clothes, including swimwear and lingerie.

But the thing I have become most passionate about is being able to represent women in midlife and help challenge the media and fashion industry.  I am finally happy in my skin and have never felt more confident about my body, but I am aware so many women in midlife come to a body confidence crisis and when you look at how invisible in media, marketing and the fashion industry it’s hardly surprising.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go lingerie shopping in a department store and see models in their forties and fifties as well as the younger women? I want to be able to relate to the images and imagine how I would look in them, instead we are bombarded by youth which often leads us down a negative ageing body comparison.

This is what has led me to create the ‘Rediscover You’ online course because I want to be able to share all my experience and knowledge gained,  of the things that have worked for me over the last ten years that has helped me become happy in my body and move forward in life. I have recently gained a BodyLove diploma and am now working towards my Life Purpose coaching qualifications. I can't wait to launch the Rediscover You self study course and group coaching courses starting on the 29th March to reach other women that need to re find their body confidence.

If you would like to know more please get in touch. You can email me at rachel@outofthebubblepodcast.com or why not book a free 30 minute telephone call to see how my course can help you.

Book your free call here!

Keep being fabulous

Rachel x

 

 

February 12, 2021

Midlife Inspirathon- Spreading midlife positivity

A 13 hour live marathon day, interviewing inspiring women, spreading some midlife positivity.

Wow what a day to remember!

Where the idea came from

When I first had the idea to celebrate the launch of the new Out of the Bubble podcast series  I never imagined it would grow into such a big event. During the last 14 months my modelling work had obviously dwindled due to the pandemic,  so having the podcast to keep working provided me with a sense of purpose.

I knew I wanted to create an event where I could give something back, as women supporting other women, is at the heart of my personal brand, so creating a fundraising event seemed like the perfect fit.

What is a Midlife Inspirathon?

The Midlife Inspirathon is a full day of live interviews. over on my Instagram page , interviewing 22 women all with inspiring stories to tell, whilst raising money for two women's charities to support.

Women Supporting Women

The Motherwell Cheshire charity, CEO Kate Blakemore has become a familiar face on the podcast.  I am constantly blown away by Kate and her teams dedication to help girls and women from all ages and backgrounds offering a wide range of services.

Last year I started to build a relationship with the Smart Works Leeds charity after joining them as a guest on body confidence panel so I was delighted to have the chair Helen Oldham join me for an interview.

Who joined me?

What a pleasure to interview 22 women all with inspiring stories, live on Instagram starting at 8.30am and finishing at 9.30pm. From midlife body confidence activists, authors, midlife mavericks and every day women all with amazing stories to tell. The message that age is not a barrier to following our dreams, reinventing ourselves and finding new passion and purpose was loud and clear. I was left feeling inspired for the next decade and motivated to keep stepping up and removing my self made barriers to make sure I achieve so much more.

 

 

 

 

A celebrity line up-

When women support one another incredible things can happen.

I was so grateful to have everyone join me and for celebrities , including BAFTA winning television and radio presenter Katy Hill who is now stepping in to a new arena after training as a personal development and empowerment coach supporting the event.

Well known Atomic Kitten Natasha Hamilton who has also had a successful solo career, along with actress, singer, presenter, podcaster and founder of the lifestyle community The Capsule Natalie Anderson.

Sally Carman interrupted her busy Coronation Street schedule to talk to me about her role as an ambassador for the Motherwell Cheshire's Believe project. A project that supports women who find themselves in a vulnerable position, often homeless, with children whom are taking way from them into care or placed for adoption. Sally took up the ambassador role after her character Abi Franklin had a very similar story line.

All the interviews are now available to watch on IGTV here

Thank You!

The event has raised £1380 so far and I have say a huge thank you to all the sponsors as without them it wouldn't have been possible.

In no particular order-

Bridge models, Clair Mackenzie, The Business Revolution, Clockface Beauty, Copper & White, Susan Esco, Dye2befree, Mandy Taylor- founder of Charity Angels, Cloud9, Nima marketing, ChocolatePR, Jacynth Bassett, Jo Cusden, Audrey, Annie Stirk, Wear My Freedom, Yourbody.love

Final Thoughts

We can not allow our fear of failure stop us from pursuing our dreams in this next chapter of life.

All the women I interviewed are grabbing hold of midlife and making sure that they are certainly not invisible.

There's a real sense of midlife community, women who are supporting one another and reaching down to others who may need a hand up. I only hope we can build on this and hope that the media , fashion and advertising companies start to truly reflect the real power of women over 40 who are shining brightly later in life.

Don't forget you can also find lots more inspiration over on the Out of the Bubble podcast.

I'm just getting started!

Keep being fabulous x

 

 

January 20, 2021

Midlife Inspirathon- 12 hours of midlife positivity

Sending out a positive midlife message with 12 hours of live interviews, raising money for two women's charities.

Join me on Monday 8th February over on Instagram where I will be hosting a live Midlife Inspirathon of interviews. Twelve hours of sharing a diverse collection of women, all with inspiring stories to tell.

I have been busy preparing for the launch of the 2021 Out of the Bubble podcast and I can't tell you how much I have appreciated all the women that I've interviewed over the last year. Like everyone else I have been missing that human connection and I gain my energy from being around people so zoom interviews have been a huge boost to my daily routine.

Why?

With this in mind I knew I wanted to give something back as I'm hugely grateful to the women that I get to talk with, who share their stories with such honesty. To all the women that listen and support the show. Women supporting women is at the heart of my Out of the Bubble brand so what better way to show this than to organise a fundraiser, doing what I love and raising money to support two women's charities.

 

Midlife Inspirathon with Rachel Peru

 

Who?

We have seen a huge increase in women finding themselves out of work during this pandemic and Smart Works is a national charity which supports women from all backgrounds get back in to employment. Providing coaching to give them confidence and self belief to succeed in the workplace. As well providing high quality interview appropriate clothing which can be a real financial barrier for some women. I am raising money for the Smart Work Leeds branch.

Please visit their website to find out more-https://smartworks.org.uk/leeds-smart-works/

After interviewing the CEO Kate Blakemore on the podcast I was blown away by her and the whole teams dedication to helping women of all ages and backgrounds through a wide range of services. Offering a safe place , free from judgement to often vulnerable women. Supporting them to re-find their confidence, improve life skills and access the services they need.

Please visit their website to find out more-https://motherwellcheshirecio.com

You can listen to Kate's interview here.

Stepping out of my comfort zone!

To be honest I'm half excited and half daunted at the thought of being on Instagram live from 8.30am until 9.30pm and it's definitely taking me out of my comfort zone. I've committed to going on Instagram Live every morning just for 5 minutes so I can become more comfortable using it and get used to the set up so if you see my name pop up please come and say hello! As Out of the Bubble is all about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zones I am determined to practice what I preach!

I don't know why the whole IG live thing feels uncomfortable , especially as I more than happy joining others and interviewing women from all walks of life that I've never met before. From listening to other women it seems we are good at hiding behind others and keeping ourselves out of the spotlight and I think I have been guilty of that with the podcast. It's much easier to shine the light on my guests each week than place myself their when the time is needed. Perhaps it's something we've been taught from an early age, not to be show too much confidence for fear of being called a show off or seen as seeking attention. I've come to the conclusion at 50 that if we don't blow our own trumpets no one is going to do it for us!

What are you working towards that takes you out of your comfort zone? I'd really love to know.

You can always email me at rachel@outofthebubblepodcast.com or leave a message on the Facebook page @stepoutofthebubble

 


Who will be joining me?

Luckily I have some amazing women joining on the day that will keep me company and my energy levels high. Here's a little taster of some of the guests who will be joining me-

Natalie Anderson- Actress, presenter, podcaster and founder of the lifestyle brand The Capsule.

Natasha Hamilton- Singer, podcaster and founder of Live Better with Natasha

Jo Gardiner- Contestant in Series 2 of Race Across the World

Misba Khan- Adventure walker and explorer who was part of the 2018 12 woman expedition to ski the last part of the North Pole http://www.euroarabianexpedition.com/

Stephanie Hirst-  Award winning and one of the UK'S biggest radio stars and BBC Radio Leeds presenter

Katy Hill- Well loved television presenter , Personal Development Coach, Speaker, Podcaster, Broadcaster and Writer.

and so many more surprises! #watchthisspace

How you can donate?

I have set up a Just giving page so if anyone feels they can donate, no matter how small, every penny matters to these charities right now.

(Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.)

I hope you can come and take a listen and watch the show, please drop by @rachelperu1 and say hello. You're support on the day will be hugely appreciated!

 

 

 

October 5, 2020

How to be more body confident in midlife.

I really struggled to like my body in my twenties and thirties and it wasn’t until I hit my forties that my attitude started to change. The change wasn’t created by some amazing diet and trust me I have probably tried all of them but through getting on with my life and stepping out of my comfort zone. I actually went for a breast reduction when I was thirty because I hated my large chest so much I thought it was going to change how I felt about myself, I’m so glad I decided against it as now love my big boobs and they are very much part of me.

Midlife body confidence

Hitting midlife can be real time of change and our body confidence can take a knock.

Here’s some simple tips that can make a real difference to how you feel about your body and bring back some of that lost confidence.

 

  1. Ditch the weighing scales.

Your value does not lie with the number on the scales. I wasted so many years stepping on the scales every day and it doesn’t do you any good.

My mood of the day was being dictated to what the numbers told me in a morning and if I’d put weight on, I’d be in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I no longer weigh myself and it’s liberating.

 

  1. Invest in your lingerie.

When was the last time you got your bra size measured? A recent survey undertaken by the Underlines magazine in 2019 showed that 79% of women are wearing both the wrong band and cup size. Our bodies fluctuate and we need to get re-measured regularly. I used to feel guilty about investing in lingerie for myself, but I’ve realised it’s important to my mental well-being, it makes me feel good when I step out of the door. Time to drop the guilt and spend money investing in lovely matching lingerie that makes YOU feel good.

 

  1. Try something new!

Are you sitting on an urge to rekindle an old hobby or desperate to try something new? What’s stopping you? As we get older, we often fear failure more than we used to, but starting something new, whether it’s a hobby, learning a new craft or language or trying a new sport can give us a new lease of life.

 

  1. Get moving.

Find a sport or activity that you actual enjoy and don’t view sport as a chore. I used to really hate school sports and it put me off trying new activities for years, but I now go out running, dog walking and love swimming. It brings me enjoyment and time to switch off from the hustle and bustle of life for a while. I've found that it's helping my menopause symptoms better too, helps clear my head and feel less anxious. The fact that it’s good for health is of course an extra benefit.

 

  1. Be kind to yourself and show your body some love.

We wouldn’t say the things to our friends that we say to our own bodies so try and become friends with your body. I find writing a gratitude journal focusing on my body made a difference. Write 3 things that you’re grateful to your body for each day.

Be kind to your body

If you'd like some more body confidence tips why not try my Top Ten Midlife Body Confidence Free download -

Kick Start Your Body Confidence Here 

 

I'd love to hear what makes you feel body confident too? Drop me a line at rachel@outofthebubblepodcast.com

Keep being fabulous

Rachel x

 

 

October 8, 2018

Women over 40 are not invisible. When will fashion brands and advertising catch up?

When JD Williams partnered with ZPRSoho to create a protest against the lack of representation on the high street for the over 45's I jumped at the chance to be involved. It's something I am passionate about and equally frustrated by it too.

I love fashion and it wasn't until i hit my 40's that my body confidence really grew and I love experimenting with different looks. I do shop right across the board in high street stores, including Top Shop, Next, Mango etc etc. I will walk in to a store and try hard to ignore the clear signs that this is aimed at a younger generation, pretty hard to do when you are bombarded with bill boards of young women modelling the clothes, don't get me started on the size 8 mannequins! I am also aware that not all women reach there 40's with a lots of body confidence and a new found sense of direction, making the thought of walking into high street stores that much harder and intimidating. JD Williams commissioned a report with women over 45 and sadly 70% of them felt ignored by the high street. Something has to change!

I dream of a day when high street stores show women of all ages wearing their clothes, how inspiring would it be to be able to relate to someone your age in an outfit. Shopping would be a much happier experience for everyone involved.

Photo with Ava Fay Thompson, both wearing Next.

Pretty in Pink with Ava Fay Thompson, wearing Next jumpsuits.

That's why I am so happy and proud to have been involved in JDWilliams AW18 'I Am' campaign, which has really showcased diversity with relatable women. Love this photo with Annie Hawkins, Anna Parkes, Savi Reynolds and Paulina Byrne.

Autumn I AM campaign with JDWilliams.

So four women including the beautiful Jilly Johnson, who is regularly seen voicing her opinions on the failure of the fashion industry to represent the older women set off on a busy Oxford Street armed with placards and loud voices.

Oxford Street protest with Jilly Johnson for JDWilliams with ZPR.

Jilly Johnson protesting with JDWilliams for better representation for older women on the high street.

It may only have been a small step but we have to keep pushing those boundaries and reminding the industry that we are not going away and need to be seen and heard.

I AM not going quietly!

I AM NOT INVISIBLE! Wearing Next leopard print dress and my favourite leather jacket.

 

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OUT OF THE BUBBLE

Out of the Bubble champions women who are embracing life and leaving a trail of inspiration along the way. Inspiring others to become more confident in body and mind.

We all have a story to tell.
 

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