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

 

 

November 21, 2018

Out Of The Bubble podcast with Jo Moseley (HealthyHappy50)

Episode 1 of Out Of The Bubble podcast is out and I got to talk to the inspiring Jo Moseley otherwise known on social media as HealthyHappy50. Here are some of the best bits!

I've known Jo for about 12 years, our children went to the same primary school together and then we both went through similar lifestyle changes, also known as divorce. I've been quietly watching and admiring the work Jo has been doing and her journey. She has grown and changed over the years and I have full on admiration on how she has transformed her life and what she has achieved so far, although I have a feeling she has only just getting started.

How do you describe yourself?

I still describe myself as a mum first and foremost and as a single mum that will always be my biggest thing. I have a very normal day job. I'm developing an interest in adventure, little adventures, environmental aspects and all the things about wellness and well-being around being outside and doing fun little adventures.

You say 'little adventures' but some of the things that you've done to date I wouldn't class as little. Can you tell everyone what your first challenge was and how you got started.

The first challenge was probably the biggest. In 2013 my mum died of Lymphoma, four days before Christmas and I decided to do something in her memory. The only real sport I did at the time was indoor rowing so I rode a million metres and a marathon, which basically means rowing 10,000 metres every other night for 8 months. We raised just over £10,000 for the MacMillan charity.It was a great way to honour her memory and it was great for me to help work through the grief and turn it in to something positive. So I started with something big and now I do lots of little adventures, wild swimming, paddle boarding, running, picking up litter and surfing.

How did you start indoor rowing in the first place?

A few months before I had been crying in the supermarket, with my sons when I just had one of those moments when I put my bags down and said I just cant do this anymore.I wasn't sleeping, I was really stressed, mum and dad were going through chemo, a friend lent me a rowing machine which really started to help me sleep and it started from there.

So most people might do a challenge and then think okay I've done it, that's fantastic and then go have a cup of tea and put their feet up. You didn't do that did you?

No I think I realised how much better I felt, I was 48 and i think some of the crying wasn't just life overwhelming but it was the early stages of the menopause but I didn't realise it.  I never asked my mum about the menopause, it just wasn't talked about. The symptoms were creeping up on me without me knowing so I did some research and realised these symptoms, crying, aching joints, not sleeping, feeling more anxious were symptoms of the menopause.I realised exercise had really helped me feel better and it would be silly of me not to continue.These self care routines to get me through the day became more enjoyable so once I was swimming, running and eventually paddle boarding they were activities that were so much fun, why wouldn't I want to do these things on a daily basis.

How did you get involved in the This Girl Can, Sport of England campaign?

The first time was after completing the Great North Swim and I took a picture with these really huge goggles on and they had this thing where you could upload an image and choose a slogan , one of the slogans was 'Damn right I look hot'. So there is me a 50 year old woman with massive goggles and a yellow cap and they saw it and chose me, I did a little bit of radio interviews and they were just broadening it out to fifty year old's and moving way from focusing on younger women.

The second time recently I wrote to them and told them my story thinking they wouldn't necessarily be interested but it was more about me being brave. I had this idea that if I wrote to people , the more I got no's the less it would worry me and they said yes.They put it out there and so many women said thank you for sharing the tough times and being so honest, I realised the more honest I was about the crying and difficult times and being injured the more normal I was, the more relatable I was the more It inspired people.

Were you sporty when you were younger?

When I was little up to secondary school age I was doing all the things i'm doing now, I didn't think they were sporty , I was called a tomboy, now I would have been called a sporty girl.I would be out climbing trees, throw myself in to the sea, try and skateboard, ride my bike. I've got a picture of me on my Chopper looking cool in my Bay City Roller tartan trousers but then when I got to school it was all very formal and that just turned me off.I loved gymnastics, doing headstands and cartwheels but school stuff just turned me off. From my late twenties to my late forties I did just about nothing, maybe one 5k walk and I did the Moonwalk when my marriage was collapsing.So its always been in me but for many years it was dormant.

So after all these challenges you've now discovered this real passion for paddle boarding , is that your main love?

I think I love all of them, I love anything to do with the water.Paddle boarding is easy in the sense that I live near a reservoir so I can do it in my everyday, whereas surfing and body boarding I have to go to the sea.

One of the things I don't think you realise is the impact your social media posts have on other people, I see your posts out running, picking up litter being outdoors it makes me want to get out and do something.I think social media for the over 40's is a really inspiring place. How do you find social media?

I love Twitter because everyone was so supportive, it's quite quick and you can learn lots of news things about conferences and events. Instagram is very pretty and very supportive and kind. You can curate a really kind environment and I've made loads of friends that I've actually met. You can't make friends over night but this is a different group of friends built upon shared goals and dreams and that brings them alive. I've not met anyone that I've then gone away and thought I'm so glad I met.

I would say it takes a lot of confidence to get out there and meet new people, have you always had that confidence or has it come with everything you've been doing?

I think I've had it and lost it. I think babies, marriages, miscarriages, divorce, grief, they dampen who you are, it's just a case of excavating through all those difficult situations and revealing who you probably are. I am more in my fifties like I was aged 9 or10 than I have ever been.I'm totally cool with the idea that I'm uncool. I'll never be the one who walks in to a room and they'll think wow she's so glamorous, they'll probably think when did she brush her hair but I'm cool with that just as I was when I was at nine or ten without the angst of teenage years. There's a real liberation now. I think your thirties and forties are really difficult because you are establishing who you are and there's a lot of keeping upness which if I was back there again I would say don't even try, follow your own thing. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, it's just not relevant to your life and I still have to say that to myself sometimes.

Do you still get scared when you are doing new things? How do you over come it?

God, yeah.

I think i've learnt you only have to be brave enough to do the next thing, you don't have to climb the mountain just take the next step. You've just got to believe in yourself and see what happens. I'm going to give it everything I've got but not necessarily attach it to the outcome.

You've got quite involved in litter picking, plogging and environmental issues. Can you tell us more about it?

I have always loved the sea, my dissertation was about the environment back in the 1980's, I've been more aware of the problems with plastic and like most people watched David Attenborough. It's just been a rediscovery of something that I was interested in when I was younger. At the beginning of the year I decided to do a litter pick or beach clean every day and post pictures and see if anyone else would join in. The first thing I got invited to talk about what I was doing was at a running festival, it was just one of those relationships that I had built on Twitter. It always amazes me that people are watching you from a distance without you realising in a good way and thinking she's quite consistent about the subject, then someone comes along and says would you like to be involved in this, I never imagined it. It's interesting because at the beginning of the year I had written a list of crazy goals for the year,when I looked back a lot of them had come true, even if from a slightly different angle.

Do you think you've found your purpose other than being a mum and a daughter?

Yes massively. In fact I see the link between the environment and well-being is the link I want to share with people. Particularly at our age there is so much about our own well being, going through the menopause, the mental changes and there are so many things that we can do with a purpose to help bring everything together. So much of the environmental and adventure world is dominated by younger people and I just want to say look actually we have a contribution and we can have these little adventures that can be hugely enjoyable.

What's your current challenge and what's next?

I am running a 1000km this year, so I'm currently on about 750km. I'm thinking of doing a longer run next, possibly picking litter. Maybe there is one big thing in me when my boys have left, we'll see!

What song motivates you?

This Is Me from The Greatest Showmen by Keala Settle

What book inspired you?

Playing Big by Tara Mohr or anything written by Brene Brown

Who inspires you?

Taryn Brumfitt, founder of the Body Image Movement

You can follow Jo over on Instagram and Twitter @healthyhappy50 or on her website www.healthyhappy50.com

To listen to the audible podcast please click on the podcast link or visit

I'll be back in two weeks when I talk with Zoe McNulty from School Of Strut.

In the meantime...keep being fabulous x

May 26, 2018

Women over 40 wear lingerie too!

As a woman in her forties I still love to sit down and read fashion magazines and I'm guilty of losing hours shopping and browsing on line. I love fashion and that includes admiring and buying nice underwear. I am a 34FF bra size so that in its self limits my accessibility, although there are so many more brands doing my size fashionably now. However what I find completely demoralising as a shopper is that they are always modelled on young, fresh faced models who look stunning with their youthful bodies. But trying to imagine what I might look like in my 48 year old body compared to the image is never a positive comparison. Our body shape changes, are skin isn't as tight and firm as it used to be, I need more support up front!

But I can still look and feel good in the right lingerie without being constantly reminded that I am ageing. It does leave you with a feeling off being written off by the fashion industry and things need to change.

Lingerie set (XL) and dressing gown , Gifted from F&F Clothing. Photographer Mya Fawcett, MUA Emma Denton.

Whilst there are some very positive brands embracing this change such as Berlei, Panache and Lonely Label wouldn't it be nice if all brands got on board and didn't just see it as a quick PR eye catcher for individual campaigns but don't carry it through the rest of their website or advertising.

This Berlei campaign is the way forward and they are at the fore front of embracing all ages in their continued advertising. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we saw these kind of images every time we opened a magazine.

How amazing does this older model look for Lonely Label lingerie, I look at this photo and I can't help thinking that if we saw women of all ages we would be less insecure about growing older and it would help our self confidence and body positivity as we change through the decades.

Whilst I think this photo of 57 year old Julianne Moore modelling for Triumph is beautiful, I only hope they continue down this road in their ongoing branding and images. I want to be able to relate to the models in magazines and fashion branding ,please don't alienate us, after all we have money to spend and make up a high percentage of your sales!

Panache lingerie set 34FF

Basque set Bravissimo 34FF.

More from the blog

Social Bubble - On Instagram

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.
 

SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER

[mailerlite_form form_id=1]