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воскресенье, 9 апреля 2017 г.

What happened when we gave five women an ultimate makeover...

When Ultimo lingerie founder Michelle Mone launched a new range of couture frocks, she wanted 14 ‘real’ women to advertise them. We treated a select few of them to an A-list transformation...

Taking over the first floor of a central London townhouse, a team of make-up artists, hairdressers and stylists is in full swing, getting the models camera-ready. This is a fashion shoot with a difference: today's models are real women, with real bodies. Aged 20-53, they range from size 8-16 and they all celebrate their shape. The idea is down to Michelle Mone, 38, mum and self-made millionaire, thanks to her successful Ultimo lingerie range.
"We've always used celebrities in our campaigns," she says. "But I get thousands of letters from ladies asking why we don't use them. And I'm a size 12, with hips, boobs and a bum. I thought: 'Why not?'"
When Michelle announced this on Facebook in May, she was inundated with applications. She says: "It was hard to select 14 women, but they represent what it is to be 'real'. They prove you don't have to be 18 and a size 6 to look glam." Meet five of the women reshaping our views on body image.
Michelle (centre) with her 14 body heroes

'You don't have to be a size zero to look good'

Claire Hill, 25, is an HR officer. She lives in Doncaster with her boyfriend Gavin, 27, and is a size 10. She says:
"Even though I'm a regular size 10, when I found out that I would be wearing a bodycon dress for today's shoot, I have to admit I was pretty worried.

My first thought was that my hips were going to look huge in something so tight! I hate my hips and have many of the same body hang-ups as any other woman. Thankfully, I love the dress and how I look in it. It just proves that you shouldn't be ashamed of your curves. And you don't have to be a size zero to look good.
I would say that I'm representative of all the real women out there. I hold down a full-time job, I come home after work most nights feeling quite tired, and I think it's important to try to make time for myself, for my boyfriend and for our friends and family. After all, that's the most important thing in life."
'I've got wobbly bits - who hasn't'

Margaret Dunsmuir, 45, is an office administrator from Rutherglen in Lanarkshire. She is divorced, has three sons aged 25, 23, and 18, and is a size 14. She says:
"I've been through my fair share of stress over the years. With one son in the Army and another in the Navy, as a mother you constantly worry. That's why I don't obsess too much about my body - I've got a few wobbly bits, but who hasn't?

I was 2st heavier last year, I've lost it gradually by going for lots of long walks - I walk for at least an hour, two or three times a week.
People think that once you get to 40, you're past it, but I think you can look good, regardless of your age. It's how you feel about yourself that matters. Whenever I see an item of clothing on a model, I tend to think: 'Well, of course it looks good on her - she doesn't have a real body!' But I do think women look better with a fuller figure. Everyone should celebrate the shape they are, as long as they're healthy."
'I'm realistic about my body and the way I look'

Emma Broadbent, 32, is a marketing manager. She lives with her fiancé in Leeds and is a size 10. She says:

"When I was younger, I was more susceptible to images of women's bodies in adverts and on TV. If I tried on a dress, I'd look in the mirror and hear a little voice in my head saying: 'I wish I had longer legs' or 'I wish my boobs were bigger.' But you get more self-confidence as you get older. I stay healthy by doing yoga, running and dancing. Now, I'm more realistic. I know everyone's different and that's just the way it is."
'Beauty comes from making yourself feel good'

Hayley Matthews, 29, is a radio presenter from Edinburgh, and is a size 16. She says:
"I'm not a conventional model. I'm 5ft 5in and a size 16, but real women don't have perfect figures - we're all completely different shapes and sizes. I believe that beauty comes from making yourself feel good and doing the best with what you have. I think women should support each other, which is what I always try to do on my radio show. I give advice and share my embarrassing stories.

For example, I wouldn't normally wear a figure-hugging dress like this because I once got stuck in a tight dress when I was trying it on in a shop - and I especially wouldn't usually wear a satin one! But it's actually really comfortable. I feel like Nigella Lawson on today's shoot, which is great as she's one of my role models! I've always tried to embrace my curves, and if no one else likes my big bum, it's tough, because I do."
'Seeing women who are just like me is a real boost'

Annemarie Knox, 48, is a school administrator from Clydebank in Dunbartonshire. She is separated, has two daughters aged 24 and 18, and is a size 12. She says:
"When I found out that I'd been chosen for the campaign, I was nervous. I've never done anything like this before.

I'm just a normal mum who's had problems in my life, like when I needed an emergency hysterectomy in 2002 after an operation to remove a cyst on my ovary, as well as the breakdown of my marriage in 2007. I lost a lot of self-esteem as a result, but with the support of family and friends, I got through it. I think the fanciest frock I've ever worn before today was my wedding dress! Women should have positive role models and not just be judged on their dress size."
  • Ultimo Couture is available exclusively from Debenhams and, priced £100-£300, in sizes 8-18.

Looking good! Michelle (centre) and the girls after their ultimate makeovers

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