And so the Ultimo Real Women Winners are unveiled…..
I’m sure many of you will recognise some of the faces in our Ultimo Real Women Campaign 2012 as this week we unveiled the lovely ladies images and they have been splashed across the press- looking incredible!
After thousands of entries Michelle Mone OBE selected the ladies who will appear in Debenhams stores and follow in the footsteps of our famous Ultimo models. The campaign aims to blur the boundaries of how lingerie models should look and show that women of all ages/sizes/shapes/heights can be beautiful.
Michelle Mone OBE said, “I love the Ultimo Real Women campaigns, it gives us the opportunity to showcase some of the beautiful ladies out there who otherwise might not get the chance to model lingerie. Its incredible the feeling the ladies get after the shoot and the new found confidence it gives them. I’ve posed in my lingerie and I can vouch that its not an easy thing to do. I want women to celebrate their bodies.”
And so the twelve lovely ladies:
Sophie Linfield, 26 from Nutbourne is a size 14 and 36 F
“When I found out I was a winner I was at work and was so shocked I couldn’t believe it was real. I had to keep re reading the message!! Leading up to the shoot the other girls and I struck up a really good friendship so I genuinely felt like I was walking into the shoot with real friends by my side the whole day was amazing but went way to quick it was over in a flash.
“The best thing about being a real women winner is the feeling that i might be able to help just one girl or woman embrace a curvier figure and feel proud of who she is .”
Dawn Williams, 38 from Flintshire is a size 8 and a 34B
“When I found out I was a winner, I didn’t believe it for 3 days . I thought maybe Michelle Mone’s Twitter had been hacked and someone was playing a joke on me. When It finally sank in I was shaking and I asked my husband “why me, what have I got to offer”. I was sitting in my Kitchen when the winner was announced on Twitter and I said to my husband ” I think I might have won a competition” he asked if I was sure and what had I won- a handbag? A years supply of chocolate? I replied that I thought I had won a modelling competition, but at this point really couldn’t comprehend it. The day of the shoot was an unbelievable day and I can only equate it to that of my Wedding Day, I felt as if I was dreaming. I was pampered and looked after from the moment we arrived and it felt very surreal. I got upset when it was my turn to model but with the kind words of Michelle Mone the Photographer all my new Ultimo Real Women Friends I pulled myself together and conquered a huge fear and once up there I bizarrely loved every minute. The best thing about being an Ultimo Real Women Winner is it has made me feel Special, Feminine and more confident. To Sum up my experience is easy Life Changing”
Rebecca Barrett, 35 from Cork is a Size 10 and a 34D
“ My experience of being an Ultimo Real Woman is amazing! It was a fantastic day from start to finish. I found everyone so helpful. It was great to meet new people and i have made new friends for life. I have gained some confidence in myself and im starting to believe in myself. I loved being pampered and feeling special. I loved posing for the photos, I loved the look they gave me. I actually felt good in my own skin. I honestly cant wait to see the pictures. I’m a mom, I’m a normal person, I take my kids to school, clean the house, cook the dinner, im a host mother for foreign student during the summer, so my time is all used up on other people… I don’t get pampered often, so it made me feel special. It was nice. I grabbed this opportunity and i ran with it. I always tell my children to take any opportunity that comes their way, because when its gone, its gone.. so enjoy it while you can. That’s what I did.. I enjoyed every minute. Thank you Ultimo for picking me, you have honestly changed my life.”
Angela Wheeler, 32 from Sheffield is a size 12 and a 36B
“ I was stunned when I found out- I had only entered 3 days before and didn’t think I had a chance. It was surreal, I had an alert pop up on my iPod Touch from Ultimo saying I was a winner and my mouth hit the floor. On the shoot I got to use a wind machine like Beyonce for my pics with my afro out, it was an experience to see what models go through to get that picture taken and the work that goes on behind the scenes. I also got to meet some amazing new friends who helped me strip down to my pants and see it through! It was a whirlwind of a day and an experience I won’t forget in a hurry…especially as i’m about to be all over the press semi naked!”
Leah Morris, 35 from Ebbw Vale Gwent is a size 16 and a 38D
“Ultimo are indeed embracing what real women are. Women have different forms, each one beautiful and unique in shape. Taking part in the campaign was the chance for me to educate my daughters generation (all be it in a small way) that women have curves, and that our bodies are vastly different, that there is no such thing as “normal” and that a woman’s body is beautiful even if doesn’t meet the stereotypical image we seeing the media on a daily basis. I really hope that other teenagers and women out there will draw strength from this campaign and embrace the body that they are blessed with, curves and all. The support from friends, colleagues, family and especially my daughter who is so proud of her mum has been unbelievable! All in all the experience of being an Ultimo Real Women winner has been fantastic, I have gained new friends, taken part in new experiences and being part of a campaign that breaks down barriers and promotes real women is an honour- I still can’t quite believe I was chosen, it feels very surreal.”
Laura Sinden, 29 from Worthing is a size 12 and a 32E
“I think its a really nice idea that normal women are used in the campaign because you want to see how it looks on a normal woman, not how it looks on a skinny airbrushed model. Yes you’d love to look like that but we show that the undies look beautiful on normal people.”
Dal Dosanjh, 39 from Warwick is a size 12 and a 34D
“I was on a high during the duration of finding out and the actual shoot. However it was also very daunting. although connecting with the other Ultimo real winners – who were all so wonderful, and beautiful really softened the pressure, as we are all experiencing the same emotions. The shoot was amazing, but god the most nerving experience I’ve ever had. I’m usually a very confident, and outgoing person, but on the day of the shoot, I was feeling really nauseous, and having stomach flips. I suppose I was just confronting my insecurities, however the boost it gave me to my self-esteem, I can’t thank Ultimo enough. Being an Ultimo Real women really has inspired me, and it totally has changed the way I look at my body, after all I’m a real woman! And I would tell any woman out there if I could do it, so can you.The whole experience the other women (new set of friends), the shoot – location, the camera crew, PR, marketing, meeting Michelle, really has been the highlight of my year.”
Donna Evans, 41 from Welwyn Garden City is a size 12 and a 34B
I was at home when I found out I’d won; I sat beaming when telling my husband what I’d won and then ran upstairs screaming to tell my daughter who’d been following the winners being picked with me each day. The shoot was just amazing – I was made to feel so special the whole day & I just had so much fun!! Even forgot I was missing my family holiday!! The best part of being an Ultimo Real Woman is the confidence it’s given me to be proud of who I am, as I never really believed in myself. But now I’m going to go out there and get what I want from life – in my business & in getting fitter, but loving me for me!”
“The whole experience has just been amazingly wonderful from the minute I was picked. I just wish I could do it all over again!!”
Becky Davenport, 28 from Wigan is a size 16 and a 36C
“ Applying was a spur of the moment thing. I follow Michelle (mone) on twitter and saw it, thought it sounded good and then went for it. I’m so glad I did it, one of my friends is a plus size model so she told me to go for it , she reassured me it would be fine. My family are really excited for me, my Mum has told my Dad he has to go into Debenhams and take a picture- he isn’t happy about that.”
Lisa Maclachlan, 32 from Glasgow is a size 12 and 32E
It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I’d love to be able to do it all over again. Michelle , Mone O.B.E told us it would change our lives forever and it already has. The support I’ve had from my partner, family and friends has been unbelievable, even strangers congratulate me on Twitter which is lovely. It was nerve wracking on the lead up to the shoot, I’d stand in front of the mirror in my underwear and cringe ‘oh, I don’t know if I can do this’ but when we were there we all soaked it up and loved every minute of it. It was very empowering and I can say that every single one of us can hold our heads up high now and say that we are happy with our bodies and that we are real women. I’d never want to be anything less than a size 12! “
Stina Sanders, 21 from Weston Super Mare is a Size 8 and a 32B
“I really enjoyed the day and had a lot of fun with the Ultimo team! I think I would be mad to turn down the experience, as every girl would love having their photo taken”
Ashleigh Mae Campbell, 23 from Dunblane is a size 8 and a 32B