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Back To The Confident Sassy Lady Who I Used To Be

Meet Lesley. She is a 58-year-old housing support worker working with homeless women, a carer to her mother who lives over 50 miles away, and has a partner with disabilities.

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Meet Lesley. She is a 58-year-old housing support worker working with homeless women, a carer to her mother who lives over 50 miles away, and has a partner with disabilities. “The majority of my life is spent taking care of others”, she explained.

On top of this she battled with cancer and it left her feeling like she had “no confidence in [her] appearance”. That all changed when finally, she did something just for herself and now she describes herself as a “confident sassy lady”. So this is Lesley’s story. 

Last October Lesley was diagnosed with cancer, which led to two lumpectomies and radiotherapy. Afterwards, she had to take some time off work from the surgery to heal and recover the best she could.

“The surgery and weight gain during treatment left me feeling unattractive and less sure of myself” she admitted. This had a big impact on Lesley’s mental health leaving her feeling a little hopeless with life. 

Feeling a bit down, and with a little leap of faith Lesley entered a competition advertising an empowering experience. “I saw the competition and when I was told I’d won, I thought why not. I deserve a treat” she said. Ultimately this is what led her to Andrew Wood Photography and the ‘treat’ she had won was a boudoir photoshoot! 

Lesley confessed she was nervous coming up to the day (as many women are), “I didn’t see how they could make me look good as I didn’t feel good”.

According to numerous studies only around 20-30% of women say they are happy with their bodies in the U.K meaning 4 in 5 women are not confident in the way they look. It is completely normal to have these feelings and it can be such an emotional journey towards gaining that self confidence. 

It takes bravery to start (or continue) your journey of building your self confidence. But Lesley was ready to rebuild hers with us here to help. This day is all about making you feel comfortable and confident in your skin. She described the day as “an amazing experience from beginning to end”. The day starts with an arrival drink, followed by an hours pamper session in the makeup studio to choose the look of your dreams, she said “the stylist listened to me and made me look amazing”.

Lesley rocked a bold red lip and glamorous curls. Once you are happy, you head to the studio with your photographer and its show time! It’s ok to be nervous to begin with, our friendly staff are here to help. Lesley said “the photographer put me at ease and helped me giggle through the shoot”. The nerves were now a thing of the past and it was Lesley’s time to shine. 

We always encourage you to personalise your photoshoot in some way and Lesley did just that, “I’d brought some of my own props including my leather jacket that I haven’t worn for several years”. This way you can create an experience that is individual to you. Not much is out of bounds here, we love the weird and wonderful.

Lesley said “having that on with the makeup and lingerie reminded me how I used to feel”. This sparked a different mindset and she said, “it left me feeling confident and strong and sexy”.

A week later, Lesley came back to the studio to view her photos with a little trepidation, “I was very worried before the viewing as usually I hate photos of me”. Her worries were soon quashed and that confidence she had been rebuilding started to shine through. When asked “how did you feel seeing your photos for the first time?”. She replied, “I was amazed at the photos. They captured the feeling of sassy confidence”. 

For Lesley, that confidence continued, “I have felt different since seeing the photos”. She exclaimed in joy, “my confidence is higher and I am back to the confident sassy lady I used to be”. Rebuilding confidence is a powerful journey, it takes time, effort and even a little leap of faith. Lesley took a leap of faith by entering our competition, and now she has seen how incredible she really is. Her advice to others is simply “go for it”,  because what do you have to lose?

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