The funniest, smartest most fabulous person...ever!!!
Love to you Andrea....
"I booked my Red Shoe shoot more than 12 months ago and I have changed the date so many times since then. Each time the date got closer I would find some excuse to change it. Why?
Because the thought of someone taking my picture truly terrified me.
The girls I'd seen in the Red Shoe pictures looked beautiful and full of confidence and I was, well..... just me. Nothing special. I certainly didn't think I could look like those girls in the pictures.
After several years of miscarriages and an unhappy marriage due to several issues (it eventually ending in divorce), I was at an all time low. In time I started dating again, but several failed dates later my confidence was all but destroyed. I don't look in a mirror and see myself as good looking, I don't have an amazing figure or a flat stomach.
But then I thought about where I had started off and where I was now. I was fortunate enough to be a Mother to a beautiful girl. I had been severely overweight, but through determination and hard work I had lost 6 stone. I had been in an unhappy marriage and had somehow gained the courage to leave in order to make a better life for my daughter and I. I had taken a chance at dating again and shown my vulnerable side in the hope there was someone that could make me smile again and love me for me. I realised all of these things had taken great strength for me to do and I should be proud of all of that, not let it bring me down. I had been putting too much pressure on myself to conform to other people's ideals; the ideal wife, the ideal woman. I had lost what truly mattered, my own self worth and belief.
The realisation was like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders.
So this time around I kept my appointment and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. When I arrived at the studio I was shaking, I was so nervous! The door opened and there was Mandy, smiling at me and eager to give me a hug. She ushered me in, gushed over my outfits and then started on my transformation. Shortly after, Sarah arrived. She was amazing! She talked me through all of the different looks we were going to do and what to expect throughout the shoot. Then we just sat and talked...and talked! It felt like I had known her forever! I told her things about myself that even people that know me, don't know about me. When the time came to start taking pictures, I wished I had done this sooner! I felt confident and pretty. Sarah kept telling how beautiful my pictures looked and all I could do was blush. I don't think I could tell you the last time someone told me I was beautiful and I genuinely believed them.
Then I had the agonising wait to actually see my pictures!! When the email came through I tentatively clicked on the link and held my breath. I clicked on each photo and sat there in silence....tears silently rolling down my cheeks. Was that really me? Dare I say it, I actually looked....pretty! Looking through each photo I gained more and more confidence. I didn't need anyone else's validation. I could finally see for myself that I did deserve to find my happily ever after and I that I don't have to settle for less than I deserve anymore.