A nationwide online pin-up competition has given a Lamancha woman a whole new lease of life and blessed her with confidence she never knew she had.
Jo Bullough, who is 40, was in hospital at the end of last year, feeling about as low as you can get, when she found out about the Miss Pin-Up UK competition.
She said: “I have suffered from mental health problems for a long time, with severe anxiety and depression and it has left me unable to work, and I had a very low self esteem.
“My mental health suffered a big dip at the end of last year and it was while I was in hospital that I found out about the Scottish Pin-Up and Miss Pin-Up UK competitions.”
The competition asks women to put forward three photographs to their website – all in a retro pin-up style, with clothing and make-up from the 1950s.
Jo told us: “Getting into the pin-up team has really helped me on this journey to recovery, because it is so inclusive, supportive and welcoming, and everyone is made to feel beautiful, no matter your size or shape.
“It is so much more than just wearing pretty dresses.
“It has given me confidence to leave the house – and I’ve just started learning the art of burlesque dancing!”
Jo’s children are 13, 10 and 3 – and they all take a different view on their mum’s new look.
She said: “I took my 13-year-old son and my 10-year-old daughter to the Scottish finals and my son was pretty unimpressed to say the least!
“But I took my daughter backstage and she was tremendous ... they all loved her.”
The retro look around which the competition revolves is one which Jo, who is a mother of three, can really connect with.
She said: “It is inspired by vintage styles from the 1940s and 1950s and it is a very inclusive type of fashion, in that it is not for a particular age, dress size or height. It has turned into a movement for women who want to embrace their differences.”
Jo entered the Miss Scottish Pin-up competition earlier in the year and got into the finals, which were held at the Scottish Tattoo Convention.
She said: “I had an absolutely brilliant time. I didn’t win, but I had such a good day and met so many lovely people, that I decided to enter the UK competition as well.”
All the entrants have a “stage name” for the competition, and Jo’s is Miss Fifi Valentine.
To vote for her, visit http://pinupuk.com/girls/fifi-valentine/ before April 28.