Ellen's Story

My experience at BYB cant be truly described in words, but I'll try my absolute hardest to explain to you exactly why you should give this a go.

My experience started with my best friend. My best friend, as I knew her, had many body confidence issues. Not just your average "I look fat in this", I mean she really struggled. I've known her for 17 years and tell her how beautiful she is but she just didn't see it and HATED her body. Seriously hated it. Then one day I see a post from her BYB experience and I absolutely sobbed with pride that she did something so out of her comfort zone. The second I spoke to her about she immediately told me I had to do it. She'd become an ambassador and wanted me to have an experience just like her. For the sheer fact that the woman I knew to hate being seen in anything less than full covered had braved being photographed in lingerie, I agreed to do it. Even though I was terrified.

I couple of days before my appointment Nicola called me and basically pre empted every single fear I could have had and quashed them. I immediately knew she would be a wonderful person to spend the day with even if I hated all my photos. Just because of her professionalism and kind nature.

Something you need to know is I have anxiety and have previously had depression. At the time of my photo shoot it was severe and I was going through a bad patch of intense anxiety. The minute I walked through the BYB studio doors I felt like I was walking into the most familiar place. I'd never even been to the area let alone the building but I felt welcomed in as though I was a regular visitor. I had my hair and make up sorted beautifully and she match my make up to my outfits and styled my hair so flawlessly. I was in love with the look. I still thought I'd hate my pictures.

Then the photographer came through. A wonderful woman who told me not to look terrified. I tried. And I failed. So instead she made me laugh. For the whole time I was with her she made me smile. Naturally, not forced. I was enjoying myself. Her attention to detail was incredible and so full of thought. She asked me if any of my scars had significance or meaning to me or if I would like her to edit them out. Unfortunately I'm just extremely clumsy so she expertly edited out any bruises and scars at my request. However, I still thought I'd hate my pictures.

Then the part I was dreading the most. I sat and looked through my pictures. I saw the first image sat across from Nicola and I cried. I was so excited that I liked one that I was done. I didn't need to see any more because I was happy with one. But I did. I looked closely at every single image searching for a flaw in my body, face, smile, weight etc. They took around 80 photos. I liked them all. I hated none of them. I lost my flaws. For that moment I didn't have any. All I held was pride. Pride for my confidence that BYB helped me find and gratitude for them helping me to keep it.

Because I was so incredibly nervous and then suddenly elated I had a panic attack as the adrenaline left my body but honestly Nicola and the team didn't even bat an eyelid. They let me get some air and calm down and come back in my own time. She didn't let me feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. She hugged me and told me she was proud of me. I love my pictures. They're for me. To remind me that I can. And I should. And I will.

I can't wait to come back to BYB. They really do what they strive for. They help you BE YOURSELF and they help you BE PROUD.

Thank you.

For everything you're continuing to give me more than 4 months after sitting across that table with you

Ellen xxx

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