Category Archives: In The Media

25Jun/21
pamela anderson lookalike video

I was turned into a Pamela Anderson Lookalike!

Ever wondered how it feels to be a Pamela Anderson Lookalike? That’s what I did for a day!

With the 2021 docuseries ‘Pam and Tommy’ involving actress Lily James being transformed into Pamela Anderson with fake boobs and blond wig, The Sun Newspaper decided to try and give me the same makeover!

The full story can be found here.

For the record no I didn’t spend that money, it was a modelling job, but it made a good headline!

Here’s the step by step transformation in pictures below (full details and lists of which make up, tan and hair products are in The Sun’s article), and check out the amazing transformation video at the bottom!

  1. The boobs

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2. Makeup and face contouring.

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3. Fake tan and wig.

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4. Getting the poses exactly like Pammy’s is a lot harder than you think. We didn’t want to miss a trick – note the position of my fingers on my hip like her’s!

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The time-lapse video – how it happened in real time!

02Sep/19

Healthy Blog roundup

Last year I became the BritMums health & fitness roundup editor and since then have published loads of healthy blog roundups, tips, recipes and more. Here’s the best for you to enjoy and be inspired from.

BritMums is a parenting website and online community to discuss all things motherhood in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. They also have some fantastic articles, some in house and some from contributors such as myself.

I’ll be updating this blog regularly when new articles and roundup posts get published on the BritMums website, and you can keep up to date with my articles yourself here.

I’ll be talking about all things health and fitness (duh) including recipes, exercise tips, mindset stuff, seasonal topics and more so make sure to check back once a month for the latest article!

Health: 10 podcasts to help you be a happy, healthy mum

 

Healthy Book Reviews: Books to help you glow this summer

 

Health: School holiday ideas to keep the family healthy

 

Health & Fitness: How to nail World Vegan Month

Healthy Christmas drinks you actually want to have at parties

How getting fit could improve your love life

How to spot an eating disorder

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Healthy ideas for a happy mum

Stress Awareness Month: How to cope as a stressed-out Mum

5 ‘No equipment’ exercises to do in your garden this spring

Health: Healthy Ice Cream

 

04Jun/19

New Modelling Photos

I’ve had quite a few modelling shoots recently so here’s a selection from my recent work.

Bordering on the risqué side but I’ve never been shy!

You’ll also find me on:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pollyannahale_model_actress/

PurplePort: https://purpleport.com/portfolio/pollyanna/?referrer=pollyanna

MadCow Models: https://www.madcowmodels.co.uk/pollyannahale?referid=1020090

Model Mayhem: https://www.modelmayhem.com/pollyannahale

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pollyannahalemodelandactress/

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16May/19

Too hot to handle?

The Sun Newspaper’s Fabulous Magazine ran a feature on women who found being good looking actually posed problems in life and asked if I’d contribute since I do modelling.

The full article which features two other women can be found here.

My quotes:

“MODEL and fitness coach Pollyanna Hale lives with her husband and their two daughters, aged ten and six, in Bosham, West Sussex. 

Pollyanna, who believes people assume her looks are the only thing she has going for her, says: “People still think that you can’t have brains and beauty – it’s just assumed that I’m thick. Before I even speak, strangers write me off. They think your looks are your strong point so you have no need to capitalise on anything else like brains or talent.

“I’ve been told the reason for my success is my looks, when actually I reckon it’s skill and hard work. Another thing that annoys me is when people imply I’m so good with clients because I’m attractive.

“I’m a really friendly person – I’ll talk to anyone anywhere – but then people go, ‘Oh, well of course – every guy wants to talk to a pretty girl’. I think, ‘Hang on a second, that’s not fair – I can hold a conversation too’.

“It’s like people are blinded by me being pretty, they just can’t see past it.  It seems incredible to them that I might have other qualities.

“I once worked in a health spa where part of the job was to look presentable – and men would always just assume I was a pretty face without a brain in my head.

“If you’re beautiful, you’ll spend half your life trying to prove you’re more than just your face and body.
“A lot of people think that I’ve got life easy. And when I give people exercise or nutrition advice they just say, ‘Oh well, it’s alright for you to say that – look at you’.

“But actually I work damn hard to look like this. It’s really tiring trying to convince people that I don’t just wake up like this every day.

“I suppose if I was a bit more, shall we say, “normal” and carrying a bit of extra weight, people would relate to me more and think, ‘OK, she knows what it’s like not to be perfect all the time’.

“But because I come out well in photos, I have to make the point that I’m a highly trained expert on nutrition and fitness – not just some bimbo who fell into the job because she looks great naturally every minute of the day.

“It’s tough working for myself, but I think I would have struggled more in a corporate environment.  I’m very confident in my abilities but I’m also aware of what other people will assume about me when I walk into a room.

“It’s frustrating that I always have to try   that little bit harder to be taken seriously.”

Read the full article here.

16Jan/19

The Sun Sexy Lingerie Shoot

Is pretty lingerie demeaning to women? Is attributing getting glammed up and sexy to a woman’s worth dismissing everything women have fought for in equality?

Personally I think absolutely not.

It’s perfectly natural for a woman to want to look sexy to attract a mate, it’s how the human race has kept going all these years.

If peacocks do it, why shouldn’t we?!

The Sun Newspaper wrote a story featuring 6 women, myself included, who feel proud and empowered to wear sexy lingerie, and love how it makes us feel.

The story unfortunately never got published but here’s a selection of photos from the shoot…

“POLLY HALE, 34 Following the story about the snowflake who called M&S “sexist” and “vomit-inducing” for displaying “must-have” lingerie in their window, and daring to put them next to men’s suits, we speak to four women who LOVE their sexy underwear. They adore buying pretty sets of lingerie, and say it makes them feel feminine, sexy and empowered. And why shouldn’t women feel that way? It’s not sexist to love pretty underwear.”

26Nov/18

New BritMums Health & Fitness Roundup Editor

I’m very excited to be the new BritMums Health & Fitness Round-up Editor!

BritMums is a community website for Mums to chat, read, learn, find out what’s going on in the world or parenting and find like minded parents in the same stage of life.

Health & Fitness Roundup blogs will be published monthly.

My first roundup was for World Vegan Month and can be found here.

The second post, Healthy Christmas Drinks, is here.

All future and past posts can be found on my author page here.

23Nov/18

Mums in Business – The Pramshed Interview

The Pramshed is a Blog by Claire about Parenting, Pregnancy, Career, Travel and Lifestyle.

As part of her Mums in Busines series she’s interviewing Mums from all different backgrounds and businesses.

TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU, YOUR BACKGROUND AND THE FIT MUM FORMULA?

I help Mums lose weight, get fit, and have more energy and body confidence with online coaching, programmes and tonnes of free content with The Fit Mum Formula, in a way that’s compatible with busy and often stressful family life. A qualified personal trainer and nutritionist, I realised once my first child was born that staying healthy wasn’t nearly as easy. I found myself at the bottom of my priorities and if I was to stay fit and healthy I was going to have to find a way to integrate this into motherhood, regardless of how little time or how much sleep I’d had!

I’ve always wanted to help as many Mums as possible so didn’t want to just be an in-person personal trainer. I’ve written two books, have thousands of blogs and videos online, and collaborate with National media and big brands so that I can spread my message, knowledge and support to Mums up and down the country. It’s taken longer to build the business this way than if I filled my hours with personal training clients from day one, but the wait and patience and persistence has been worth it and I can now reach many more Mums in much less time, wherever I am in the world and whatever family life demands of me.

WHAT WERE YOUR MOTIVATIONS FOR SETTING UP THE FIT MUM FORMULA? 

I have a very active, creative brain and have always have some project or other on the go, but when my then business partner approached me with the idea I fell in love with the concept immediately and as passionate to get stuck into it. At the time in 2013 online fitness and nutrition coaching wasn’t around and there were very few resources to help Mums stay fit and healthy.

Exercise classes are all at ‘bath and bed’ time, gyms rarely have creche facilities, and I was repeatedly being told by Mums that they resented having to make separate ‘diet meals’ for themselves and having to cook twice each evening.

It was ok for us as a personal trainer and nutritionist respectively, but we could see other Mums needed some support from people who really understood what it was like being a parent, and could create plans and programmes that fitted into motherhood.

HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE BUSINESS AROUND FAMILY AND CHILDCARE?

Everything is online, so as long as I’ve got internet connection, I can work. That also means I can fit things in around the children. They only went to nursery school 2 days a week before starting school, I do 99% of school runs, and have never missed a sports day, show or parents evening. It’s meant some early mornings and I’m often checking emails or social media notifications while standing in queues, but I’d rather that than miss out on being with the children.

I was brought up with a stay at home mother and benefitted hugely, and I want to give the same experience to my girls. That’s not a dig at working Mums as everyone has to do what’s right for them, but this is how I’ve made it work for us.

SINCE SETTING UP THE BUSINESS WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS TO DATE?

I have no fear (!) so I go for things other people might be nervous about doing. I approach journalists and brands, post controversial videos online about health-related topics Mums are passionate about, and am not afraid to try things. As a result I’ve managed to round up huge amounts of publicity including regularly being in National newspapers and magazine, presenting at fitness festivals, and speaking live on radio and even prime time Sky News. I now get approached by brands who are using influencer marketing, and have met some amazingly inspiring people from all the events and International networking I’ve done. I want to reach many thousands of people and help as many Mums as possible, and that’s required big thinking outside of just being a local, in person business. I don’t want to do in-person personal training sessions because I can only reach a handful of people each week that way. I want The Fit Mum Formula to be a household name which inspires Mums to put themselves first and care for their (mental as well as physical) health and body.

WHAT’S YOUR TOP TIP FOR MUMS WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT SETTING UP THEIR OWN BUSINESS?

Find others who are doing what you want to do, but are further along the path, and learn from them. Read their blogs, books and social content (but don’t copy it – have your own message and voice), and reach out to them to see if they can offer any advice or even mentorship.

Don’t jump on every shiny new course or software in the hope it will radicalise your business, it won’t. There’s a time and place for business coaches later down the line to help with specific matters such as Facebook ads or growth strategy, but you don’t need them in the beginning. All the information you need to succeed is readily available for free, but most people don’t take action on it. They’re too afraid to tell people about their business for fear of rejection, don’t blog regularly because they don’t feel they have anything valuable to say, and think that because they’re a beginner, no one will care about their social media posts. Go against the grain and feel the fear and do it anyway! There will be people out there who need you, your services or products. You’re doing them a disservice by not telling them about it!

03Nov/18

Kids Lunch Boxes – are we failing them? Live Sky News Feature

In a back to school special earlier this year, charity Action for Children set out to help parents improve their kids lunch boxes, and asked me to help.

 

As a parent myself it’s a cause I care about – kids need good nutrition to have energy, learn, grow and behave well. Yes the studies even show conditions like ADHD and Autism are improved when diet is improved!

 

But most parents know that already. The problem is getting your child to eat a good meal in the middle of the day that they won’t reject. Kids tend to favour sweet and processed foods, so how do we create a win win situation?

The charity Action for Children are on a mission to help parents improve kids’ lunch boxes and set out to do some research:

 

  • A massive three quarters (75%) of British parents with children aged 5 to 13 who make a school lunchbox admit to feeling guilty about what they pack, according to new research (1).
  • The poll showed parents’ top four favourite lunchbox items are a ham sandwich, yogurt, a packet of crisps, and an apple. A carton of juice was the most popular specific drink picked out by parents, while biscuits and chocolate bars were also popular. (3)
  • Worryingly, the latest Government statistics show one in three children in England are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. (2) But the charity’s research found that the most important factor for parents in packing a lunchbox was being confident their child would eat what they were given (38%). Making sure the lunchbox is nutritious was the second most important reason at 28%.

 

I was invited onto Sky News as they were covering the story  to talk about the issue live on air with my 9 year old daughter Aurora in tow (she did such a good job and I was so proud of her!):

 

Here’s the clip if you missed it (or here on YouTube):


My local radio Spirit FM (as well as many National radio stations) also covered the story here using my words below.

 

Or listen to the full compilation of soundbites with my views on what we can do about kids’ lunch boxes my clicking on the video or here on YouTube.

“Children can be notoriously picky eaters – they do have a preference for sweet foods and they will go on hunger strike. I disagree with people who say if children are given no other option but healthy food, they’ll eat it. I’m a nutritionist and if I can’t get my children to eat lentil spinach salads then I don’t know how anyone else is supposed to be able to. If they don’t like what they’re given they won’t eat it. If that happens at school they won’t be able to concentrate, they’ll be falling asleep in class and they won’t have the energy to take part in sports.

“I think it benefits everyone, not least the children, if they’ve got a full belly. The easiest way to do that is to give them food that you know they love and you know they’re going to eat. Children being children, that’s going to be the sugary junk foods. that’s why people do it; it gives everyone an easy life.

“But healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated. Children can eat things that are very familiar to them but also nutritious such as swapping processed cheese for mild cheddar cheese or cocktail sausages for sliced ham off the bone. Instead of giving them a packet of crisps it could be plain breadsticks that don’t have loads of added flavourings and salt and sugar. I don’t know many children who won’t eat some sort of fruit and vegetables, even if it’s just a couple – maybe blueberries or cucumber sticks. If that’s all they’re going to eat, it’s better than nothing. 

“Children are creatures of habit and they tend to prefer routine. They probably prefer it if you give them exactly the same thing to eat every day . It’s familiar to them and it taps into that safety net – they understand the food and they know it’s safe. Variety doesn’t tend to be a problem for them. 

“It’s about making compromises. They may not like granary bread that has loads of seeds in and tough crusts, but they might eat a wholemeal wrap that’s a bit softer and easier to eat. I can’t shove salad into my kids’ sandwiches but a few slices of cucumber might be ok or some cherry tomatoes chopped up. There’s lots of options out there. I think people make it more complicated than it has to be.”

Polly Hale, nutritionist, Chichester

 

Parents need the knowledge and confidence to give their child the best start in life when it comes to nutrition. Anyone in need of inspiration for packing a fuss-free healthy lunchbox that your child will want to eat can visit //actionforchildren.org.uk/lunchbox.” 

Registered Public Health Nutritionist Mari Clark, who designs menus for Action for Children’s Eat Better, Start Better service, says: “Through no fault of their own, many parents simply don’t know exactly what their child needs. This isn’t helped by confusing packaging that has pictures full of fruit and happy children, when the products inside are packed with sugar and fat and salt.

“There is no need for any lunchbox to contain crisps, sweets, processed food, cereal bars, chocolates and things like that – if you have sandwich with some good quality protein, a portion of fruit, veg and dairy then that’s enough.”

 

TOP TIPS FOR A HEALTHY PACKED LUNCH FROM ACTION FOR CHILDREN’S NUTRITIONIST 

  • Swap juice for water or milk. Or choose a low sugar drink or dilute fruit juice 50/50.
  • Give your sandwiches or wraps different fillings; cooked chicken, turkey, egg, tuna, low fat cream cheese are all good options
  • Ditch the crisps for chopped vegetables and a tasty low-fat dip like hummus
  • When you’re shopping, choose the lower salt bread options stocked by most supermarkets
  • Use spreads and condiments sparingly and choose lower salt versions
  • Don’t pack a sandwich every day. Think salads with pasta, potato, couscous with vegetables and some protein like chicken. Other things to think about include boiled eggs or omelettes.

 

(1) All survey figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4348 adults, of which 535 are parents with children aged 5 to 13. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th – 10th August 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

(2) National Child Measurement Programme England 2016 – 2017

(3) List of most regularly packed items: ham sandwiches (59%), yogurt (54%), crisps (60%) an apple (53%). 31% selected biscuits and 26% selected chocolate bar. Whilst the most selected drink was “Other drink” (47%), the most selected drink from the list provided was a carton of juice (39%).

HOW ACTION FOR CHILDREN WORKS: Action for Children helps disadvantaged children across the UK through intervening early to stop neglect and abuse, fostering and adoption, supporting disabled children, and by campaigning tirelessly to make life better for children and families. With over 550 services the charity improves the lives of more than 300,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year. Actionforchildren.org.uk

 

 

 

31Mar/18

Why Do We Have To Make Lists For Daddy?

Every time I go out for longer than half a day, child-free, I have to make a list as long and comprehensive as the NHS budget report just to make sure the  day runs smoothly.

Read This where it was originally published on The Motherload website here

Your first thought; “You went out for the day?!”

No, not very often (I run my business from home during school hours), but very occasionally I’ll have a work-related trip to London which entails a 6:34am train to Waterloo, leaving Daddy in charge.

Now I don’t know about your significant other, but mine seems to think being ‘the parent’ is easy; they are old enough (5 and 8) to dress themselves and even get basic non-heated, no-knife foodstuffs, but on a typical school day there are just a few more details in between.

And we’re not talking days like ‘Bella – ballet day’.

Oh no, that particular scenario would require:

1. Start prepping tea early so that they can eat right after ballet.

2. Snack after school – oat biscuits are in the red tin by the cereal.

3. Ballet bag is ready for you on the sofa – she needs to be dressed by 4:45.

4. She wears coat too, it’s cold by the time she comes out.

5. 4:50 set off – lots of traffic so need extra time.

6. Buy Aurora hot chocolate while Bella is in ballet. NO sweets.

7. Tea as soon as home, they’ll be starving.

You get the idea.

A whole day out? The list gets pretty long.

It’s not the big stuff he’ll forget. It’s the details. Vests when it’s cold. Sun cream in summer. And no, 8 hair clips randomly placed does not counter not brushing hair.

What’s Dad’s usual response?

Well, six times out of ten I’ll get a call mid-morning from school asking if the kids are sick, since they’re not there. My reply is ‘Daddy is in charge today while I’m away’. They understand.

If they do go to school, he won’t need to cook, because he’ll meet up with a single Dad friend and they’ll all go for pizza. The kids will stay out too late and then go to bed in their uniform. We’ll locate the book bags when I’m back the next day, and explain again to the very understanding teachers that ‘Daddy was in charge’.

Aforementioned ballet will probably be skipped, though this week I (smugly, I’ll admit) threw him because I have a sensible arrangement with a fellow Mum where one takes Aurora and her friend to tap dancing, the other collects, so he couldn’t get out of it. I did giggle to myself over that one.

For all the ‘why are you so tired, you don’t do anything’ comments I get during a typical week, you can guarantee Daddy has fallen into bed (also fully clothed) by the time I arrive home that evening.

I’m used to it and I don’t even resent it, but a day out is more than a military operation, and the one time I went away for 4 days (! – to America, including 2 days travelling) I actually got my mother-in-Law to stay. Four days would have finished him off.

The Aftermath

As I’m driving back from the station I’ll be anticipating the state of the kids, and the house. I’ll go through each step of the day and assess how it went like any real business-woman (or Army Sergeant) would.

Did they eat breakfast? Doesn’t look like it judging by the bowls of uneaten, soggy Weetabix still on the kitchen side, dried a little only because the cat has been helping herself (cat alive? Win).

The dishwasher is still full of clean plates, the wet washing is going rancid in the machine, the toothbrushes are dry and I’ve no idea where aforementioned ‘ballet bag’ is. They seem to have tried on every outfit they own at some point in the day, dirtied it, and left it on the floor. Perhaps this is a positive sign they were always clean and presentable?

It sounds like I have the worst husband ever that’s useless in every way right? Actually no, as my best friend and soul mate, there’s no one I’d rather spend my life with. He’s just good at other stuff.

And that’s fine with me, because after dealing with the possibility of not being able to have children, and yearning to be a Mummy, I’ll put up with anything knowing that I’ve got the most wonderful kids and a lovely home. Even if they are for the most part totally my responsibility. And so long as they’re alive and well, Daddy will do things his way.

As any Mum will know, a 14 hour day, child free, to be an adult and be able to switch off from having to make Weetabix correctly and remember the book bag, is the parental equivalent of a week at a spa in Bali.

I’m writing this on the train, by myself, hot cup of tea next to me, on my way back to the hurricane that will be my home in about an hour, refreshed and spirited after a day of metal rejuvenation. And I’ve blocked out tomorrow to clean the house.

Image credit: Mug by Lavender and Wolf

19Nov/17

The Truth About Being Pretty: Why Being Attractive Shouldn’t be so Attractive

A departure from my usual blog topics? Yes, but I felt it was something I needed to get off my chest, so wrote this post from the heart for Mum’s website The Motherload.

 

For what is a fairly controversial and potentially segregating subject, I hope that I’ve opened some eyes and dismissed the misunderstanding that to be traditionally good looking is always a positive. I’d love to hear your feedback after you’ve read it.

 

It was around my early teens that I noticed I was getting attention from men. Not just boys in my year at secondary school but in older years, and even adult males who didn’t seem to notice, or perhaps mind that I was in my school uniform as they’d chat me up in town after school, or on the beach on weekends where I’d hang out with my friends.

 

Far from being bothered, this was the self-esteem boost I’d needed after recently moving to the area and having to adjust and make new friends.

And what teenage girl doesn’t want to be made to feel attractive?

I learned as I grew up that leaning in at a bar (necessary due to my 5’3 stature) would get instant service, a smile could get the best table in a restaurant, free entry to a club, backstage entrance to a gig. I could get the attention of the most attractive man at a party, from models to celebrities. Yes, I exploited it and had fun. Heck, I was 18, and I was going to make the most of the party years. Some minor modelling work came along at various points over the years (I’m too short to take it seriously), so I even made money from how I looked.

It’s funny how the world has become so image obsessed. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t part of that, but there’s a fine line between vanity and insecurity, and while I didn’t realise it at the time, my insecurities were brewing into a host of mental health problems that were to surface later on.

When asked if I’d rather be slim and pretty, or fat and ugly, the answer isn’t simple. The question itself is flawed. I’d rather be happy. If being attractive makes you happy then sure, take that. Unfortunately if it was that easy where to find best place for cosmetic surgery would be the answer. It’s never that easy, and while many people think I’m lucky, or have life easy, or am #blessed with wonderful genes, I’d like to shed light on a life that so many are craving.

There are two sides to every coin, including this one.

1. You will be seen first and foremost for your appearance

It’s not just blondes who are stereotyped. People think it’s not possible to have brains and looks. Okay, I may have fluttered my eyelashes to get out of a speeding fine once, but I’m not proud of it, and it says as much about the shallow policeman who let me go. Perhaps the reaction was encouraged by the fact I was wearing my beauty therapist uniform, another career choice put into the ‘all looks and no brains’ category.

Looking good becomes your identity. I’ve done a bit of modelling so it’s even on my CV. But that means people expect you to look good. Not in the way that it’s on their mind but if I turn up somewhere looking tired, with greasy hair, no make-up and premenstrual spots, it doesn’t go unnoticed. For many years I couldn’t let this go and would make the effort to live up to these expectations, which I think in hindsight were my own as well as others’. Thankfully age and confidence have both risen simultaneously, and I happily don’t give a damn if people start wondering if I actually own a shower. I’m pleased I’ve made this turn. Self-esteem built on looks is doomed. Even the most beautiful woman in the world will lose her looks eventually.

2. I’m young and inexperienced (except I’m not)

I remember when I was handed a leaflet in the street about a support group for young (aka teenage) mothers, as I waddled along 8 months pregnant with my first child. I had to hold my tongue not to go into a hormonal rage and wave the ring on my finger in the well-meaning social worker’s face. This isn’t to dismiss teenage or unmarried mothers at all – in fact my own sister is a fantastic young mum, but some people do have preconceived ideas about unplanned teen pregnancies, and I guess it said something about my own insecurities that it bothered me others may also have these judgemental ideas about me.

Now that Aurora is eight, nothing has changed. I ‘must have been a teen mum’ given I’m not old enough to have an eight year old. If I had been, it wouldn’t make a difference to what kind of mother I had become, but why is it that people feel it’s appropriate to make a point of it? You wouldn’t say to an older looking mother, ‘oh, they must have been an IVF baby, you’re too old to be a Mum’. And yes, it is the same thing

3. I have to work hard to be taken seriously

When people presume you are young and dumb, try walking into a business meeting and being taken seriously as a mature and level-headed business woman. I can hold my own very well on the phone but the looks on the bank manager or company owner or potential joint venture’s face doesn’t evade me; ‘she’s not a business woman, she’s just a girl’. It takes a while before they realise what comes out of my mouth isn’t all fluff, after all.

4. I’ve never had male friends

I’m actually quite a tomboy at heart, and with three brothers I understand the other kind quite well. But somewhere along the line a great budding friendship has always turned awkward when they try and make a move, or admit they’d like to be ‘more than friends’. Was it my fault? Was my friendliness giving the wrong impression? I don’t know. I thought being friendly was a good thing. I didn’t know it could so easily be misinterpreted.

I was at a marketing event recently and a lovely guy kept coming over to chat. About halfway through the second day he asked if I was single and I showed him my left hand and said actually I had two children too! He walked off and never spoke to me again. Shame, he was really sweet.

5. I have to be so careful of what my girls pick up

Any mum of girls knows it’s pretty much built into them from an early age, this instinct of wanting to look ‘pretty’ to attract a mate (though that last part thankfully hasn’t clicked in our house yet!). Whether it’s insisting on wearing a princess dress to the supermarket or plastering pink glitter on their eyelids, being pretty matters.

They are pretty girls, but that’s not what I want them to be valued for, and even more what they value themselves for. When friends and relatives call them pretty it angers me, and maybe this is an overreaction, but I wish they were called kind, or thoughtful, or generous, or someone said that they worked really hard at their painting. I don’t call my girls pretty. We must look presentable to go to a party, yes, and dresses and bows and shiny shoes are part of that for my girls (I never pushed this stereotype on them, I battle every winter for them to wear jeans outside when it’s cold; pink dresses always win). But that’s because self-pride is important. Making an effort for others is important. It’s a sign of respect to yourself and to your hosts. You don’t have to be conventionally ‘pretty’ to do that.

6. Male attention can turn bad

While a wolf whistle is nice on occasion, I noticed something as I was growing up that was different about the way these men behaved towards me compared to my friends. I was curvy as a teen – I had boobs worthy of page 3 (breastfeeding sadly said goodbye to those), and somehow wearing a fitted top (as you do, in your late teens) meant men felt they had license to pass all boundaries. It’s one thing getting a ‘hey chick’ across the street, quite another to be cornered, pushed up against a wall, boobs grabbed, and having to resort to kneeing them between the legs to escape.

7. Looks don’t make you happy

While most people think they know this, to really see how true this is you only need to look at my mental health history. I have recently been diagnosed with cyclothymia (a form of bipolar), was hospitalised three times with anorexia, complete with drug-resistant depression and organs that were failing. I’ve overdosed on legal drugs, self-harmed, and have to put my mental health first just to stay functioning on a daily basis. As a personal trainer who’s in okay shape, I frequently hear ‘it’s okay for you and your lack of wobbly bits’. No, it’s not ok for me. I wish it was, but it’s not. Exercise is my therapy, not beauty treatment.

Do I resent looking a certain way?

Absolutely not, I resent and regret nothing in life; I’ve always seen both as a little pointless. And I don’t blame or resent anyone who’s judged me on my looks, from the builder who pinned me up against a wall to the businessman who looked down at me to the dance teacher who casually stamped on my dreams saying I probably wasn’t good enough to get tonnes of work, but why not try modelling? Oddly enough, that was not why I’d spent nine hours a week training for the last six years. This was the same dance school where I’d been praised for being the only one who’d not gained weight over Christmas; I’d been vomiting and taking laxatives.

I hear some women say their looks have alienated them from making friends with other women who feel threatened and jealous. Thankfully that’s never been the case for me and I have some wonderful female friends, maybe even because I don’t want to rely on looks to get things and attract people; I’ll always be as good a person as I can be first and foremost.

In Dr Nancy Etcoff’s “Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty”, she believes that appreciating beauty is not learned, but rather it is a biological adaptation. Research on infants’ perception shows that children as young as three months are staring at attractive faces longer than at unattractive ones. Uneven skin and lacklustre hair are a sign of sickness, which to the ancient instinctive human in us means less fertile, which means less attractive. Humans were designed to survive. Touch Up Laser company can help make the skin and hair looks amazing.

Some things just are as they are. There are plus sides, there are downsides, but isn’t that the same with everything in life? At nearly 34 and having found my first two grey hairs already, I’m finally feeling comfortable with who I am as a person, and if I lose my looks completely, that’s okay with me.