Paparazzi, media, fans, selfies. Footballers’ Wags have their every move photographed & live their best lives looking glam through a camera lens.
Wrestlers’ Wags, however, married to our rich-in-experience-and-hard-work-only wrestlermen & working our own “muggle” jobs, have to pay for all that jazz.
Not that I’m comparing myself to ol’ Posh Spice or feeling entitled to a lifestyle of the rich & famous just because my husband has been on TV – far from it! But we all deserve our moment in the sun to look & feel like a million dollars, right? Right.
Enter Ivy Rose Studio…!
Ivy Rose is an all girl beauty parlour & photography studio in Manchester, giving not just women but men, couples, children, families & even pets their chance to shine.
I was recently lucky enough to have an opportunity to undergo this full treatment.
Life Thru A Lens
I didn’t want a boudoir shoot because that’s old news as an ex-burlesquer, & I’m far from a fashionista so I have no real “looks” to showcase, so I approached the girls about introducing my best girl & fur daughter, Betsy the pugglebum, to the shoot.
Best idea ever!
While they pampered me in the in house beauty parlour, giving my flat hair more curves than my body has & perfecting my enough-contour-to-be-flattering-but-not-enough-to-look-like-a-drag-queen make up, Betsy decided she wouldn’t sit & behave but instead explore the studio & make her presence known to everyone.
Did this phase them? Not at all!
They gave her all the snuggles a puggle like she expected as she interrupted their jobs in both beauty & photography, even taking her out for pee-pee breaks.
Usually a misbehaving Betsy can send me somewhat Hulk-like but the girls were just so lovely to both of us that it didn’t matter – I was just able to sit back & be pampered through it all. And oh how utterly fan-blooming-tastic that pampering made me feel!
Then into the studio for me to look wooden & awkward while my dodgy teeth & bullfrog-esque double chin get front & centre, as happens with every photo of me… Or so I thought.
This was like nothing I’d experienced before; the laid back poses, the cute & quirky props, the comforting direction wrapped in confidence boosting compliments, the free flowing conversation & laughter, the daft dog roaming hither & thither of her own accord. Those magicians completely transformed me!
I’ve slowly been learning to celebrate my flaws & love the skin I’m in but flouncing around in front of a camera being visibly plus size was still out of my comfort zone.
I talk a good talk about embracing my curves but I thought that feeling those feels might’ve been a different story, that I’d be out of my depth as a fat lass playing dress up in the middle of a mental health “blip” (see last blog post about opening up on World Mental Health Day 2018).
…But I needn’t have worried. In fact, after being absorbed by their perfect balance of being professional & laid back in a studio that was both work ready but welcoming, I felt daft for having ever been anything but delighted!
It’s A Dog’s Life
And I know without a shadow of doubt it would be the same from a happy dog’s POV if Betsy was able to translate her thoughts here digitally (I’m eagerly watching Dragon’s Den & Supervet alike – surely it’s only a matter of time til technology advances enough to make that dream reality!?).
Sam in beauty was my Fairy Godmother, waving her make up brushes to magic me into something beautiful (as well as being Betsy’s fun babysitter), & Claire with her camera was my Fairly Odd Parent, making sure nothing stupid or ugly occurred under her supervision (while giving Betsy the right amount of fuss to photograph her without making me feel second best).
The constant, easy flowing chit chat with the Ivy Rosers & effortless patience in photography made us feel more like friends than clients, but we were still made to look & feel truly beautiful & like the only pugglemum & pugglebum pair that mattered.
Posher Than Posh
With ego on point & self-esteem ramped up to 11, Betsy & me felt able to give even Victoria Beckham a run for her money in the modelling Wag stakes!
But I’d never have changed this real life, budget friendly, confidence boosting experience of inter-species mother & daughter memory making for any of Posh’s lavish runway shoots.
I had a taste of celebrity Wag life & I loved it but what I loved most was still being able to be me throughout; unashamedly fat & not wishing to be airbrushed, wearing high street price Popsy dresses & Pink Clove shorts not designer threads, & actually enjoying what I was doing for memory making with my pugglebum, not going through the motions for a wage.
If you ever fancy a taster of how the other half live, don’t wish away your own life in place of another, just get in touch with the girls at Ivy Rose Studio. Simple as. Then do yourself the biggest favour & love being you.
…And, nope, I’m not on commission – this is not an ad!
Mrs Walmsley | The Unseasoned Wag x
Photography, Props, Hair & Make Up by Ivy Rose Studio | Dresses by Popsy | Shorts & Bodysuit by Pink Clove | Dog is Model’s Own 😉