One of the most exciting things about working at Become™ is that it’s a pioneering new brand, not afraid to push a few boundaries. Smash a few traditional stereotypes. You only need to check out our Instagram page to see that we’re unashamedly candid and like to get REAL about the things that matter most to menopausal women!
So back in July, we launched our Hot Women Only Competition...
Erm, hang on, did you read that ad right?? Yes, we were looking for #HotWomenOnly. And so the barrage of messages began... “Erm… what on Earth is this??”, “How can they be so sexist?”, “That’s just ridiculous in this day and age, it's taking women backwards, not forwards!”
But it wasn’t a perfect body we were after – no, no, no! This was no ordinary competition to find the new models to represent our brand! We wanted to redefine the word ‘hot’. We were reaching out to real woman, menopausal ladies dealing with hot flushes and night sweats, navigating their way through the journey that is being a woman, but not letting anything stand in their way! As our Head of Marketing Lindsey Robins puts it: “The campaign was designed to help break down the stigma surrounding menopause and what it means to be hot. Roughly one in ten women are currently experiencing the menopause and we believe that these are the hottest women in Britain – in every sense of the word!" And so our mission began.
We were inundated with entries from all over the country. We read each story. Some made us laugh out loud, some were upsetting. Stories of busy lives, achievements, loss, courage, overcoming adversity and beating illness. What a true inspiration it was to share in them. But there were two that caught our eye. So without further ado, let’s introduce our amazing finalists...
Our competition winner is Nell Larrier! Nell is a truly amazing lady, she packs so much into her life. Here was her competition entry, we just loved it:
Nell lets nothing hold her back: “I was pleasantly surprised to see a product that could help with hot flushes on the Tube and looked on the website to see how it worked. I came across the competition and thought ‘Hey, I am a strong black woman, I am a mother, an older student, a career-oriented professional. I am menopausal, but I’m not letting it hold me back. It wasn't about being hot as in being gorgeous, it was about burning with passion for life, my boys, my career and coming to terms with loving myself and accepting myself for who I am and have yet to ‘Become’”. Nell is going to share her prize – a trip to a Champneys Health Spa for two – with her niece, Nikki. “She's like a daughter and a friend. She is fun and a hard-working career-minded mother of three. She makes me laugh and is really the daughter I never had.”
And our runner up is Rhianon Lucas, working mum to six-year old Wilf. He’s helping his amazingly busy mother through the menopause and even took her entry photo for her! Here’s her story, we loved her outlook on life:
When Rhianon saw the competition on the Become™ website, she was keen to enter. “I immediately thought it would be an extremely empowering and positive thing to do. At 43 I am fit, healthy, strong, and in a fantastic place in my life. I may not be a supermodel and I’ve certainly got plenty of lumps and bumps, but right now in my life I finally feel able to ROCK what I have, and to celebrate all the good things rather than focus on the bad. I loved that Become™ celebrate normal women, and refuse to retouch their images… and I felt that I’d love a chance to be able to be part of their story, by bringing a positive body image and confidence in my 43-year-old menopausal self!”
We were delighted to finally meet them both at a photography studio in London. Despite neither of them having modelled before, the nerves really did not show! Nell was a little bit apprehensive when she joined real-life model Jo for the shoot: “The day of the shoot was nerve racking. Like most women, I have my insecurities, things I don’t like about my body. I’m not perfect but the Become™ team were so supportive. They were lovely and friendly, which helped put me at ease. The photographer Marion was so nice and encouraging and very, very patient. It was a lot of fun and I had a blast with the other ladies. They were fantastic. Very brave and beautiful.”
It was a women-only day, filled with a sense of fun, as Rhianon notes: “The shoot itself was one of the most uplifting and empowering things I’ve done. I don’t think many people start off confident at being in their underwear in a room full of strangers. But the entire team put us at ease and the atmosphere was incredibly supportive and positive. When women look after each other it really can be an extremely powerful force! There was definitely a lot of love in the room!”
Our ladies also got the chance to try out some of our new products coming soon – different colours, styles and more. Nell and Rhianon’s confidence and self belief, that was so evident in their competition entries really shone through in all of the pictures. We are so proud of them both.
So that’s how we found Britain’s most confident, empowered and TRULY hot women to become the face of the brand for our latest campaign. And one thing we’ve realised is that opening up a pathway through the menopause not only starts off important debates about the role of women in society, but it also empowers and emboldens people into thinking about who they really are, what’s important to them and what they want out of life.
Nell notes: “I was so shocked to be picked as the winner and still can’t believe it. When I entered I was completely out of my comfort zone and it paid off. So I would say take risks and see where it goes. Always live your best life!!” Nothing is holding our ladies back and for us, this is perfectly in-sync with our Become™ philosophy. So welcome on board Nell and Rhianon!
If you’d like to find out more about Become underwear and how it can help with hot flushes and night sweats, shop our Anti-Flush Knickers and Vests. And don’t forget to come and join in the fun at our Facebook Group The Chilled Menopause.