Photo-features helped Linda Briggs gain fantastic press coverage for her real life cosmetic beauty pageant. Miss Cosmetic Surgery UK is the first ever competition of it’s type to be held in Britain. We offered Linda are unique free of charge PR service helping her get exactly the national press coverage she required. Read about the UK beauty pageant below:
BEHIND THE SCENES AT BRITAIN’S FIRST EVER MISS COSMETIC SURGERY PAGEANT
‘I hate cameras,’ grimaces Julie Lockwood sashaying uncomfortably towards the ballroom.
‘When you’re as fat and ugly as I used to be you avoid them like the plague, not stand in front of them.
Unfortunately for Julie, 46, she’s about to take part in a glossy photo-shoot, and there’s a five thousand pounds prize riding on it.
Welcome to the finals of Britain’s first ever Miss Cosmetic Surgery pageant.
From the hundreds who entered, the organisers have whittled it down to their top four.
Each has been invited to take part in a Britain’s Next Top Model style photo-shoot at a posh country hotel.
But as well as the prize, which includes an operation of their choice, the winner will become the face of surgery advice website www.lindabriggs.co.uk <http://www.lindabriggs.co.uk/> .
But models they’re not and the hotel bedroom that’s been turned into the hair and make up studio is buzzing with nerves.
‘Make sure you conceal my scars,’ pleads Lindsey Lines, 55. The mortgage advisor from Penzance had a facelift in 2009 after a waitress mistook her for her younger boyfriend’s mother.
‘It was mortifying,’ but it wasn’t the first time it had happened,’ she says as the other contestants shake their heads in empathy.
But now after surgery she says she looks younger than her toyboy.
‘I saw the competition in the newspaper and entered never expecting to hear anything back,’ she explains.
It’s a sentiment shared by her fellow three finalists.
Because each admits that before surgery they barely had the confidence to go out in public let alone enter a beauty pageant.
Bridal shop owner Donnalee Newcombe, 46, had a gastric band and breast reconstruction to boost her confidence as her marriage failed.
‘My husband told me he didn’t find me attractive anymore,’ she sighs. ‘But I realised he was probably right so I had a gastric band fitted and lost 17 stone of excess baggage, 12 of which was him.’
The tension is momentarily broken with laughter but the arrival of contestant number three silences them.
‘Wow your boobs,’ exclaims Lindsey as blonde Alison Baldie enters the room.
Her long blonde hair is bouncing perfectly over her incredibly pert 32DD breasts.
But her hair and her boobs aren’t the only fake thing about 44 year old Alison.
‘I’ve also had fillers in my cheeks to plump them out a bit and to give me a nicer smile,’ she says demonstrating.
‘Oh and regular Botox and teeth whitening too…
Alison’s also had a tummy tuck. Surgeons removed an astonishing eight pounds of loose skin she was left with after shedding eight stone.
But unlike Donnalee and Julie who both had gastric surgery, Alison lost the weight naturally thanks to a sponsored slim.
‘It’s about the only natural thing about me,’ she jokes nervously, laying out the outfits and shoes she’s brought for the shoot.
Alison flew in from Scotland the night before with husband X and has spent the morning getting ready in her room.
‘I was so nervous I couldn’t sleep so I got up early and did my fake tan in the bathroom.
‘Only it went streaky so I had to take it off and start all over again,’ she says.
As a beautician she’s done her own hair and make up and so just needs to decide what to wear.
Linda explains: ‘We asked the women to bring their own clothes because people who’ve had surgery know better than anyone what suits them best.
‘There’s bits they’ll want to hide and bits they’ll want to cover up. We need them to feel comfortable.
And they didn’t dissapoint. The clothes rail is bulging with sequined dresses in every clour of the rainbow.
But Alison’s struggling to decide between a black catsuit and or lace vintage dress.
‘I can wear the dress back to front so the cut away back show’s my boobs off better,’ she explains.
So decision made she’s first on set.
‘You look great,’ assures Linda and business partner and husband Mike who are judging from the sidelines.
‘She never bloody used to,’ chortles husband X.
‘She used to be the size of a house.’
But Alison’s soon twisting her size eight body into all sorts of poses and her husband proudly clicks away with his own camera to capture her big moment.
After a quick change and more shots with her crown and sash she heads straight to the bar to calm down with a large glass of white one and ciggie.
‘I know it’s bad for my skin but I’m still shaking after that,’ she rasps.
Next Lindsey scrambles towards the stage clad in pink and black leopard print.
‘This is the most exciting thing to ever happen to me,’ she beams. ‘ I don’t care if I win or not, just having my make up done and getting dressed up like this is a dream come true.
‘Before my facelift I never used to bother. I was a real frump.’
But as she pouts and poses in front of the judges you’d never know.
Lindsey’s having so much fun she’s reluctant to leave the set, but Donnalee is waiting nervously in the wings.
Her partner X practically has to drag her in front of the camera and her body language betrays the slim sexy woman everyone else can see.
‘When you’ve been fat and ugly all your life, it’s hard to stop feeling like that,’ she says.
The other women nod knowing exactly how she feels.
But with a few words of encouragement she’s on fire and partner X can’t hide his pride.
‘Wow,’ I’m a very lucky man,’ he beams as Donnalee throws a few final poses.
‘Her husband thought she was unattractive. I’ll bet he’s kicking himself now.’
By far the most nervous is teacher Julie from Hull. Last to take the stage, ‘ I feel like an idiot,’ she practically sobs to boyfriend Tony.
‘You look amazing love,’ he tells her truthfully.
But Julie’s spent so many years trying to hide her size 26 body before finally turning to surgery that her confidence hasn’t yet caught up with her transformation.
The photographer shows her a frame on the back of his camera to help put her at ease. ‘Is that me?’ she gasps, eyes wide.
Finally she eases into model mode and actually starts to enjoy herself.
But she’s paranoid about her strapless dress slipping down.
‘When I lost ten stone my boobs disappeared all together so there’s nothing keeping it up,’ she admits.
‘My body looks fine in clothes, but underneath it’s a different story.’
If she wins she’s says she’s desperate to get her boobs boosted from an A cup to a D cup.
‘Tony’s never even seen me naked and we’ve been together a year but I just can’t afford to get them done, that’s why I entered,’ she says.
Alison’s keen to win more skin removal on her legs and thighs and maybe a neck job too.
‘There’s so much I want doing I don’t know where to start,’ she laughs.
Only Lindsey is unsure of what operation she’d chose if she won the prize. ‘I hadn’t really thought about it. I just wanted to have fun taking part,’ she says.
Finally it’s time for some group poses and the women offer supportive and encouragement to each other.
After a group hug, they tell each other how wonderful they look and there’s none of the fake cattiness that might be associated with other beauty competitions.
Each knows the long hard journey their competitor has taken to get to where they are today and the courage it’s taken to enter this competition.
‘We all winners,’ Lindsey proudly declares leading the way to the bar for a round of celebratory drinks.
As the wine flows so do the tears as they share the trials and tribulations of their transformations.
There’ so much bonding everyone seems to have forgotten organiser Linda is about to announce the winner.
‘The prize goes to Julie,’ she declares. But there’s no reaction. It’s left to her man to jump up cheering. It finally sinks in and Julie starts shaking again.
‘Oh my God I can get my boobs back at last. I’ve won a new pair of boobs,’ she squeals.
There’s hugs and kisses from all the other contestants who seem genuinely happy for her.
And there’s runner up prizes of Botox and and fillers for everyone else with Alison being awarded special prize of an eye job.
‘I hadn’t thought about getting them done, but it wouldn’t hurt,’ she shrugs.
Meanwhile Tony looks just as thrilled as Julie as plans are made for her first consultation in May.
‘How about a DD cup,’ he grins excitedly.
Julie nods. ‘ This is the best thing to ever happen to me,’ she says. ‘I’ve gone from size 26 blob to beauty queen and now I have the crown and sash to prove it.’