A West Cork mum-of-two is to be the face of a major lingerie campaign in Ireland and Britain after being selected from 10,000 hopefuls.
Rebecca Barrett from Ballydehob is the only Irish winner in Ultimo’s Real Women campaign. The 35-year-old mum to Sophie, aged 10, and Katie, aged seven, will join nine British women in London on July 25, where a professional photographer, make-up artists and nail technicians will give them the superstar treatment.
Rebecca and the other finalists will then become the Ultimo face in Debenhams stores around Ireland and Britain.
She told the Evening Echo that she could still not believe she had been selected.
“I am 4ft 11ins and am very self-conscious about my body, as most women are. I’m conscious that the images we see in the glossy magazines are of stick-thin, tall supermodels.
“When I saw the Ultimo competition, I asked myself: ‘Why not go for it as a confidence boost?’ I sent them in a picture from my Facebook page in a skirt and T-shirt and forgot all about it.
“Four weeks later, I was told I had made the final selection. I honestly thought someone was having a laugh. It’s so exciting to know that a mum-of-two like myself, can do something like this.”
The third year of the Ultimo Real Women campaign sees models chosen from size 8 to 18, with their ages ranging up to their 50s.
CEO of Ultimo, Michelle Mone, started the campaign in 2010 after modelling in her own ‘real women’ shoot herself.
Rebecca added: “It is such a confidence boost and I hope other Cork women take heart that we don’t need to be size zero. My daughter Sophie is so proud — she wants to stand in Debenhams the day the campaign starts to tell people that it’s her mum in the posters.
“I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts — it’s about having fun and feeling good about yourself. We’re going to fly over, all expenses paid, with professional make-up and photographers, and champagne. I’ve become friends through Facebook with the other girls. It really is once-in-a-lifetime. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.”