SUZANNAH HICKS > 56 > MODEL > BERKSHIRE
If at first, you don't succeed,
have five kids and try again.
At seventeen years of age, Suzannah Hicks had the dream job. She was signed with one of the world's top modelling agencies and was working for some of the world's top brands and fashion houses
But in a world where 'nothing tasted as good as skinny feels' Suzannah felt she could only measure up by yo-yo dieting and learning to hate her reflection in the mirror.
So she ran away and got married. She became a mum at 19. And 22. And 24. And 27. And 30.
"I spent thirty years doing jobs that fitted around the kids.
The woman who had once graced the pages of Vogue became a dinner lady, a playgroup assistant, a curtain maker, a doctor's receptionist, and a cheese maker.
Till she packed it all in.
"It was time to do something for me."
She had always wanted to go back to modelling but it seemed like a crazy dream. Then JD Williams catalogues started popping in her letterbox filled with stunning images of older women. Suzannah knew her time had come.
She enrolled in a year-long boot camp and was prepared to go the distance till her shoulder froze (eleven years of cheese making had taken its toll). But she didn't give in, she went to the chiropractor. She knew this wasn't going to be easy.
Three days a week she pushed her body to its absolute limits.
But there was a much bigger barrier to face.
"I had to learn to look in the mirror and believe in myself."
She was determined to release herself from years of self-sabotage and set herself free.
She found a photographer after her chiropractor mentioned he treated one. She was rusty to begin with but her second round of shots got her an agent.
Now she's well on her way to a successful career with a couple of major campaigns under her belt.
She's not getting the big fashion jobs though. Only white-haired supermodels fit the designer stereotype.
But that doesn't bother her. She's happy working with brands who know older women are tired of living up to impossible clichés.
She's determined to challenge the image of older women - not just with her natural hair colour but with energy and zest for life. And megawatt smile.
"I wish I hadn't spent so much time worrying about getting older.
I wish I'd been looking forward to it."
Suzannah can finally be herself letting her true beauty shine through without worrying about the natural wobble in her thighs.
She's been on an epic journey and is deservedly very proud of herself, her determination, strength and courage.
It took a long time for her to become comfortable in her own skin.
Now time is on her side and heroin chic is dead.
She can finally have her cake and eat it too!