Model Who Battled Depression Launches Her Own Beauty Calendar To Create Awareness


Milly Evans is not your average 25 year old girl. She is a model, which is not so groundbreaking in and of itself, but it’s her journey to get there and what she is doing with this opportunity which makes you want to know more about her.

Three years ago, Milly was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) while on holiday in Egypt with her fiance. The Cheshire, UK native said initially she thought it was something less severe, but after going to hospital back in the UK she received the real diagnosis.

She told The Daily Mail that the pain was excruciating and it felt like she was being stabbed in the back and stomach. As a result she became very fearful of eating anything because the pain was too much to bear.

“I became distressed and scared about eating which became stressful in itself. I lost three quarters of a stone and had gone down to 8 stone 7 which considering I am 5ft 9 isn’t good. If I go under 9 stone I look disgusting.”

“I should have been happy – I was engaged, I had a three-bedroom detached house and a good job. But I had to go back to the doctors because I started pulling my eyelashes out and I started having really bad thoughts about hurting myself.”

Because of these behaviors she was then diagnosed with depression, which sent her confidence plummeting to an all time low. But despite the way she was feeling physically and mentally, she was unable to get the support she needed from those around her.

“I had no self-confidence, if I tried to talk to people they would say ‘how can someone that looks the way you do be depressed’. I felt lost and alone.”

Isn’t it sad that we judge people according to their good looks, and automatically assume their lives must be perfect! Milly is a great example of why this needs to change.


Earlier this year Milly was spotted by a model agent, who invited her to take part in a beauty pageant in St. Helens, UK. At first she was hesitant to compete, thinking there was no way she would measure up to typical beauty pageant standards.

“I thought there were far more beautiful women than myself. I’m not the typical beauty queen, with my shaved head, tattoos and piercings. But they were telling me that they loved my look and wanted something different.”

“All the girls were beautiful, typically beautiful and then there was me with my tattoos. At first people asked if I was going to cover them up but I wanted a dress to show them off.”

And it was the “something different” in Milly that enabled her to come runner up, but more than that, to gain a new lease on life and inspire her to change her situation.

“I was absolutely the black sheep of the pageant and I couldn’t believe it when I came runner up. On the night I remember thinking that’s it, no more letting depression ruin my life.”

Milly wanted to create her own beauty calendar but with a twist, she wanted it to be filled with women who had suffered or were suffering from a mental illness to raise awareness, and show a different side of the “beauty” industry.

“I decided to do something to raise money and I posted a Facebook status searching for 11 women who had experienced mental health issues for a calendar photo shoot, it didn’t matter about their shape or size or age. The response I got was amazing and it was so hard picking the girls.”


This venture turned into the calendar called “Beauty Is a State of Mind” which Milly hopes will encourage other women out there not to be afraid of what they are going through, and that they too can have confidence and happiness despite suffering with something so debilitating.
“When I looked around [on the day of the shoot] I thought to myself that even if I didn’t sell a single calendar I didn’t care because I had helped these ladies.”Milly hopes to dispel the stigma surrounding mental illness in young women with this calendar.
“I want to show that it doesn’t matter what you look like or who you are, anyone can go through mental illness. I want to show that it isn’t something to be ashamed of. People need to talk about it.”Proceeds from the calendar will go to the UK mental health charity MIND. It was released early December, 2013, but you can still get a copy by ordering from the BIASOM Facebook page.
If you or someone you know has a mental illness but is too afraid to share their story, please share Milly’s journey with them and be a source of encouragement to that person. Beauty is indeed a state of mind, and we have the power to choose how we define it in our lives.


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