Mentor Model Agency is looking good

Model professional: Jo Markham-Webster of Model Mentor.
Model professional: Jo Markham-Webster of Model Mentor.
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WART cream, several tonnes of body butter and two pairs of rubber gloves for washing up - the demands of models are not those of a normal 9 to 5 job, as Star reporter Rachael Clegg discovers.

LUCY Shakespeare could pass you in the street and you wouldn’t know her from Adam. But chances are, you will have seen her legs.

Lucy – from Chesterfield – has had her legs on show in pretty much every supermarket and pharmacy in the country.

The endless, shapely legs that adorn the packaging for Pretty Polly tights are, in fact, Lucy’s.

Being a leg model is not, by any standards, a normal 9-5,

“You have to keep trim but at the same time make sure you are not too muscular or too skinny.”

This means that Lucy, 33, has to maintain a constant weight. “I’m usually a size eight but I’ve just had a baby so I’m a size 10 now but to keep momentum up with work you’ve got to get back to how you were as soon as possible.”

Lucy does this by exercising as much as she can in a manner that’s gentle and fits in around her hectic life as mother, part-time gym manager and model with Mentor Model Agency in Chesterfield.

“It’s amazing what you can do. You also have to keep your hydration up so drink at least two litres of water a day. This gets rid of your toxins and flushes you out and helps with cellulite. I also do pilates once a week and yoga.”

She also moisturises her body twice a day. “I treat it like I would my face, I go through a lot of coconut body butter.”

Lucy was picked out for her legs while at another shoot.

“I was doing regular modelling for years and did a lot of fitness modelling and it was on one shoot that someone pointed out that I had a good pair of legs.”

From that point, the leg modelling work rolled in and she started modelling regularly for Pretty Polly.

“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” she says. “The angle they shoot from is really low down and you would think it’s just a case of standing there but you have to be so specific with where you position yourself. It’s quite intense and you have to hold yourself in that position for quite a while.”

Lucy believes that her yoga and Pilates is a big help with her modelling. “It helps with your flexibility,” she says.

But Lucy’s not just about legs.

As well as having her pins behind the lens, she has also modelled her bum.

“I did some pictures for Sloggi, which was a job I got on the back of a fitness advert I did.”

But, like her legs, Lucy also has to keep her behind trim.

“It’s amazing what you can do just when you’re around the house to keep trim,” she says. “When you’re cleaning your teeth you can do three minutes’ worth of squats, you just point your feet outwards and bend right down. This will help you trim up that bit right underneath your bum.”

Model Becky Guest, 42, also follows a regime to look after herself. Becky, from Totley, is a general model but has done a lot of hand modelling.

In fact, such is the importance of Becky’s hands and nails remaining picture perfect that she once lost six months’ worth of work as a result of trapping her nail in a car door.

“It was upsetting at the time, I trapped my nail in the car and that was that. I lost out on a big job because of that but luckily I was able to do other modelling as well.”

The nail eventually returned to its immaculate condition and Becky picked up work again as a hand model.

Her line of work has also put Becky in all manner of bizarre and interesting situations.

“I was photographed with a dead frog on my hand once, it was for some wart cream,” she laughs.

She’s also learned how to build things, operate kitchen equipment and put contact lenses in. “I’ll do absolutely anything but I won’t take my clothes off,” she says.

And all this – the hand modelling and Pretty Polly legs – is thanks to the sharp eye of a model scout Jo Markham, founder of Mentor Modelling Agency.

Jo, 32, has been modelling since she was 16. But being a model isn’t just about being beautiful, says Jo.

“You definitely have to have personality in front of the camera to be a model. It’s about the camera ‘liking’ you. There are people who are not that good looking but look striking on photographs. It’s about temperament.”

It’s a stressful job, but Jo wouldn’t swap it for the world.

“I love it,” she says.