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Kathryn Adams and fellow winners
Surrey’s own army medic Kathryn Adams voted Fake Bake’s Real Women Winner
Earlier in July this year award winning tanning brand Fake Bake launched their Real Women competition. Deciding to break from the stereotypical modellish approach to beauty, Fake Bake chose natural women from all walks of life to front their range, à la Dove and M&S, who have also championed such campaigns recently.
Reality TV stars Sam Faiers from TOWIE, Big Brother’s Josie Gibson and Fake Bake’s own consultant Sandra Mclumpha were given the task of selecting 6 natural beauties to head their Christmas campaign, one of whom is Woking’s own Kathryn Adams, aged 24.
An army medic from Woking who always looks polished to perfection, Kathryn certainly knows a thing or two about multitasking. Kathryn’s first deployment was in 2008, when she flew out to Iraq for 6 months to join fourteen inventory men. Kathryn risked her life daily to patrol the grounds and reassure locals that everything was fine, carrying over half her bodyweight for 8 hours a day.
Every patrol needed a medic so Kathryn was always on standby, treating anything from a shotgun wound to blast injuries.
“Being the only girly girl in the army was definitely an experience I will never forget", said Kathryn. “The boys all looked out for me and we’d often have extra stuff to carry but because I was already carrying half of my body weight, they wouldn’t let me carry anymore.
“The children in Iraq and Afghanistan would always stare at me when they saw me as they were never used to seeing a female around – especially a blonde one! During the six months we built wells and schools for them and it was such a nice feeling to know that you’ve just given several children the chance to learn for their future.”
Life was far from glamorous. From having to go to the toilet in a bag she carried around with her to using a hosepipe to wash herself, Kathryn had firmly left all creature comforts behind at home. She slept in a tent on her own and her rations consisted of egg fried rice and bolognaise. She spent her 23rd birthday in a ditch covered in mud and feces and fearing for her life.
Kathryn then married her husband, also an army medic, but was deployed to Afghanistan four months later. When Kathryn and her husband safely returned to the UK in April 2012, they immediately went for a break to the Maldives where they celebrated their honeymoon. Three months later, Kathryn fell pregnant and soon gave birth to her daughter, Poppy Grace.
She’s still on maternity leave but would love to continue working in the army offices.
“No one really prepares you for what you’re about to see in Iraq and Afghanistan” she said. “I felt every single emotion there is whilst being out there. I entered Fake Bake’s Real Women competition because I am a mum, a wife, a girly girl - and a soldier. I just wanted to prove that even us real women can have a dirty frightening job, yet still be all those things - us women are invincible!”
Clearly moved by Kathryn’s story, judge Sam Faiers said: “It is great to be part of this initiative. I love that Fake Bake have taken the Real Women style comp one step further so it is not just based on looks but about these women’s stories and their strength and for many their determination in the face of adversity!”
Kathryn beat over 1000 other entrants to win the prize, which involved being whisked away to the luxurious Airth Castle in Stirling, Scotland for VIP makeovers by celebrity stylist, Hayley Sparkes, makeup artist, Craig-Alexander Wilson and Her Majesty the Queen’s very own hairdresser, Ian Carmichael. The campaign was then shot by legendary fashion photographer, Fabrizio Gianni in and around the glorious castle with the theme ‘Hollywood glamour’.
Speaking about the competition, Sam’s fellow judge Josie Gibson said: “I am so honoured to have been asked to judge such a brilliant competition. It’s all about finding real women who juggle a whole range of things day to day yet still find the time to look fabulous.”