Rachel Peru has been nominated by IWC member and former Social Impact Star winner, Miranda Arieh. Miranda says “Rachel Peru is a silver-haired curve model, body confidence activist, and influencer and the host of the ‘Out of the Bubble’ podcast.
Her mission is to encourage women all over the world, of all different ages, to realise that it’s never too late to start a new chapter. Her story is truly inspirational and her dedication to encouraging women of all ages to rise up and start to feel more love and respect for themselves is utterly life-changing to see.
What she is doing is sincerely tackling the fear story aimed at women’s body confidence head-on. She does this without aggression or criticism, she does it with love. She shows how she did it, she quite literally shines her light and gives others permission to do the same.”
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Who has she helped/who will she help?
“Rachel has created a space for women to share their own stories on her fabulous podcast ‘Out of The Bubble’. By creating this platform for women to share their unique stories and inspiring journeys, she is bringing people together in the times they need it most. She’s bringing the wisdom of women together into one place alongside her own and it’s a joy to witness.
Rachel says “I began my new career as a model at the age of 46. If you’d have asked me if I’d be doing this in my 20s and 30s, I’d be running down the street shouting ‘No, thanks!’ I struggled with a lack of self-belief and body confidence and it wasn’t until I hit my forties that things changed.
For my 40th, I did a tandem skydive for charity. I was so scared of heights and hoped it would cure my vertigo. It didn’t, but it did give me a new badge of courage and I started the decade with a new sense of confidence and excitement as to what I could achieve next. I’ve spent the last ten years saying yes a lot more than no, with some surprising outcomes.”
Miranda says “Rachel is inspiring women (and I dare say men!) across the country to start to grow in confidence. She encourages women to be brave and shines a huge light against the ‘anti-ageing’ marketing which is being so fiercely spun across the world right now.
I’m so inspired by her approach to bravery, body positivity, and kindness. I believe that what she is doing is shining a light for women both young and old, and her potential reach is global. She helps hundreds of women a year get their voices heard and also inspires countless more.”
Rachel says “I’ve gained a loyal growing following on social media for modelling lingerie aged 50. Being so visible has been received very positively. I receive messages from women of all ages who are struggling with body confidence. They tell me they feel inspired by my photographs and message and have started to feel better about themselves, which I love hearing.
I’m really proud of ‘Out of the Bubble’ podcast’s success. It’s giving other women a spotlight who would otherwise not have the opportunity to share their stories. I’ve interviewed 57 women in two years and now have a long queue of women asking to be a guest on the show next year. The podcast is now in the top 10% in the global ranking. I want to grow this even further in 2021.
I’ve used the time this year to develop my Facebook presence as I have previously focussed more on Instagram. I held live interviews Monday to Friday for 3 months during the Summer and have now created a Facebook group called ‘Time to Shine’ where I hold weekly interviews of inspiring women on various subjects to inform and motivate members. I’m enjoying this closer connection with a diverse set of women and it’s something I’m looking forward to developing alongside the podcast and the modelling.”
What have you learned? Any challenges?
“I had no prior knowledge of social media when I started and have done everything myself. From finding and researching new guests, interviewing, and editing, it hasn’t left me a lot of time to focus on PR, which is what I now need to concentrate on.
I’m hoping once I reach a higher ranking, I can monetise the podcast so that I can outsource some time-consuming work and establish ‘Out of the Bubble’ as a solid brand that champions women in midlife. It’s been a big learning curve. I’m enjoying the process but sometimes it can be overwhelming.”
“This year, I have run the podcast weekly since the first UK lockdown in March, so I’ll be taking a break and relaunching the next series in February. I am now aiming to get in the top 5% and attract higher-profile guests.
I’m focussing my model work in the lingerie area and am keen to push bigger brands to be more diverse and inclusive with their age range in advertising. Once life gets back to normal next year, I am planning to hold live ‘Out of the Bubble’ events with interviews, guest speakers, and activities. I have a long list of projects for the future and it’s just a case of working my way through them all slowly.”
What advice, contacts, or resources would help you?
“I would love more advice on SEO training and how I can increase my reach. I have a strong group of loyal social media followers with over 18K across all the platforms, but I know there are so many more women to reach and this is key to making all that I’m doing into a viable business.
I am determined and passionate about building the Out of the Bubble and know that I have a lot I want to achieve with my message but would really love some business strategy and planning advice.
I would love to present some talks to other women about my own story and what I have learned from all the amazing women that I’ve interviewed and am keen to network with like-minded women next year. Although the modelling work is my source of income, I don’t make any money from the podcast and it’s something I would like to address moving forward.”
Why we’re sharing these stories
Each year, an individual or organisation from each of our five categories plus one exceptional judges’ choice individual is recognised at our annual Igniting Inspiration celebration event.
We publish each and every nomination to raise awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North. While, this year, our physical event had to be deferred, our campaign to spread stories of positive social impact continues – good news is needed!