Meet Josee

When we first heard Josee’s story, the majority of the judges for the contest were mom’s, so her story resonated so clearly and loudly to many of us.
We so often suffer silently with the daily struggles, expectations and realities of being a parent. The ideas of what being a mom is, are often filled with cuddling babies, walks in the park andcoffee dates while our babies lay sleeping soundly.
The realities can often catch us off guard and shock us to our core.
In meeting Josee, she is a lovely, funny, sweet and kind woman. She exudes a confidence and gives those
around her a feeling of acceptance and courage.
I am so proud that Josee so openly shared her story.
Her story is my story. I hope this touches you as deeply as it has so many of us already. Meet Josee.
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
Josee’s Hair Cut, Colour and Styling by Chelsea Watson
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
I have always struggled with low self esteem, but having my son was a completely different spiral for me.  I felt I couldn’t do anything right.
I felt criticized and judged during my mat leave. I struggled with leaving
the house and participating in any “mommy and me” groups or even
just going for a walk.  I thought it was normal to feel this way,
but I saw my friends who had also recently had their kids and didn’t seem to be struggling as much as I was.  This only deepened my feeling of inadequacy
as a mother, and a person.  Nothing was clear, everything just seemed off and I didn’t know why.
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
Coming back to work was even more difficult.  I wasn’t the same.
I couldn’t do the things I used to be able to do. I wasn’t as efficient, or organized.
I didn’t have the same memory and in my job, I relied heavily on those things.
This, combined with leaving my child with a stranger (daycare), the loss of control over my day to day life was just too much.
I felt like I couldn’t do anything right.  I truly felt like I was sinking.
I tried everything, but never fully committed to anything looking back on it now. Cleaner diets, exercise, seeing my doctor.
I pushed myself to be everything to everyone and to still try to be that person
I used to be and still manage everything else in my life to the level
I used to be able to.
I couldn’t. It was impossible, but I couldn’t let it go.
I just couldn’t give myself permission, it felt like if I did, it would be just another failure.
There came a point where I had to take time off work, seek help from my
doctor/counselor and even then continued to struggle for months with symptoms of Post Partum Depression.
I still have my bad days, but I’ve learned to move past them, to not identify with them as much.
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
After being notified that I was picked for this makeover, I was instantly excited.  I hadn’t felt that way about myself in, what felt like, years.  The experience was incredible.  I felt special, I couldn’t believe all the work you guys did to give me this makeover.  I felt your support, I felt loved throughout the whole process, and I didn’t even know you.  It was an eye opener, to see that the world isn’t dark, that I’m not alone, that I’m not judged or criticized.
Looking back now, it feels surreal, like a dream, but I can look in the mirror now and see that person that you brought out on that day and it gives me a boost every morning.  My journey isn’t over, I’m going to battle PPD for a long time but I feel important now, I feel worthy and I feel capable.  You guys did that, what you did for me was more than I could ever express in words.  You have brought me back to life and for that I am truly grateful.
Josee Gordon
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
 Image by Lynette Giesbrecht
We could not have done this without the help of our community.
A HUGE thank you to Lynette Photographer & Harder Photo Design for these spectacular images! We truly couldn’t have done this without you ladies! The talent you both exude is awesome to see!
 Lennard Taylor for the amazingly crafted articles of clothing! We can’t thank you enough for these fantastic pieces!
Sparrow Events Company for the use of your fantastic space and thank you so very much for the wicked change room! Unexpected and just beyond cool!
Alise Frederic Salon for framing these lovely faces with brow shaping!
Forever 21 for lending us the fun pieces we were able use for this shoot!
Shelley Hook’s Closet for the super cool wardrobe we got to dress these lovely women in for this shoot!
Our artists Harold Santos, Whitney Dheilly, Chelsea Watson, Lisa Schoor with The Artist Groupe. We are blessed to call you all partners and work with your talent, selflessness and selves every day! Thank you for giving these ladies the pampering and styling they deserved!