Read time:14 minute, 59 seconds

I understand that I could be opening myself up to charges of hypocrisy given that I’m writing about body confidence at precisely the time I’m getting over liposuction and a Brazilian butt lift in Turkey and waiting for my creamy fettuccine dish to arrive, but bear with me!

I want to open up about how I’ve felt about my body for years and let two other people with different body types answer some personal questions on how they feel about their own bodies.

Growing up for me wasn’t easy, being called “the fat kid” by pretty much everyone. School in Ireland was horrific as I wasn’t sporty. I couldn’t draw, dyslexia was not a “thing” and, because I had ADHD, teachers saw me as naughty and attention seeking. And don’t even get me started in being secretly gay!

Quite simply, I didn’t fit in anywhere, so instead I stayed at home and ate (and ate and ate) out of boredom because going out was NOT an option. I became a teenage hermit, completely terrified of going out. This went on for years.  

The 1990s were all about diets…certainly in magazines (no internet back then so it was all about the glossies). If any celebrity put on a pound or two it was front-page news, drumming into us that “having curves is wrong”. Together with the fashion for stick-thin models – and as a kid I couldn’t get enough of those goddess supermodels, captivated by every strut they took.  

Back then there was also a lack of nutritional knowledge, so trying to lose weight almost inevitably led to bulimia. This is not something I generally talk about, but as a large UK charity who should know better leaked this berty personal info out to their emailing list, I’m going to pen a whole new article about those dark times, so standy! 

So what happened? Yup you guessed it…I lost A LOT of weight, but I lost so much so quickly that I became disgusted with the amount of loose skin I had everywhere and my health was so bad I ended up in hospital. 

I moved to England for a new start and for 20 years lived with my weight going up and down, hating full length mirrors and cringing at the thought of being naked with anyone. I was good at hiding it, and the Garrii that people saw was full of bravado, always confident and full of fun .But inside I still was the scared body-hating Garrii that felt he didn’t belong. 

It makes me laugh when people say that all you need to do is go to the gym. I did go to the gym and even went down the steroid route for a bit to bulk up and help fill out all that baggy skin…but then the vicious cycle kicked in:taking steroids and eating excessive amounts of food triggered my thought patterns and, you’ve guessed it, bulimia can knocking one again and I was back to square one. 

I couldn’t win. I tried to accept my body and at times I was ok but those mirrors were still never full length and the summer sun never saw my body without being covered by yards of fabric. So where am I now? Well, right now I’m in Turkey after having my thirteenth cosmetic procedure. I LOVE what I’m seeing in the full-length mirror and I’ve even and not only that but I have started up a business with a friend of mine in Turkey called Allure Medical,helping potential patients find the correct surgeon, price and that all-important aftercare.

I’m not saying surgery is suitable for everyone or an easy option but for me, yes, it was the right thing because it changed my life in ways I can’t explain. What started with hating my own body was exacerbated by the signs of aging and my hair was so thin I started shaving it and wearing those hair systems. Then, as my 40s approached, I decided to make some big changes.

I had the following treatments:

  • Eye lift
  • Cheek lift
  • Nose job
  • Neck lift
  • Lip lift
  • Hair transplant
  • 2 x tummy tuck (the first one in Poland was a terrible job so i needed it redone)
  • Full upper body lipo (front and back)
  • Brazilian butt lift
  • Scar revision
  • Vaser lipo on chest
  • Fat etching to give appearance of muscles

I am happy with my journey so far and I may have other bits done. And  if I do decide to have more work, I’ll never stop telling myself that this is  my body and my choice. Frankly,I have had enough of listening to any opinions other than my own and my surgeon’s. 

So let’s hear from two friends of mine about themselves and their personal body journey.

First, I have the absolutely stunning little treasure Little Miss Loon, aka Crystal Foster.

Photo: @kthing-imagery

I met this gorgeous lady at the Essex TV awards a few years back as we were both up for an award and we clicked immediately. We’ve stayed in contact ever since, supporting each other with our careers and personal lives, so I was looking forward to collaborating with her for these following questions.

What was your body like growing up?

I was a very late bloomer and I cannot say that I had much of a chest until I had my boobs done later on in life when I was around 20 although I am looking into getting them enlarged a second time..

What is your favourite body part?

My favourite body part has got to be my face. I think peoples’ faces are so unique and fascinating.I particularly love the eyes:  looking into somebody’s eyes can tell you a lot about them but, then again, the lips, the smile and the teeth…pearly whites and a good grin makes my knees weak!

Is there anything about your body you don’t like?

At the moment I am looking into having my breasts enlarged for the second time. I currently have 325 cc implants, this was done around five years ago to give me a very natural looking breast, however I would like to get them slightly bigger and on top of the muscle to create a more defined cleavage.

I would also like to complete the tattoos on my legs and fill in the gaps just underneath my bum cheeks later this year.

Do you get negative comments from others about your body and if yes, how does it affect you and what is your coping mechanism for this?

It is a shame that living in the 21st century I do still get negative remarks and comments about my tattoos.The older generation will mock me and make comments that I will not like them when I am older myself. However, I’ve never seen an elderly person walking round in a cropped top or miniskirt. Once you reach a respectful age you naturally cover up a lot more and I’m excited to see how my body looks as I mature.

What are your thoughts on cosmetic surgery?

I definitely think cosmetic surgery has helped a lot of people and it has certainly helped me overcome things in myself I didn’t like or wanted to change; however it’s not a necessity to have  cosmetic surgery. For me,  it was just a bonus that I could improve on what I already had or make a slight change to something I didn’t like.

Are you happy about how you look?

At the moment I have started to feel particularly unhappy with the way that I look but I think that’s because I am awaiting surgery. Once you’ve made up your mind that you want to change something you’re not happy until it’s changed, however it doesn’t make me sad and I still enjoy taking pictures and going to photo shoots. I love my body and I’m proud of where we are today, but we still have a journey ahead of us until I’m perfectly happy with myself.

Lastly…what would be your advice about body positivity to others reading this?

My advice to readers in regards to body positivity would be to embrace who you are and only change what you really feel you need to. If there’s something that plays on your mind daily, have a consultation and see what your options are. However, there are many things in life that we dislike but don’t necessarily have to change. There is beauty in imperfections and being different is what makes us unique. A lot of people are stuck on a particular image, usually based around looking like somebody else, and  I feel you need to fully embrace who YOU are. Love’re the most important person in your life, after all.

I’d like to add that, if you’re about to write a comment on somebody’s body, let’s make sure it’s a positive one. Degradin g Social media is becoming too popular for degrading people on their looks when we should be supporting people and their differences

Now, I would like to introduce my good friend Tanyisha Rusbridger, aka Lady Blue Phoenix.

Photo: okohs.boudoir

Tanyisha and I crossed paths on stage at a variety show and had a giggle in the dressing room during a costume change. I always think you can see a performer’s true personality in a dressing room as their shield comes down. We hit it off from the start and I love this beautiful soul!

What was your body like growing up?

I  was thin when I was younger. Average size. It wasn’t until 7th grade [equivalent to UK year 8] when I started to get curvier and a bit bigger. 

What is your favourite body part? 

My boobs: as much grief as I give them I like my boobs. It’s the one part of my body that I’ve taken the longest to like as I was bullied about being busty. 

Is there anything about your body you don’t like?

Naw, I’ve grown to love my body over the years. Yeah it has its spots, marks, scars, and tiger stripes…but that’s what makes it beautiful. 

Do you get negative comments from others about your body and if so, how do they affect  you and what is your coping mechanism for this?

Growing up and even now, the main comments usually were that I was fat and ugly. I’ve grown to laugh these off, but sometimes it still hurts. As much as you can grow to let go of an insecurity you have about your body, the pain or the words that hurt you can still sting. 

Usually my coping mechanism is  reminding myself that I am a badass fierce goddess and that is only one opinion. Truly, I ask myself, do I care what that person thinks about my body? In the end the only person’s opinion about my body that matters is mine. 

What are your thoughts on cosmetic surgery? 

For me, if it  makes a person feel better or whole then honestly that is up to them. It’s not my judgment call so for me the only time I do have a problem is when all you see on the media is thin or cosmetically overly changed people who help fuel the ideas that you have to get work done to look good. You have to be a certain size, shape, body type etc to make it in the entertainment industry, or you can’t be beautiful if you’re all natural. 

In the end there’s beauty in everyone and as long as we can accept that then that’s what’s going to help us change the current ideology. 

What is your relationship like with food?

I love my food, but have a healthy relationship with it. I try to not have too many cheat days and eat about three meals if possible. My relationship with food is better now, than when I was younger. 

Are you happy about how you look? 

Honestly, yeah. I mean I’d like to get a bit fitter and lose the Covid weight we all gained, but besides that I’m really happy with myself and how I look

Lastly, what would be your advice about body positivity to others reading this?

At the end of the day it can be hard to risk being unique. You’ll get pointed out, picked on and so on. However, guess what? The only person whose thoughts on how you look that should be important is yourself. 

We have to learn how to love ourselves more before looking at changing ourselves because it’s trendy, it’s in, it’s the popular treatment going. Instead, ask yourself “ Do I really need this, want this, and can I be bothered to do it.”

Change and evolve because you want to, not because of the media making you feel as though you don’t fit in. We all have beauty inside ourselves and in the end when the time does come to an end for us, that’s what’s going to be remembered. The beauty that shone from the inside out by what we did, not how we looked.

So readers there you have it! But not before I get to quiz myself!

So let’s talk to me, Garrii Bailey, aka Shyanne O’Shea.

Photo: @flimfreephotography

Born as Garrii Bailey but having released my alter ego “Shyanne O’Shea” in 1999, I’ve since accepted that there is and always will be both a male and female side of me. Garrii is the manager and Shyanne is the performer and powerhouse!

What was your body like growing up?

My body growing up was pretty large, which led to health problems, depression and an eating disorder that I still have to be mindful of.

What is your favourite body part?

I would definitely say my legs Whenever I do a show I always get compliments on them and they do look fit in a pair of heels.

Is there anything about your body you don’t like? 

Yes and no really. All the things I haven’t liked about my body I have had either changed or improved with cosmetic surgery, so I think I would say next on my list is my inner thighs, but I am booking in to have skin tightening soon so I’m not too worried.

Do you get negative comments from others about your body and if yes, how does it affect you and what is your coping mechanism?

I do as some people say I shouldn’t be having all this work done and embrace the beauty within…OK honey, I don’t know what you’ve been smoking but this is my body and my life! I am in good hands as I trust my surgeon and even though I have had a lot of work done, I still look like me and that’s something I have always wanted. 

What are your thoughts on cosmetic surgery? 

That’s an easy one: I LOVE IT. It’s not necessarily an answer for everyone and you can’t ever go into the realm of cosmetic surgery looking for perfection as you will not find it. If you do choose to go down this route then choose who you go to carefully (or allow a professional company like mine find them), be realistic and don’t put your life at risk.

What is your relationship like with food?

If I’m honest, not the best. I struggle mentally with food and my bulimia will always be there, but I feel I have it pretty much under control and recognise triggers.

Are you happy about how you look?

For the first time and  even though I’m currently very bruised from liposuction and have stitches, I am happy with my body! I am very swollen still but this will go down and I am very excited to walk around topless soon !

Lastly…what would be your advice  about body positivity to others reading this?

Please allow people to be themselves. Do not give someone a comment about their body or looks unless they ask you. If you are a keyboard warrior and troll people I think you need to take a hard look in the mirror because this is saying more about you and your unhappiness. The old saying “words will never hurt me “ is a lie and you can cause serious damage to someone’s mental health, so if you don’t like the look of someone’s picture online then just scroll on and let them be them and you be you. Can I get an AMEN for that  please!!

Social media links

Little Miss Loon aka Crystal Foster: @littlemissloon &

Lady Blue Phoenix aka Tanyisha Rusbridger:

Garrii Bailey aka Shyanne O’Shea: @garrii_bailey @shyanne_oshea @wigmistressuk @neonleaf_entertainment @shy_allure

Cosmetic and dental surgery in Turkey


Whatsapp : 07599696153



Eating disorder helpline service: LGBT+ friendly 

Help for England

Helpline: 0808 801 0677

Help for Scotland

Helpline: 0808 801 0432

Help for Wales

Helpline: 0808 801 0433

Help for Northern Ireland

Helpline: 0808 801 0434

US: This site was recommended to me for eating disorders


Well known in the straight and LGBT+ community and helped me a lot in the past with personal problems

Lgbt+ hate-crime helpline 0207 704 2040 (UK only)

About the author

Garrii Bailey

Garrii Bailey is a trained hairdresser who is probably best known for his alter ego, the hugely successful drag artiste Shyanne O'Shea. As well as performing up and down the couuntry as Shyanne, Garrii is an accomplished wigmaker and runs his own entertainment agency, Neon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest articles