Great Britain

Nicola McLean on why she decided to pose naked on her birthday just like Gwyneth Paltrow

SHE bared all to mark her 39th birthday — and to show she still has what it takes.

Former Celebrity Big Brother contestant Nicola McLean is married to footballer Tom Williams, 40, and the couple live in Bucks with their sons, Rocky, 14, and Striker, ten.

She says: “I have had some naked pictures taken most years, a way of celebrating the fact that while I might not be 21 any more, I am still a force to be reckoned with.

“My body is better now than it was when I was an 18-year-old Page 3 girl. I’ve worked for the body I have.

“I’ve had three boob jobs, liposuction and it has survived pregnancy and years of anorexia and bulimia. This body has been through a lot, and I’m proud of that.

“Ageing can be tough at the best of times, but when you’re famous for the way you look it’s sometimes hard to accept the physical ageing.

Gives me a boost

“Whenever I try to compare myself with younger women on the telly, when we are watching Love Island, my husband will say, ‘Nicola, she’s 21 and hasn’t had kids.

"Of course she looks different. But you look amazing’. And he’s right. I’ve earned my body, and doing my naked pictures is just my way of celebrating who I am — or who I can be when I choose.

“Most days when I’m at home I have no make-up on and my hair is shoved up on top of my head.

“But on the photoshoot I’m a different Nicola, a total vamp, with great hair and make-up and terrific lighting to make me look my best.

“I always work with the same female photographer and make-up artist and I always turn up with a bottle of fizz to get us in the mood.

"Getting naked in front of the camera comes naturally to me. I find it really empowering and looking at the pictures is a really good way to give me a boost on days when I feel a bit down.

“I’d love to have them on the walls at home, although I don’t think Rocky would thank me for it!

“With my 40th birthday next year I am already planning my next naked photoshoot to mark the milestone.”

 How others are joining celebs like Olivia Atwood by sporting nothing but their 'birthday suit'

GETTING that feeling of being tough in the buff has never been more popular.

More and more women are stripping off for the camera to feel empowered in a so-called Birthday Shoot craze.

Reality TV’s Olivia Attwood peeled off to celebrate turning 27 in May and Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow wore “nothing but my birthday suit” to mark reaching 48 on Sunday – and to plug a lotion from her Goop range.

Even superstar singer Robbie Williams has joined in the fun.

Here, Yasmin Harisha and Julia Richardson hear why three other women commissioned shots of themselves with nothing on.

'Daughters think pics are amazing'

BEAUTY therapist Karen Drew, 54, is a mum of three from Loughton, Essex.

She says: “The day the pictures from my naked photoshoot arrived I put them up in my hallway and waited for the reaction from my three daughters when they first set eyes on them.

“They couldn’t believe it – none of them could imagine their mum doing something like this. But they all thought it was amazing, especially as they knew how insecure I’d been after the breakdown of my marriage to their dad the year before.

“The break-up was hideous, and my confidence had been shattered. I felt old and unwanted.

“With my 52nd birthday coming up, I wanted to give something back to myself, so when I came across FYEO Boudoir Photography, it seemed the perfect thing to help bring me back to life.

“Even so, I was a bit shy when I first stripped off. But I soon got into the swing of it and very quickly I was having the time of my life. It wasn’t just getting naked, but about the fact I was doing something purely for me.

“It’s one reason I put them up in the hall to show my daughters, my way of saying you don’t have to care about what anyone else thinks, if it makes you feel good, then do it.

“Now I have a large print up in my bedroom, a reminder when I wake up every morning that if I can do that, then I can do anything.

“Overall it cost around £1,000, but it was worth every penny.

“I was so insecure, and this helped me to feel like me again. It was the most empowering thing I have ever done in my life.”

'I felt empowered, strong and sexy, I felt like me again'

GINI ZDESAR is an aerial fitness instructor, who lives in Berkhamsted, Herts, with her husband and children, aged four and nine.

Gina, 45, says: “A few months ago, I was scrolling through pictures taken of me over the last few years.

“I couldn’t find a single one I liked. All I could see staring back at me was this exhausted, middle-aged woman who had lost herself in the demands of work and motherhood.

“She was a lifetime away from the sexy twenty-something who used to be an in-demand model for local fashion shows.

“I realised I wanted to get her back, and with my 45th birthday on the horizon, now was the time to push myself out of my comfort zone.

“So when I came across a woman who photographed these tasteful portrait pictures, it felt like the perfect thing to do to connect with the old me. I didn’t even tell my husband.

"On the day I wasn’t nervous at all. The photographer put me at ease and knew exactly how to show me at my best.

“I didn’t want any accessories and I didn’t need it to be provocative. I just wanted to portray a strong woman, and that’s what we did.

"I felt empowered, strong and sexy. Best of all, I felt like me again.

“It took me months to show my husband and it wasn’t until we had an argument that I texted him one of the pictures with the message: “How about you show your friends this?’’ It was my way of saying “take that”.

“He went mad at first, although he understands now why I did it and loves the fact that I feel more confident in my body.

"It is the best £500 I have ever spent. Today, on days when I feel a bit of a mess, those pictures help remind me that I am a sexy woman in her prime.”

Piers Morgan begs Susanna Reid to take sexy naked photo for her 50th birthday

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