Jess Shire exudes positivity. Her enthusiasm for life and her optimism, are integral to who she is. “I’d like to help get Suffolk to a place where more people feel more comfortable in their own skin,” she says, reflecting on the success of the Positively Me fashion show she organised in Ipswich earlier this year. “The show was all about giving people the confidence to be who they are,” she says. “It’s a message that you don’t need to change for anyone.” It’s also a message that has been a philosophy of life for Jess, who was born with what she describes as a “wonky jaw”. Despite having to wear a gastric feeding tube, day and night, until she was eight, she overcame numerous hurdles to become the person she is today, outward looking and always encouraging to those around her.
“There’s no point dwelling on stuff that has happened as you can’t change it,” she says. “You have to look forward.”
Supported by her family, Jess coped with frequent visits to hospital and school life that included being bullied. She found another side to life as a Brownie, and then a Guide, and became a Guide leader. Activities such as this have contributed hugely to her self-confidence.
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