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  • Writer's picturePeta

Prove ALL Bodies Are Beautiful at The PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival With Heidi Anderson

Join Peta and Heidi Anderson in a fun and insightful conversation about facing their fears and embracing their bodies in a flash mob at the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival as a part of the Culture Program.

From overcoming negative comments on social media to blocking out self-doubt, Peta and Heidi share their personal experiences and tools for building self-confidence. Don't miss this inspiring episode about acceptance, self-love, and living life to the fullest.

Peta and Heidi need you to join them at The EveryBody is Beautiful Flash Mob.

When: 6:30PM, 8th of March 2023

Where: Paypal Melbourne Fashion Festival Forecourt, Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053

Connect with Heidi:

Connect with Peta:

Instagram: @petahooke


Episode Transcript:

Peta [00:00:02] Hello and welcome to The I Can't Stand Podcast. The podcast answering your questions on what life is like when you have a disability. My name is Peta. I have cerebral palsy and I'm your host. If this is your first episode, welcome. But I have to say, we're going off script a bit today. Today I have my very good mate, Heidi Anderson, on the pod. And there's a very exciting reason. Heidi and I have been invited by the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival to be part of their culture program to create a flash mob of people in just a bra and undies to prove to the fashion industry that all bodies are beautiful. I love this chat. Of course, I'm very biased, but I think it's a cracker. When Heidi and I get together, inevitably we sway. So we're rolling through this episode, everyone. Let's hand over to the one and only Heidi Anderson.

Heidi [00:01:21] I am Heidi Anderson and I have currently got a beautiful big cold sore on my lip that I've bought into this interview today. So if I can get another microphone, please, that would be very helpful.

Peta [00:01:34] All bodies are beautiful even when they have a cold, so.

Heidi [00:01:37] Yes, exactly. And that's why our show didn't cover it up.

Peta [00:01:41] For people who don't know who you are, Heidi. Can we can you give us like the one minute rundown of who Heidi Anderson is?

Heidi [00:01:49] Okay. Here we go. This is my book, Drunk on Confidence. I'm holding it up right now. So I'm an author and I just published my very first book. It's a memoir from, you know, all about what we're going to talk about today. My mission, which is to have people accept themselves exactly as they are and to unleash out in a champagne confidence so we don't have to be the person who always feeling like, you know, we've got to be drunk or putting on a mask to be confident. I used to be a radio at breakfast radio host, and I do some stuff on TV. I was once on Big Brother. I'm Memphis's mum. I am Griffo misso. Also, I'm married to a beautiful husband called Griffo. And that pretty much sums me up.

Peta [00:02:38] Well, I have to talk about the elephant in the room first, because it'll be interesting to see what you answer this question, actually. Do you consider yourself to be disabled? Anderson?

Heidi [00:02:50] No.

Peta [00:02:52] Interesting. My one role for this podcast is for anybody to be on this podcast with me. You have to have a disability so you don't have a disability. Hannah Anderson After over 100 shows, I've broken my only golden rule paid off.

Heidi [00:03:08] I did. I did one do this. And I think when, you know, we're collaborating together to do an All Bodies, a beautiful flashmob in Melbourne which we're going to tell everyone about and I pitched to you to interview you because I knew that you had this role. But then Peter emails me today with all these questions to me, and she's bringing up me being the guest. So I'm like, Hang on, I was just coming to interview you about some of the things that we've done and the way that you've accepted yourself and your body, because I thought that was pretty powerful. But I mean, now I feel like I'm not supposed to be here.

Peta [00:03:48] Well, you are. That's my podcast and I can do whatever the hell I want. I can't think of a better person than the radio extraordinaire, That is Heidi Anderson, to ask me the questions and to get really into the nitty gritty. But also, like, you don't have to talk about this if you're not comfortable. But I know you also have ADHD, which is also part of the disability community. So technically, my friend, you are disabled.

Heidi [00:04:17] Well, okay. And I like, do you know what I'm so I'm cool with that. Like, you know, I some some people might go like, what? No, I don't you know, and try and fight it. And I think with the whole label of ADHD at the moment, for me being diagnosed and finding out that I have it, I it wasn't about the label, you know what I mean? Like for me it was more just understanding myself in a in a different way. But yeah. Wow, that's so interesting. And what about anxiety? My mental health challenge.

Peta [00:04:47] Yeah, all mental health is under the disability umbrella as well. Not every disability is obvious. Some are hidden.

Heidi [00:04:56] Yes. Yes. And you know, I think raising a little boy, Memphis, like right now, he's at that age where he sees what he sees. Do you know what I mean? There's no filter. There's no filter in his brain at all. Like, you know, he hasn't got a critical brain going on yet. And so sometimes he asked me questions like yesterday, I thought of you paid her at the airport because he sat on a chair that said, for someone in a wheelchair or pregnant or, you know, with a walking stick. And I thought of you because Memphis goes, Mom, what does this say? And what does this mean? And I said to him, Oh, well, you know, and I just had the conversation, like, if you if you saw someone walk over here and they had a pregnant belly or they, you know, they said they needed that say, or, you know, there's someone there with a wheelchair and they've got someone sitting with them and then a whip. And it's just that stuff. Do you know what I mean? That I want to be able to just have him comfortably move, I guess, forward in society that it's. Just like the norm of like seeing everyone for what? You know what it is.

Peta [00:05:56] It's really great that you're putting those pillars in place with Memphis. And that's why doing things like how a flash mob moves, it's just so exciting.

Heidi [00:06:09] Oh, my gosh, these flash mob. So for those who don't know Peta, I going to be on International Women's Day at the Papal Melbourne Fashion Festival in their culture program. And we are going to be getting down into our bra and undies and we want people to see our bodies for what they are and in all their beauty and and accept that they're all different shapes, sizes and colours.

Peta [00:06:36] You don't have to be female, you don't have to be male, you can be non-binary. All of us have had a bit of a process, I would say, with accepting our bodies regardless of how you look. And I think Heidi and I are no different. It's definitely been a challenge and it is an ongoing challenge. Like, I'm not going to say I'm some miracle person that's not like, Oh yeah, sure. Oh, you know, put my body on the line literally, and go in my bra and undies to the Melbourne Fashion Festival. But I'm going to do it because I really believe in representing disabled people in this way. And I'm not saying that like I'm the only representation of what disability can be, but I'm very cognisant that people could see themselves in me.

Heidi [00:07:33] Yes. And I think that's why you know, why I wrote my book, why I share my story, because for so long, I felt alone. Like I felt like I was the only one that had all this shit going on in my head about how much I hated myself, my body, my, you know, my my back flab, what I saw in the mirror for years and years and years. And it wasn't until I was in my thirties, late twenties, early thirties, that I confessed on live radio how much I hated myself and. I realised the ripple effect. Like how many people called in for two weeks straight, people calling out radio show saying MeToo, MeToo, MeToo. And I then realised I wasn't alone. And so now this is my mission for you to accept yourself exactly as you are and celebrate yourself exactly as you are. And that is why we're choosing to get down into our bras and undies. But there's a method to our madness. Isn't that why we're getting into our bar and undies? Isn't there paid off?

Peta [00:08:32] I think it's really powerful to see. Oh, bodies simply. I think it really powerful. I mean, we've done it once before, which we'll get into, but your inner self-confidence just sort of blooms when you do something like this. When you're surrounded by people in their underwear, you actually realise how much of your body issues or the things that you say in your head is just you. Nobody else thinks that. Nobody else really cares. And actually, if we were as kind to ourselves as we were to other people about our bodies, we might be in a better place.

Heidi [00:09:12] You know, for four years when we were little, we didn't have anyone representing us and who we were. That is why we choose to get down into our bra and undies, because not just because we look damn good and we look damn fine when we're doing it. Because we have that confidence now, it's because it's quite vulnerable. And when you when you face your fears straight on, you will then understand and become aware of the voices in your head, which then that means that you can work on. And then in that moment, when you're taking off those clothes, it's like those layers of all the bullshit lies and, you know, society's expectations, unrealistic beauty standards. That's kind of like what you're stripping off into. And then all of a sudden you've got this body that you were born with, that you're sharing with the world that might not be perfect because no one is perfect. And, you know, for me, mine was so much about my tummy and my arms for such a long time, you know, that were never good enough. Think about it. Like this is how I think about it. Like when they talk to people about, like, fears and phobias and all that kind of stuff, how do they get you to confront them? If you're scared of a spider, they'll make you hold it. That's how they'll get you over it. When we're feeding our little babies, when they're learning how to to to eat for the first time, we expose them to their allergy, like what could be an allergy. And so we expose ourselves to the shit that's going on in our head. But also what we've so many of us are afraid of is opinions and judgement of others. And then we take our power back and it's unbelievably powerful.


Peta [00:10:54] And I'm sure many people will be listening to this saying, Well, that's great, but what about what the response will be on social media? How do you how do you go about overcoming those fears that might be ripple effects? So putting yourself out there like you do all the time.

Heidi [00:11:14] We experienced this in the lead up to walking through Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne back in November. So I was touring around with my book Drunk on Confidence and I messaged Peter and I said, I would really love to do this with you, like having work together. We're on the same mission. We're creating conversations that impact people's lives. Like that's what we're here to do. I would love for you to be a part of this photo shoot with me. And so. She said Yes. Fuck, yes. I would love to do that with you, Heidi. I'm shit scared that way. That's what that's basically yeah, that's pretty much what happened. But then in the lead up, we're promoting it on social media and one of my walks through the shopping centre before went viral. Yes, that shit does still sting. And yes, that shit sometimes still gets in your head, but it's how quickly I move through it now and the tools that I have to let go of when other people are projecting their bullshit onto me. So yes, it still stings at times and it will. And maybe that's one of the reasons why you don't want to get down into your bra and panties because you're not afraid of actually your inner voices. It's the voices outside. And so I would say this is where Peter and I can come in to support you. Like they were fucking main. Like I would not even say that to the person that I didn't even like, you know, let alone a stranger on on Instagram. But I did the work like I spent the 12 hours before our walk. Peta like meditating Breathwork letting go, speaking, saying I was scared, like I shared my shit. I message people. I told you I was fearing that my fears started coming up, but then I could work through them. I didn't push them down and they continue to be fears like now. I don't give a fuck going into Melbourne Fashion Festival with you like I am like, Yes, we are here for these. Like we know the response we're going to get, but we also know the freedom that we feel within. And so now I've given that powerful TEDx talk on how good it feels. I would love to know from you paid off. Like how did you feel seeing those messages come up online? But then I also want you to get to the feeling that you felt once you were out on Bourke Street as well.

Peta [00:13:32] I'm going to be really honest. I don't read negative comment ever.

Heidi [00:13:36] But how could you not? Because they kept popping up. So I don't usually either. And so they kept popping up because the video was going viral. So they were always at the top of my fade.

Peta [00:13:45] I guess I have, and I'm sure you do too, but I have certain words blocked on my Instagram so they just don't come up. So I don't see I don't see any negative comments. And if I do, I block them immediately, go on and delete them. I never, ever, ever keep any negativity on my Instagram. Now, that's just amazing. A lot of people like to have the conversation pure and to not change what people are saying. But for me, I'm all about the positivity and yes, I'm quite happy to stick my head in the sand. Let me just be the ostrich.

Heidi [00:14:25] The moment on Bourke Street. So you didn't read the comments, you went in, you got into your bra and undies. There were six of us. How did you feel doing it?

Peta [00:14:34] Well, I'm going to take the audience back. Yes, sorry. Just to give you a bit of context, guys. It was November and Holly is a Perth girl, as many of you know, and I was the Melbourne local and Heidi said, Hey, Peter, I'd really like to do this in Melbourne. Where should we do it and when should we do it? And I thought, well, November should be fine, the weather should be fine, it'll be beautiful. No, it wasn't everyone. It was like 12 degrees top temperature and howled. So that was lifted off to you. I was instantly a bit fearful because there were some homeless guys on the street and like, not to be stereotypical, but any males, I'm just like, What are they going to say? Like I knew the females would probably keep. And this, again, is very stereotypical, would keep what they're thinking in their head. But what were the guys going to say?

Heidi [00:15:34] Wow, I didn't know that. Okay. Yeah. And what what? How did they react?

Peta [00:15:40] Oh, that was lovely, though, actually. Great. They like good on girls, like, clapped off. It was the most amazing feeling. And like, I'm not going to lie. When the cops turned up, I was a little excited we might be getting arrested. Unfortunately, we did not get arrested, they were very supportive.

Heidi [00:15:58] And luckily they literally beeped at us, waved. And that's some of the comments that were coming through a line actually, like you'll be arrested. This is so horrible for children to see. And that, I think, is the problem with society. It's like, well, why is it horrible to say a woman in a bra and undies or a bikini or, you know, swimmers or whatever, once the cops went past Peter, how how did you feel? Because we were out there for, what, about 40 minutes? 45 minutes.

Peta [00:16:25] I felt fucking fabulous, to be honest. Like, it was so good. Like I could have done it for another hour. To be honest, I just completely forgot that I wasn't clothed. Like I had underwear on. I wasn't naked, but I was just. It's just like, yeah, I felt totally normal. Within about 3 minutes, I'm like, If you want to go get a coffee, like, this is fine.

Heidi [00:16:47] It's it's, this is the thing, I think, because, like, your voices in your head can get really loud before the opinions of others, They'll project them onto you. Why do you need to do this? Why are you doing this? Like, why do you have to get down into Bernardi's for body confidence, body acceptance, blah, blah, blah, all this shit. But until you do what? You can't explain this sense of peace. And I believe this is where hippie Heidi will come through. I believe we're all born with that pace around our bodies until someone told us that that's not okay. You know, what we had was a sisterhood that day of all different ages, shapes that came together to fully see each other, support each other and celebrate each other. That, to me, is what I want to feel every day.

Peta [00:17:38] It was the best adrenaline rush I've experienced, I think, ever. It was amazing.

Heidi [00:17:44] And that's why we want you to come and experience it with us in Melbourne on the 8th of March. Like, because it's this freedom and a movement that is impacting people's lives.

Peta [00:17:59] And not only that, what makes this time even more special is the fact we're doing it in front of the fashion industry.

Heidi [00:18:06] The fashion industry is an interesting one because. I don't know what size I am here in Australia because they have they don't have a standard sizing. You know, they I didn't see people growing up. Yes. I believe there's a whole range of beautiful plus models these days. But are they even plus size? Fuck Come on. Their normal like you know that's the 14, 14 to 16 is normal but we're categorised as as 14 to 16. And so for me. I guess for me it's like I'm not seeing all my friends out there being reflected in the fashion industry. So that's why I want to be a part of it.

Peta [00:18:44] I think for me what it's tied to. When I was younger, I was like, Oh, so this is what is socially acceptable over here and this is what's considered attractive. And I think a lot of us want to be desired, right?

Heidi [00:19:01] Have you talked about how horny you are on this podcast, Peta?

Peta [00:19:05] So how do you going..... Just off that subject...

Heidi [00:19:09] Oh my god. Did you even finish what you were saying?

Peta [00:19:13] How do you how do you wish the fashion industry would have spoken to you as a teen? Like, if we could rewrite history, how would you like Heidi to be communicated with?

Heidi [00:19:26] I think that's a great question for you.

Peta [00:19:29] I think we all want to fit in. And I was certainly no different as a teenager. I wanted to fit in, but there was no representation of disability at all. There's there's a little bit now, which is fantastic and great, and I'll shout to the rooftops about it, but there's still so much to be done because I don't think I've ever really seen. Me reflected anywhere.

Heidi [00:19:57] Yeah. And you want to give that girl who is seven years old, not just Pato, who was seven years old, but that little girl right now, or that little boy right now who has cerebral palsy or, you know, who might be in a wheelchair. You want to show them. And that's what you do every single day. The way you show up on social media, the way you show up in your podcast, the way we're showing up at Melbourne Fashion Festival. That's why we are here. Yes, it might not be for everyone to get into your bras and undies on March 8th on International Women's Day, but we need your support so that we can represent these the younger generation, so we can represent our past selves. I would love to know what was some of the things, because you've talked a lot about how you were that confident kid to you related to that. And then you became you, you lacked that confidence and got in your head and tried to be who they told you to be and wanted to be who that you thought that everyone liked and didn't want that rejection. Can you tell us a little bit about how that kind of happened?

Peta [00:21:04] I have to say, I've never believed what people say because I've always been so different. Like and I know that in actuality there's a lot of people with cerebral palsy out in the world. But I was the only one I ever knew. I was always the only one in the room. So I always thought people's perception of me wasn't correct because. I just always had this inner self-confidence, but it certainly didn't stop people's negative. Comments. When though we're trying to shrouded in a compliment so things like, well, you have a disability, but at least you have a really pretty face as if I'm somehow that makes the disability better is if there's something to overcome with a disability. Just all that bullshit, you know?

Heidi [00:21:52] Yeah, but I, I like and I love that you said that you didn't believe what people said, but you let it affect your confidence, didn't you? And then because like, you started to go, you know, that's why you started to lack and you started to get in your head?

Peta [00:22:09] Well, I think it was just me panicking, being like, how do I prove to people that that isn't true? Like, how am I going to switch this narrative to be like, No, guys, that's actually not the case. Like, thank you for the lovely compliment because I think I do have a nice face, but you know, the rest of my body is okay too, even if I can't walk. So it's always trying to prove to people that their perception about me and disability might not be the full truth. And that's why I'm really passionate to do this thing with you at the Melbourne Fashion Festival, Heidi, because in the in this way it's just me proving people wrong that a disabled body deserves to be seen. And hopefully we'll have many more than just mine. But, you know, just proving to people the perception of what's possible in having a disabled life.

Heidi [00:23:07] Maybe you're sitting here for your past self that you want to do it for. Maybe it's for your for your child. Maybe it's for your grandchild. Maybe it's for your niece, nephew, your Arnie's, your uncles, you know, your sister, your grandma, whoever like that has stood before you. That has fought for you. That's why you need to find your why to come and join us. And I think that's so important. Like Carolyn, who walked with us through Melbourne, it was so significant for her to do that for her past self. It's not just about you and your body, it's about the narrative and it's about what we want to do to impact other people's lives and change. Change the future. Change the present change today.

Peta [00:23:54] As I always say, my mission in life is to do myself out of a job. If we can both prove to everyone that all bodies are beautiful, we've done our job.

Heidi [00:24:05] Yes. And, you know, we just really hope you can join us. Peta, we'll check all the details in the show notes. Please slide into our dms, @_HeidiAnderson for me. Peta, what's yours, girl?

Peta [00:24:19] @Petahooke. P.E.T.A.H.O.O.K.E. Nice and simple.

Heidi [00:24:24] Would you all probably know, but please slide into our DMS and let us know what you think about today's episode. We'd love to know, like, what you think of your body as well. And maybe your why, why you want to do this. And if you're not in Melbourne and you're listening, how can you get this message out there for us for people to join us? Because it won't be a flash mob without some friends. We want you to be represented. That's what we want. We want you to be represented. And the only way that we can do that is if you represent yourself or you. For someone to do it for you because you can't make it.

Peta [00:24:58] Absolutely. As we say nothing about us without us. And we can't have diversity and inclusion without all different forms of it. So please join us.

Heidi [00:25:09] Please join us. We're not unicorns. This is part of the work. This is part of the way you will build your confidence. This is part of the way that you will change the narrative. And this is part of the way that you'll become friends with your inner Maine gals or guys in your brain.

Peta [00:25:27] Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I know it was a little bit different, but as you can probably hear, Heidi and I are very, very passionate to make sure that this flash mob isn't just the two of us, because our message and the importance of changing the narrative of what is considered beautiful in the fashion industry is just so, so important. So if you are in Melbourne or have the capacity to get yourself to Melbourne on the 8th of March 2023, we would love to see you there. I would put a link in the show notes to you to gain more information and for you to register for the event. It's free to come along if you can't attend the event. We totally understand, but we still need your support. So please share this episode on social media. Slide into my audiences, DMS on Instagram and tell us what you thought of the episode. Tell us how you feel. Tell us how you wish the fashion industry would be and how you think the fashion industry can improve. I'm so excited to continue this conversation with you and I really am so pumped to see you in person on the night in just a bra and undies. So until next week. Have a good one, guys. Bye. I'd like to pay my respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, but especially to the pan the wrong people where this podcast was recorded.


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