HOW I MAKE IT WORK...

Brodie Lan­caster on em­brac­ing out­sider sta­tus.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Con­tents - as told to Adri­enne Tam No Way! Okay, Fine by Brodie Lan­caster (Ha­chette, $32.99), is out on Tues­day.

Ilived in Bund­aberg, Queens­land un­til I was 18. It’s weird to talk about high school and be all, “no one wanted to date me” or “peo­ple were sh*tty to me”, be­cause I was still friends with the pop­u­lar kids. I wasn’t pop­u­lar my­self, but I knew peo­ple would want to be around me if I was funny.

I un­der­stood this was ten­u­ous – say or do one wrong thing and I’d be cast out. So I be­came a sup­port­ing char­ac­ter: I was sassy, but I’d never out­shine some­body else. It was a del­i­cate bal­anc­ing act.

Bund­aberg was a nice place to grow up, but all the things I loved – film and mu­sic and pop cul­ture – weren’t avail­able. There was an old theatre that played movies al­ready in the video store. Bands didn’t tour there. I knew I had to leave.

I now live in Mel­bourne, and my per­spec­tive on be­ing the side­kick has changed. As my pro­file has grown, it’s been harder to see my­self as an un­der­dog. Even if that’s kind of how I still feel.

If I’m at an event where I’m do­ing a big talk, peo­ple have one per­cep­tion of me and my con­fi­dence level. Then I get off­stage and I feel like I’ve done a bad job. It’s a weird di­vide be­tween how you ap­pear and what you ac­tu­ally are.

Some­times, I think about what I’ve writ­ten and won­der, “Oh man, is it all just re­ally sad?” I hope it’s not. It’s just the things you don’t want to say to your friends when you’re out hav­ing a beer; all the stuff you go home and write in your jour­nal, and never tell any­body.

I think about my body ev­ery day. It dic­tates the way peo­ple see me, and the way I ap­proach space, other peo­ple and dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances. Con­cerns get height­ened when you live in a body the world does not ac­cept. That’s why I talk about the pol­i­tics of bod­ies in my book – be­cause the com­mon frame of mind is that fat peo­ple should hate their bod­ies. So when we don’t, it’s seen as ei­ther rad­i­cal or hor­ri­fy­ing. By just ex­ist­ing, we are told we are glo­ri­fy­ing obe­sity.

My fam­ily hasn’t read my book yet. I feel a bit weird about them read­ing it – it’s about all the feel­ings I’ve ever had! There has also been fear around writ­ing some­thing re­ally per­sonal that also opens the reader up to broader ideas; there was pres­sure to rep­re­sent more than just my­self here. In the end, the only ac­count I can write with any kind of au­thor­ity is my own.

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