For those of you who are not based in Australia, Heidi Anderson is a former Big Brother contestant, ex breakfast radio presenter, Mum to one-year-old Memphis and founder of Shed Your Shit. She is also a self-proclaimed “Hype Girl” on a mission to create a better world. If you are thinking that she’s not the only one, you’re right, she isn’t. But I put money on the fact that the current changemakers of society didn’t do this last week.
To some people, what you will read next may sound crazy and inappropriate. Heidi put out a call for people to meet her at a local shopping centre, prepared to literally bare all. If I’m going to be really honest, I thought what she was planning to do would swiftly end in some form of disaster – worst case, with a journey in a police car. But this is Heidi and she never does anything by halves.
Heidi and seven inspirational women stripped down to their bra and undies and walked through the shopping centre* like they owned it. They did own it. As a collective, they didn’t give a seconds thought to what people thought and instead of disdain, they were greeted by tears, cheers and high fives. They celebrated their bodies – the beauty in a woman with the lumps, bumps, wrinkles and scars.
“It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life”, says Heidi, “It was about saying ‘up yours’ to the unrealistic beauty standards and negative body image.”
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would have this response.”
The impact of Heidi’s saunter through a shopping centre reached a whole new level after an older lady named Maggie took it upon herself to strip down to her own bra and undies.
This is where my own moment of regret set in as I watched Maggie lose her clothes and gain such confidence. As soon as I saw how empowered she felt, I couldn’t believe I let my own self-doubt (and fear of getting arrested) set in and I stayed at home.
“We were shit scared, full of anxiety and worried about what people would say,” Heidi said, “but we did it anyway. Why? Because this is living.”
“I didn’t estimate how powerful it would be. I just thought we would feel bold for coming out in our underwear, stepping outside our comfort zones and walking through the shopping centre. But it wasn’t about us at all.“
It was about the young girls watching, the two babies with us, the Mum’s smiling, shop owners watching and strangers clapping.
Imagine if for one second you didn’t care what other people thought.
This is just one example of how Heidi is working so hard to free us of other people’s judgements and opinions; it’s not a diet or a quick-fix. It’s about mindset, strategies and self-love. Heidi’s “Shed Your Shit” courses are becoming increasingly popular and have been known to sell-out in hours.
I’m not surprised, really. For years, I have watched Heidi’s transformation and self-love journey. Once crippled with anxiety, negative body image and “I hate myself” thoughts, today Heidi says that she finally feels free and is determined to show others that they too can find that inner peace.
It’s only natural to give a fuck about what other people think of you; It’s only natural to seek the approval of other people. But there are serious consequences in doing so.
When you give too many f*&^’s about what strangers think about you, you end up feeling insecure in public places.
When you seek approval through love and attention, you end up on an emotional roller coaster that can leave you feeling ‘unworthy’ and ‘lonely’.
When you give too much thought to society’s expectations, you end up living a life that you don’t really care about.
If I look at the photos of Heidi, the seven empowered women… and Maggie, walking through the shopping centre, I don’t notice what they are wearing (or not wearing). What i see is this:
So much confidence.
And in Heidi’s words, freedom. FREEDOM!