Interview

In Conversation With April Hélène-Horton: The Bodzilla

April Hélène-Horton, aka The Bodzilla, is the woman that everyone wants to be bffs with. She's so lovely and you know she'll always have your back!

In this week's interview, April shares her motivations behind The Bodzilla, a space for body acceptance and fat positivity, and her tips for loving the skin (and body) you're in!

Tell me a bit about yourself

I grew up in Goulburn - my mum is also from that area and my dad was Mauritian. I'm my mum's only child, and one of five on my dad's side. My brothers and sister are easily the coolest people I know.

Go-to coffee order: I'm a flat white gal and you'll rarely see me drinking coffee in the afternoon because I love to get an early night - the best part of the day is 5-8am when you have lots to do and the motivation to do it!

What motivated you to start The Bodzilla and what do you hope to achieve through it?

I have always been the person who would stick up for someone or confront bad behaviour in public - I remember being at school and being teased but still willing to say ‘oi, f*ck off’ to the boys who hassled other fat girls. Not sure what I was hoping to achieve in that scenario other than to show the person that I didn’t think it was OK for them to be treated like that … so I guess that’s what The Bodzilla does on a bigger scale (pardon the pun!).

When you see me living my best life, doing the things I want to do in media, it shows that anyone can do it. The difference between me and any other fat person who wants to achieve their professional dreams is that I have had opportunities and support. Surrounding yourself with examples will allow you to change your self-perception.

You're a writer, podcaster, model and a body acceptance and fat positivity advocate (congrats on your new brasnthings column and season 2 of the BODcast!) What's been the most rewarding moment (or moments) of your work so far?

Thank you! It’s been one hell of a year, hasn’t it? Rewarding moments come in all shapes and sizes; from a billboard to the side of a bus right down to the DMs I get telling me how I have helped someone feel OK about their body, each of these things is a special moment for me. You can never get too many reminders that your hard work means something to people.

You exude confidence and positivity, which is so great to see! Of course, not every day is going to be an amazing day. How do you look after your mental health and protect your energy, particularly in the online space?

You are SO right! I have had to come up with some pretty hard boundaries around what I will accept in the comments section - not just for me but for the people reading them.

I also have some topics I don’t touch on, and that’s both because my voice is not always the one that’s needed on every subject but also because talking about those things exhausts me.

I see and hear from lots of my friends that people are really ready to come into their DMs and demand their energy on things and that’s a habit we need to break along with trolling and cyberbullying. It’s one of the reasons I made the recent episode about parasocial relationships.

What's your top tip for loving the skin (and body) that you're in?

Choose to say something different every time your brain tells you a nasty thing about yourself. It doesn’t have to be something about your body, and it doesn’t even have to be something ‘nice’ - but if you hear that thought ‘You don’t deserve to have a good day because your jeans don’t fit, you should skip breakfast and lunch’ then say back to yourself ‘I need to eat to stay healthy - I am allowed to nourish myself and have a good day. My worth is not attached to these pants.’

You’ll soon hear yourself saying much less mean things.

Image via What's On Media Au