Brooke Blurton: “I’m Not Afraid To Share The Ugly Stuff”

If past experiences are what shape us, Brooke refused to be defined by her circumstances. After moving to Perth, she joined a country footy team and there, on the field, she learnt the value of teamwork, that sometimes life isn’t a matter of testing your limits but also knowing when to ask for help. “Footy generally saved my life in terms of giving me everything that I hadn’t had,” she recalls. “I saw these women consistently every week and they became like my family, like sisters to me. And throughout that, you’re not just one person doing something, you work as a team and learn that you can’t always do things on your own, you need people to have your back and be there for you.”

“Vulnerability is strength. If you can be vulnerable with yourself and also with others, I admire that over being physically strong”

Brooke Blurton

What Brooke, now 27, discovered through footy is something she now hopes to give back to others. As a youth worker and ambassador for Maybelline’s Brave Together initiative which, in partnering with ReachOut Australia, is seeking to destigmatise mental health and support those experiencing anxiety and depression through the provision of resources and accessible services, Brooke is on a mission to ensure others don’t have to navigate life’s struggles alone. Here, the Noongar-Yamatji woman opens up about the need for healthy boundaries, her holistic approach to health, and what she’s learnt about love since being crowned Australia’s Bachelorette.

Brooke Blurton Women’s Health Australia August 2022 cover

rooke Blurton wears: Aje sports bra, $115, and jacket, $295

How did you come to adopt the mentality that circumstances don’t have to define you?

Brooke Blurton: I think I’ve always been a very empathetic person. Empathy is putting yourself in a person’s emotions and shoes, so I’ve naturally always been a sensitive soul to people’s emotions and feelings. I don’t know why or how I got that but it just happened. But I’ve also been a person who has a lot of perspective and I can look from the outside and see a situation for what it is and try to be optimistic about outcomes.

You share so much of your life and personal struggles on social media. Do you ever feel the need to retain something just for yourself?

We don’t get taught this enough, about healthy boundaries in life. I remember reading a book by Dr Rebecca Ray about setting boundaries and you’re constantly doing it. It’s not being like, “I don’t want to do something because I want to be mean. It’s saying, I don’t want to do something because I need to retain energy, I’m at my emotional capacity.” I’m not afraid to share the ugly stuff as well. Vulnerability is strength and that’s what I truly believe. If you can be vulnerable with yourself and also with others, I admire that over being physically strong because I think that, for me, is so admirable and the strength to share vulnerability is not credited enough in this world.

What was it that drew you to youth work?

Seeing young people in such a crappy state of mind but then leaving with so much confidence, and so much charisma and such a beautiful aura about them after receiving help and reaching out, I just knew this was what I need to be in. I loved building relationships, I loved helping people.

I guess it stems from wanting to do more than what you had. Trying to help people not go through what you had to go through. It extends from my own lived experience, wanting to do more for my family, my community and also a minority group. The questions I had growing up around sexuality and identity, I just didn’t want anyone to go through the same thing.

As an ambassador for Maybelline’s Brave Together initiative, what are the conversations you think we need to be having around mental health?

I feel like we need to be our own best friends. We’re so good to give advice and good encouragement to other people, but when do we ever say that to ourselves? When do we ever highlight all the amazing things that we’ve done in our life? Whether that’s being mothers to our children, business owners, being people that motivate other people to live their best lives. I forget, I get so wrapped up in my day-to-day life. I feel like we just need to give ourselves a little bit of love and a little pat on the back sometimes because we are doing amazingly.

Photography: Steve Baccon. Styling: Charlotte Stokes. Hair: Graeme Cumming. Make-up: Lei Tai. Creative Director: Amanda McCourt.

Read the full interview with Brooke Blurton in the August issue of Women’s Health Australia. Subscribe so that you never miss an issue.

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