“I had these huge dreams in my heart about being a singer and a songwriter and doing something meaningful with my life. And then I didn’t see anyone my size out there doing that and I was terrified that I had to be thin first before I let people hear my songs.”
These are the words of Clare Bowditch – one of Australia’s most-loved – and talented chameleon performers. You may know her as a singer/songwriter (she won the Best Female Artist ARIA in 2006). Or maybe you know her as an actress (in 2013 she was nominated for a Logie for Most Popular New Female Talent for her role as Rosanna in Offspring). Then of course she’s an entrepreneur – starting her own company Big Hearted Business to teach creatives about the art of making money, and now she’s become an author with the publication of her extraordinary memoir, Your Own Kind Of Girl.
If you’re starting to dislike her because she sounds like one of those too-talented all-rounders – then you are mistaken. Clare is the total bomb. And she writes stories like she sings – hitting all the low and high notes while making you feel happy to be alive.
Clare’s story is about the chubby little girl of her youth and she spins a life-affirming tale of the things that shape us all – nailing women’s relationships with family, with anxiety, with food, with our inner self-critic and our deep hidden fears of never being enough. As she says in the book: “Life is the stories that we tell ourselves and what happens when we believe them.”
Ain’t that the truth?
By the way the name of the book comes from one of her most beautiful songs she wrote in 2008 `Your Own Kind Of Girl’ – a song that she admits she often struggles to perform, saying “for most of my early life I lived in the hope that someone, somewhere would tell me that I was ‘more than this’ – that I was more than my failures, more than my grief, more than the terrible stories I told myself about myself.” Check out some of the lyrics:
My hope for you my darling girl
Be brave and build a dream in your own size ‘cos otherwise
You’re buying crap that you don’t need to feed a world that will not feed you
It will not feed you, my love
Oh you long to be like the other girls
But you weren’t born to be `some other girl’
You’re gonna be your own kind of girl
Clare Bowditch gets women. We LOVED this book and then we met Clare in the flesh for this ‘Finding Fearless with marie claire’ podcast and loved it even more. She surpassed all our expectations (can you tell we turned into massive fangirls? It was embarrassing really!) Do yourselves a favour people: listen to the podcast and buy the book. You won’t regret it for a minute.
Your Own Kind of Girl (Allen and Unwin, $29.95)