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Episode 62 – Yolanda |A story of a former police officer who works for community corrections.

Updated: Nov 4, 2022



LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:


In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about Yolanda, how she worked as a police officer first, dealing with a lot of domestic violence cases, and then moved to correction services. You will also hear a fun story about how policemen play hide and seek on night shifts.

You can READ the interview transcript HERE

 

10 Facts About Yolanda

(at the time of the project)



1. 57 years old.

2. Yolanda is from Holland. So, she’s Dutch. She came to Australia when she was four.

3. Yolanda is the first-time grandmama of an almost two-year-old grandson. She has three children and two stepchildren.

4. Yolanda is in her third marriage. And this is her best marriage.

5. She used to be a police officer for about 20 years. When she was 12, she knew she wanted to be a police officer. That was her dream. She was a street police officer. And she was also for about 10 years, a trainer in the police academy as a weapons instructor.

6. Now Yolanda works for community corrections, which is like a parole officer. But as a manager of officers in regional New South Wales. She's been doing this job now for about 15 years.

7. Yolanda is really passionate about her faith. She was always a Catholic, but moved to the Christian faith and was reborn.

8. Yolanda is really passionate about women too. She spent a lot of time in the courts as a domestic violence officer. And when it comes to women, just having that special acknowledgment of who they are, brings joy.

9. The biggest challenge at this age – “Just the body not doing what it used to do.”

10. Positive change with age – “Just growing into myself. I feel so liberated - this sense of freedom and this sense of achievement. I can be anything that I want to be.”



Watch Yolanda’s VIDEO interview HERE

 

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

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Hi, you're listening to My Body My Story podcast.

We used to play hide and seek on night shifts in the city in the in the police cars and Kings Cross if it was a quiet night like Tuesday night, we used to get on the police radio and get each other to you know, go, go hide and we'll come and find you.


This is the 45 or 45 chapter where we celebrate rule breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show that sensuality, beauty, soul and true essence. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and will listen to the stories of our participants. If you have an interesting story to share, we would love you to participate, you can email us on info@aleksandrawalker.com or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com


Hi, everyone, and welcome to my body. My Story project today with us Yolanda in the studio. Oh, hi, Yolanda.


Hi, Aleksandra.


Welcome to the studio. Welcome to the project. And while you're sitting in the makeup chair, and Nicole is doing makeup for you. I'll be asking you a few questions. So tell us a bit about yourself.


Well, I'm 57 years of age. I don't know why I start with my age. But yeah, I'm loving where I'm at the moment with my age. So I am a first time grandmama an almost two year old grandson. And I have three children and two stepchildren. I'm in my third marriage. And this is my best marriage. I love it so far. And I absolutely feel like it's a forever relationship, which is awesome. I'm uh, I work for community corrections, which is like a parole officer. But as a manager of officers so i Manager An office at the moment in regional New South Wales morning. Yeah, I used to be a police officer for about 20 years, but I've been doing this job now for about 15 years. So yeah, I feel like I'm, I feel like I'm working in a field that honours who I am as a person. Yeah, building leaders, you know, growing leaders, I should say. And, and yeah, just bringing the best out in people who would probably see themselves as not something who they are. So. Yeah, I'm an encourager.


It's a long time career in this field. Yes. So it's very interesting. I want to ask you so many questions on how to be a police officer. And you know, how did you come up with this idea to become a police officer? And was it like, challenging or it's more routine work?


I have a unique gift, I suppose of knowing and when I was 12. I knew I wanted to be a police officer. I actually, my, my history is I come from Holland. So I'm Dutch. I came here when I was four. But unbeknownst to me, because, you know, we have a very large family. My father and my mother have both some, you know, 20 children in their family. So very big family, we could never get to know you know, any of them. We were the only ones here in Australia. But unbeknownst to me at the age of 12 I, you know, I knew I wanted to be a police officer. That was my dream. And but I actually have police officers and Guardian guards, you know, official guards that are part of my family in Holland. So yeah, so it's actually well, when I found that out, I was like, no, no wonder I'm doing what I'm doing. A challenging role. It was almost like I was trying to reach my personal best being, you know, getting to that because I had had actually failed my schooling. And by that, I mean, I didn't pass my HSC I failed dismally. And, but I still got to do what I wanted to do because I persevered. I continued to push for what I wanted in my career, and really, it pushes you beyond your boundaries beyond your comfort zones. I was a street police officer, so not behind a desk. And I was also for about 10 years, a trainer in the police academy as a weapons instructor.


So you know how to defense yourself, your family for sure.


Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I've had to do that a couple of times. Yeah. In my life. It's sort of another story that's rather in contrast to my work. But yeah, I loved him. I loved being a police woman. But after 20 years, I was actually suffering and, and always questioning to like, Oh, what, how can I influence these people who I'm arresting. And actually there was a defining moment in my, my career as a police officer that allowed me to understand where I needed to shift in order to be the true person that I am i which is an encourager, someone who believes more in people than nice, they think of themselves. Yeah. And this, this role is very much been about that. Whereas policing is very punitive. You know, like, you're arresting people. Yeah. And sending them in before the courts for justice in front of you. So that justice is served kind of thing.


So you're dealing already with consequences


That’s right? So, so So then moving into Corrections is very much dealing with behaviour change


Do you have any interesting or dangerous story you can tell us? Or like some episodes, you remember the most from your career?


As a police officer? Um, I think, yeah, I do have a couple. Yeah, there's so many. But sad ones, as well. So I specialised in domestic violence. And the irony of that was I was I was experiencing domestic violence myself. So. So that's where you know, the realisation for it's like an awakening. It's like, Hey, hang on a minute. I'm actually in that myself. So yes, you know, sort of a sense of connection with that. But yeah, I was a police officer in the 80s. And that was very naughty time for a lot of police and very corrupt. And, yeah, really dangerous time as well, depending on how deep you are in corruption. So not that I was, I was very much against it. But I think because I was against it. I was, you know, sort of in danger. Yeah, yeah, as well. So, you know, those sorts of stories are things that I really can't, you know, disclose without putting myself in a space where, you know, I'm revealing things that you probably shouldn't ever really know. And I've worked all over the place. So here in the city was one of my favourite places to work and Manly.


But was it quiet or..?


Busy, it was really, really busy. But we made our busy as well. And by saying, mate, we made our busy, we used to play hide and seek on night shifts in the city in the in the police cars, and Kings Cross if it was a quiet night, like Tuesday nights is generally a really quiet time on night shift. And we used to get on the police radio and get each other to you know, go hide, and we'll come and find you, you know, so they would, you know, go hide in the city somewhere, some laneway or whatever. And we would race around the city with each other. Yeah, yeah. Trying to catch each other. Yeah. And so there's sort of fun times, but you know, probably inappropriate as well. Just to keep you awake and, but you were also being very proactive as well, because you ended up finding things in places where if you were hiding someone's like, what they doing that, you know, I ended up with a few arrests because they were doing things that they shouldn't have been doing so exciting. Yeah, really exciting, fun. Dangerous, and yeah, yeah, I think the tipping point for me like I said was domestic violence I remember going to I was working in the country and I'd have done most of my stuff in the country was one too many domestics and got very very over the top with having to arrest this person struggling with arresting this person and putting myself in danger as well. So you know, firearms, you know, that kind of thing. And that's a really dangerous position to put yourself in. And you know, for the potential for bad outcomes, but luckily it didn't and for me, you know, when you when you push to a point like that, and you break down in tears, you know that that's a moment where you're, Hey, hang on a minute. I need to fix that chain change it. Yeah. Yeah, so that was that was a turning point for me career wise, but also my family. Why that the time yeah, my relationship to it. And because that was really, really toxic.


And what do you think the main reason of this kind of behaviour? Why people do that being violent towards the close ones? Is it drugs, alcohol? Or it's just like..


No, it’s Control?


Control issues?


Yeah, it's power and control to people are, you know, people are trying to control things within the relationship that they probably are fighting against, or they're both up against and


So it’s psychological more.


Yeah, you have very psychological and very, very controlling behaviours. Yeah, yeah. And then, you know, one party not having the locus of control and you know, perhaps allowing things to happen that they probably would not under normal circumstances, be faced with or to put up with. Yeah, yeah. But, yeah.


So and then you moved to correction,


then I move to corrections. Yeah. And a huge, like, personal growth, opportunity, as well. Because whilst you're learning about the, you know, the intricacies of the people that we manage, that you're learning a lot about yourself as well. So yeah, it was a huge personal growth trajectory, too. So that was, you know, sort of a, a time in the beginning of very much a time where I knew I was on the right track as far as my own personal growth was concerned, but also what I could contribute for people about, you know, around their own change. So, being a life coach was something that I delved into, in my current role as well. So personally, I sought study as a life coach, because that was my own personal growth, too, with a view to starting my own business, but never got that far. I sort of did but didn't pursue it.


Maybe not yet.


Not yet. Perhaps that's right. Perhaps that's right.


So can you explain to me like what is this is.. because I still cannot understand it completely. The correction. Do you work with people who already committed this crime of abusing others? Or they been once called and put on what you call it? parole or


court orders? Yeah. Yeah. So you got court orders? Or they you've got a sentence, which brings you to jail, and then come out of jail. So both. So yeah, being in both areas where very much in the community, so where people are on community orders, but dealing with people as they come out of jail on parole. So I've also worked in the jails as well.


Wow


Yeah.


So you make sure that they don't do it again?


Well, we can never guarantee that. Yeah, no, it's more about having conversations. And in you're encouraging them to seek help around their behaviour change. So finding, identifying what it is that brings them to that crazy point, and then referring them to people who can help them but also us having those discussions and that that ongoing preparation for change.


Do you think? Because you said your work to do jail as well? Do you think, really, the jail helps people to rethink what they do? Or it's more of a punishment for what they did? And because that's always been my big question. And I wish George was here, because he's really interested in this subject here research. Yeah, he researches that jail, subjects a lot. And it's been always my question, does it really help to correct people or just the act of justice, like you punished, and here you go,


I think, you know, that, traditionally, it's always been an act of punishment, that jail has been there to contain, especially the dangerous ones. You know, most people, you know, will, you know, most people are good people, but there are some, and it really is only a very small number, that are committed to committing crime, you know, that's their thing. And that takes a long time to, you know, grow out of, I suppose. But no, it's not the answer. It's not the only answer. Jail is just a timeout, I believe, but I think the jails are changing now, too. So as part of this whole, there's a whole shift in thinking around that and it's, you know, the research that's been done overseas that has seen In a shift in punishment, or jail as punishment, and you know, that there's different ways of doing things. So we're doing programmes in jail now, the custodial officers are now having those conversations that we're having in the jail now, too. So it's becoming a language and a behaviour of the system. That's changing. Yeah, and there's alternatives to sentencing now. So you know, alternatives in sentencing. So it's not just jails. So if you meet a certain criteria now, and you have capacity to, to do things differently, the courts can administer their sentencing a little bit differently now to enable those other therapeutic opportunities to occur outside of the prison system. Look, there's a long way to change, but it's a good opening. Yeah, it's a good start now.


It's very interesting.


Yeah. And, you know, I've met some really, really dangerous people. But, you know, I guess I'm the kind of person that tries to see the good in everybody. But like I said, there's probably, you know, 2% that require jail. But not only that, they need, you know, intensive treatment, and psychological intervention treatment, to dissuade from behaviours that are very, very hard, especially when it comes to children.


Yeah, yeah. I agree. Yeah. Children. That's, yeah, very, very sensitive subject.


Yeah. Yeah, very much. So.


So I know, we spoke a lot, your career and everything, but maybe we didn't mention something else. What are you most passionate about? Or you just want to wrap it up? If it's the same subject?


Well, it seemed like sort of relates, I suppose. Yeah. Look, I'm really passionate about my faith. It's something that's always been part of my life, but in the last 10 years has been very much in my focus. And that's like, been part of my personal growth journey as well. Being a Christian woman. I was always a Catholic, but it moved to, to the Christian faith and be reborn being reborn. So it's really, that's a really amazing awakening. For me. I wished I had have like, captured earlier on in life. I was very like I was, I was a Catholic girl, and very reverent, like, I went to church every Sunday, I had, you know, certain issues with my faith in my faith back then, because it was so contradictory to society and whatnot. And so I left when I got married the first time, I didn't pay attention to it. And that that happened for a number of years, probably probably about 10 - 15 years. And then when that second my second marriage broke down, that was what I went back to. So I knew that that's where I needed to be in order to, to just fulfil my need around my spiritual journey. Yeah, so that's something I'm really I'm really, I really love my church, especially the one in Wagga where I spent a lot of time. I spent a lot of time investing in being around faithful people and having, you know, influence for people to understand their own spirituality. And, yeah, and that's carried through to my little town that I live in now in Glen Innes, and we have a little church and I'd like to introduce some things that really, I'm actually really passionate about women too. I think that's part of my domestic violence kind of thing. Because I spent a lot of time in the courts as a domestic violence officer. And when it comes to women, you know, just having that special acknowledgement of who they are. Is one of my one of my favourite quotes is Psalms 139 14, which is, you know, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. And I stand by that. Sorry,


no, it's very, very emotional. I'm so happy that you.. I see our conversations also is a journey


Oh, hang on. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it is just acknowledging them is a joy


That brings joy. I don't know why I'm crying. I think, you know, I used to be a singer. I lost my voice when I had a hysterectomy. And when I sing, I cry. So I don't know what that's about.


It's I think it's like letting your feelings and emotions out… your makeup, don't worry about, Nicole is still halfway through your makeup. I think every one of us has our own way to let our emotions out. And we're not able to do it one way but found some other ways. Yeah. And if, for example, you do it through singing, and sometimes.. and I see it also psychological that if some wanted one day, you did it through your voice, and then you lost your voice. There's again, there's some kind of a block, you know. So then you find more creative ways to do it. Like maybe you go to, I don't know.


Well, I run something else.


Yeah. Yeah. I need to honour that more. I need to focus more on that. I think I'm too busy.


Sometimes God pushes us to other ways, because we cannot discover it without losing something. Yeah, that's one thing to give you another.


Yeah. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I know I'm a writer, I can even strangers, you know, on Facebook will write to me and so you should be writing. If you're not a writer already kind of thing anyway.


You had such an interesting career. I bet you can write so many interesting stories and


I have to put a caveat have to be like, because, you know, some of the things that I've seen, you know, it could be detrimental, that maybe change the names of the people that these things are about. But yeah, I've seen a lot and probably a lot more than what the average person has seen. And


So do you still sing or not anymore?


I worship Yeah. So worship singing which is different. I used to be acapella barbershop, Maya. So the for quartet, and we did that for 10 years. And yeah, I've been parts of different choirs. But yeah, I had, I had a first soprano voice and now I've got a baritone. So it's, it's really very different. I have my moments every now and then. And that's probably when I'm worshipping that I sing my best. Like I'm very Yeah, I feel very relaxed and very privileged. When I'm, it's just the immersion. Absolute immersion. Yeah. Yeah. I think actually, when I do my hiking, it's really weird. I love hiking. I was my husband joins me on those times. And he said, your voice is actually very different when I'm singing in the bush,


maybe it's to do with altitude,


yeah, yeah, I don't know. But he's, he says it's wonderful. He's just it's like, you're relaxed and you're not, you know, you're just immersed in it.


So you hike together?


Yeah. Yeah, I do something that I've done on my own, but he's now joining me like, part of as part of our relationship that they're the adventures that we really love. So I love to travel. That's my I have an adventurous spirit. very spirited that way. And why would


Where do you travel usually ?


Tasmania, I love Tasmania. I go there every year. Here I love the mountains. So I'm up in the mountains in the cold. That's probably why I'm living in the mountains. Now. It's pretty cold. But I love the cold. I love being in the snow and the colder, the better.


You are in the right country!


I'm a bit jealous of one of my girlfriends. She's married and Austrian and she goes to Austria every year in Switzerland and like, that's my dream, you know, is to to go to the Alps and just, you know, wander the Alps and do all this. Do those adventurous things that they take for granted? Over there.


Wherever you live, and probably they think that you take for granted ocean and warm weather.


Yeah, yeah, that's right.


So let's talk about our we age and changes we have with age, and what the what is the positive change have you experienced so far?


Just growing into myself, like I'm headed towards the, you know, the 60s, and I feel so liberated like it's this a sense of freedom and this sense of achievement, which I know doesn't stop at 60 because there's so much more to do. In you know, in my world thinking, it's just the ability to be able to go, you know what, let's just pack a bag and put on our boots and just go, you know, without any encumbrance. And yeah, this this, the friendships you know, that you grow with this age are just so much more meaningful, and deep at times, you know, that. It's just so I feel blessed, you know, to know, the people that I've come across. So you know, as a as an older version of myself. Yeah. And career wise, it's almost like, I can be anything that I want to be. It's just literally just walking through that door, you know, that that window of opportunity. Go for it, you know,


and your kids grow grown up?


Yes. So I have three adult children, two adults, stepchildren, so they're all living their own independent lives. And, you know, this is still a big part of my life, especially my grandson. Who's, who's my daughter's is my daughter's baby, but he's mine. And he's delicious, is just a delightful little man and has so much energy about him that I really, really love, like a cheekiness and he loves to learn from me. So we, you know, we do a lot together. I do see him regularly. He doesn't live close. But we've been going down to see him every other weekend. So yeah, and so that experience as much as I'm probably not a fan of children. I'm not, you know, the nurturing job, but I love him.


But, it's yours. he's your grand son.


Yeah, that's right. Yeah. And, and so, you know, having that different relationship with children is quite, I feel a sense of joy and peace about it. Whereas with your own children, I think this huge sense of responsibility and commitment. Whereas, you know,


you just can play..


I can play. I can play with my baby. Yeah, yeah. I do that a lot. I do expend a lot of energy with him. But I love every minute of it. There's not even the cranky bits. You know where he is. He's not doing what he's told. But you know, you can forgive it and let it go and not get so caught up in it. You know, where do you do as a mom?


So you have a daughter and son,


I have a daughter and two sons.


They still not the sons still not give you the joy of


not yet. Now he's in the army one. One of them is in the army. And I my eldest one, I don't think he can. He's not admitted it but he's, he has a really call it a stepson with his partner. But I, they've been trying for many, many years, to have a child. So he's in his 30s. Um, but no, not yet. And my youngest is too young. He's, he's like, No, I'm on my own adventure, even though he has a long term girlfriend, but she's not in that frame of mind, either. So, you know, kudos to them because I was married at a very young age. Well, when I was 20, it was way too young. And I think that was the reason why we split up was I was too immature, and still finding my, you know, my me enjoying being a police officer and, you know, career and that kind of thing.


So, what would you say is your biggest challenge at the moment, related to the age?


just the body not doing what it used to do, and feel like I think I'm 20 you know, and so I'm climbing mountains and getting to the top and going, Wow, that's hard. yakka sore feet, you know, painful, you know, painful experience, which, you know, with mindset shift, you can, you know, focus on other things. But you just like it's afterwards after you've, you know, come back down and you're doing the washing and stuff like I'm really tired. And then an app that I don't normally have. Yeah, they're just the, just the body not doing what I imagined it can do. Actually, it's really funny because we went to see Moulin Rouge last night. And it's a really cheeky show, you know, very salaciously. Sexy, and show and the positions they were getting themselves in, and the dance and all that sort of thing. You know, I've always, you know, sort of imagined myself being, you know, one of those, you know, Can Can girls or whatever you want to call them and it's like, yeah, there's no way I can get into those positions ever again. I'd be like an odd granny version.


The question is - Why do you need to?


Uh, yeah, well, that's it too. I don't know. It's the fun side. I think it's just fun. You know, it's, but then the costumes don't look the way you imagined. Yeah, and, you know, the saggy skin and the scars? whatnot. I mean, I can accept all those. It's, I don't have an issue with them. But yeah, not just not being able to do what he used to do.


Yeah, it just like, you know, realising that, yeah, it's just


limitations just yet changing physical limitations, not mental ones. We don't have a can do attitude. So I'll climb Mount Everest, if that's what I wanted to do. And I've done that metaphorically, a few times. Yeah, so. Yeah,


So we spoke about so many things you did and you know, that you are passionate about, but what do you think, or what can you name as your greatest accomplishment? So far?


It's a hard one to actually answer because there's just so many, I think I've been able to the more I know, right, as I've been, I've been able to accomplish everything that I've put my mind to. Even though I thought I was a failure.


Oh, interesting.


Yeah, I thought I was a failure for many years, because I didn't pass my schooling. Never, never went to university. I never did any sort of external learning. But I've still been able to do everything that anybody else could have done. So without a university degree, and without, you know, sort of these societal expectations or parental expectations that we sort of seem to have, you know, because of our upbringing. But, yeah, I just think it's being able to look at myself and go, Hey, you're actually not a failure. Even though I've had three, you know, different three marriages and, you know, done some really ordinary things in my initial relationship that put me in a space of failure in a headspace of failure. Yeah, that I can still hold my head up and say, Hey, you're a good woman. And you've done everything you wanted that you want to do? Yeah, I've been able to achieve everything that you've wanted to do. And, you know, not kill too many other people in the process. I think I've grown people in the process as well. So I'd like to think that anyway.


Yeah. But if you could go back in time and meet your 30 old self, what advice would you give her knowing yourself now?


Yeah, yes. Yes, it's okay to be alone.


Hmm, interesting.


Yeah. It's okay to be on your own. I think I think at that age, or even though, I had 30, I was shit hot and shiny. I was really healthy. I was doing, you know, doing had a great career. But I was in a failed marriage. And I'd met my second husband and felt like I needed to validate myself by being married to him, because I'd be on the shelf otherwise, you know, I think that's what was in my head a lot of the time, that if I didn't have him, I was nothing. Yeah. And I think he sort of had me feeling that way to not casting any disparaging remarks on him. But yeah, that was the toxicity of the relationship. A lot of the time. He was you know, high up in corrections and he was the governor of a jail and so you know, in the face on the face, he was this important person and he wanted to be an important person. And yeah, so it but unfortunately, he had some collateral damage. And some of that one of those was me. and his own daughter as a result as well. So, yeah, I think I would tell my 30 year old self to enjoy life and just be independent and, and grow as an independent woman. Travel more because I started travelling in my 40s Instead of doing it sooner. And I, oh my god, I just been to some awesome places and met some amazing, amazing people. As a result of travelling. Yeah.


And what would you say to other women? Because you've worked with so many of them? Who are young.. Who are still living in their 30s 40s? Like, yeah. But they will eventually reach our age. And so what would you tell them


that just to dive deep in into who they are, you know, who do you want to be? Sometimes, you know, my reflection on myself is, you know, you can be a bit superficial during the 20s 30s you start becoming a little deeper in your 40s. And I think, you know, that's a time where you just really do truly understand yourself more as a woman. So yeah, the ones that I would work with are to keep your sense of humour, be playful, but also get deep about who you want to be, you know, where you want to be.


Why do you think we have to reach our 40s to start getting to know ourselves? Why you think we don't do it earlier?


busyness, busyness, maybe fear, fear of missing out, you know, always wanting to be places, you know, and be part of things. Where it's just stopping and sorry, waiting. Yeah, but just stopping and understanding what the feelings are that you're experiencing. The what you're seeing, you're using your senses, the seeing the smelling the feelings, the emotions that sort of come up as a result of those experiences and understanding what they are what they mean for you, and sharing that with other women. From a real perspective, not just from a superficial, you know, Facebook, Instagram type superficiality because yeah, I do find that space a little bit superficial, even though I am a Facebook person. But I think we're too engrossed in the digital space. And the expectation of what, you know, society is currently which is fast. Fast, everything is fast.


Yeah, changing very fast as well. Yeah.


Yeah. And to slow down and understand what that is, what you know what that is, what that moment is for you. Enjoy the moment, I think is really what that is, is like, what's happening now? For you, how were you feeling? And how are you seeing it? Yeah.


And I feel like it's also related to an idea of a perfect body image question, like what you're saying now, and about the superficial, we are some people trying to be what they're not. And this idea comes from somewhere. So where do you think it comes from? And what is it for you, your perfect body would be?


so I think it comes from the media, I think there's a lot of media influence and, and also Hollywood, perhaps, as well. But I think Hollywood is getting a little more real with themselves too. And there's a lot of actors now a female actors that are really, you know, really embody the essence of you know, being women and natural women, not fake women. I mean, there's certainly the Kardashians and that that I really blows you know, and but yeah, the ideal body image is a healthy, yeah, mentally healthy. And because with mental health, I think the physical health is a big part of how you see yourself as well.


I agree with you so healthy body is the perfect one.


Yeah, for you and how you see it, but mental health is how you see it. It is the healthy version of you. And yeah, getting to that point is the hard bit because there's so many competing interests out there. You've got a huge fraternity of women who are going to the gym, but why are they going? You know, what's the, is there a premeditation? Is there a pre expectation? Are they real? Are they realistic expectations? And then, you know, the clothing industry, the makeup and cosmetic industry, the cosmetic industry is to


It benefits from this perfect body image a lot.


Yeah, yeah. It's, it's so it's so fake. But I do understand the I do understand where some people there's a psychological need. But really, in essence, had, you know, that can be dealt with in a different way if they only spent the time and energy to understand who they are, and a sense of acceptance around that. Yeah,


and it's interesting, you mentioned the clothing industry. And just think about all times where a woman would go to a tailor and do a tailored dresses for herself. And it just with this mass production, where the big companies started producing all the same style and like, sizing, yeah, like four or five, six sizes. And that's it. And so that's where, like, the pressure comes from like, Okay, we will not fit dress for you will fit into our dress.


Yeah, the dress will fit you. Yeah, and you've got to squeeze into that or not, you know that?


Yeah, go to the gym. Go to a surgeon


That's right. I think yeah, like, once again, it's become very superficial and mass manufacture, you know, mass produced and? And, yeah, is that sort of wrong? No. But it does, subliminally shape the thinking around all the shapes the thinking for women. Hey, hang on. I'm not this doesn't fit me. I'm not perfect. I don't, you know. And, you know, depending on their own self talk, and the influences around them, of course, then, you know, that can sometimes be detrimental to how they see themselves.


And what does it mean to you feeling good and looking good? What comes first?


being out in nature? Fresh air, fresh air and nature being out in the bush being out on Yeah, walking, just walking. Feeling good is yeah, just that fresh, fresh air? It allows I think, you know, it allows me to relax and allows the brain and the body to relax. Looking good. The roses in the cheeks, basically the smile on the face. The smile in their eyes.


Yeah. And what makes you feel that the most beautiful?


I'm singing? Yeah, music sends me to a different place. It's like, it's like it transports you elsewhere. Even though like where you are isn't a bad place. But it's a stuff of dreams. Yeah, I was actually as a child, I was always taught, Oh, you're such a dreamer, you know, stop being a dreamer. Well, if I stop doing that, then I wouldn't be a police officer. I wouldn't be manager of an office. Meaning the people that I meet and helping the people that I do. I wouldn't be able to write. So you know, those people that said that? You know, were my teachers. I initially until I met a teacher who thought I was, you know, a brilliant writer. My own father. My Reports, my school reports. She's a dreamer. She's not in the class. Obviously not my learning style.


Maybe that's why you decided “I don’t need school”.


Yeah, but I did stick it out. And I stayed because I wanted to be a police officer. So even though I didn't, didn't cope well in the senior years. I did have a brilliant English teacher than she was my saving. I don't do numbers.


You see, it’s very important what teacher do you… teachers can be very motivating and demotivating.


Yes, yeah.


So I think you mentioned that but I'll ask it again. Oh, maybe you have more than one. Do you have a favorite quote saying about being a woman or your favourite one?


No, it will Psalms 139 is my favourite song 139 14. But I do you know, my saying is: “Always be you”. Always be you, doesn't matter what position you're in what kind of, you know, circumstances tap into you, be you. And if you're not understanding who that is, then find out who that is.


Thank you, Yolanda, thank you very much for such a great interview. I really enjoyed it. I would love to ask you many more questions, maybe I will. And I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day and your photoshoots and vote welcome again to the project.


Thank you. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to yeah, really excited.


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