Szubanski: it’s not easy being genuine

Magda Szubanski

Popular Australian comedian and actress Magda Szubanski says hiding who you are does nothing for you and does nothing for your personal brand.

Szubanski speaking today at the Mumbrella360 conference told the audience that her popularity had in the past meant she was very conscious of her image.

“In the last few years I’ve been opening the shame closet on a whole lot of things,” Szubanski said. “And maybe it’s getting to middle age and going: ‘what the fuck’?”

Encore Magazine today revealed that Szubanski is the 5th most-liked on-air personality, according to The Encore Score.

Szubanski said the desire to be authentic is always stronger than the desire to be popular.

“When you’re kind-of popular there’s always a fear that if people know me more they might not like me,” Szubanski said. “When I think about when I was fourteen – thirteen or fourteen – realising I was gay, and that was in the mid-70’s, it just looked like an endlessly bleak future. And if I had known then – if I could have said to my fourteen-year-old self – you’ll end up being one of the most popular people in the country, that would have had a really profound effect on me.”

“And that’s why I’m so glad that I did it [came out] for all those other young people out there. But I don’t think it’s just about gay people, I think it’s about being your authentic self in whatever form that takes. I think that’s something that we all have. Some aspect of ourselves that we are struggling to align with; who we think we should be versus who we really are. And that’s a dilemma I think that so many people face.”

The most hated celebrities on The Encore Score included such personalities as Alan Jones and Kyle Sandilands. When asked if this was a true reflection of who they were, Szubanski replied she didn’t know them well enough to comment.

“Just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t mean you’re not a human being and don’t deserve some respect,” she said.

“I cry, I laugh and I swear a lot. Maybe that’s what people connect to.”

Damon Meredith


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