beauty

The Logies red carpet taught Cheryl Denyer an unexpected lesson about her body.

I had always wanted to attend the Logie Awards. It’s television’s night of nights; glamour on steroids.

I’d worked the event a few times, but never as a guest. Everyone always looked like they had such a great time and I had serious FOMO. I dreamed of one day walking that red carpet, looking tall and graceful and commanding movie star-style treatment.

And then, we got the phone call. My husband was nominated for a Gold Logie, and I would be his plus one.

But wait — who was I kidding? I’d only had a baby six months earlier, and I had struggled with the lack of sleep that comes with a cherub with reflux. My only form of support during those early, harrowing hours was a Cadbury Twix bar (OK, fine — several Cadbury Twix bars).

logies body positivity
'My dream of attending the Logies as a glamorous movie star was turning into a nightmare.' Image supplied.

Even though I’m lactose intolerant, I had given in to my insatiable cravings for iced chocolates piled with double cream in my last months of pregnancy, and my thighs had paid the price.

I pictured myself walking down that red carpet. Bright lights from above; cameras flashing from every angle; nowhere to hide flabby, untoned body parts; my dimpled bottom and thighs bouncing along the red carpet.

My dream of attending the Logies as a glamorous movie star was turning into a nightmare.

I had been eating healthy, following a healthy diet and taking care of myself, but the progress was slow. I was breastfeeding and only really allowed to lose a quarter to a kilo per week.

In my mind, I would be back to my goal weight in about… four years. I was OK about it at that point – I could hide out for a few years until I got back into shape. I was comfy in my activewear, hair pulled back in a sloppy “do”. I was a mum of two little kids, so people half expected that. I was far from glamorous.

And then… I found out I'd be attending the Logies in a month's time. Panic set in.

I wanted to support my husband and show Australia how proud I was of all he had achieved. I needed to get serious and get to work, because I needed to be confident enough to be able to support him on the night. So, I tried running. After a few minutes and a near lung collapse, I gave up. This wasn’t going to work. I needed to be sensible. So, I just started walking, as fast as I could, around our local river, four times a week for a month. It helped me feel stronger – and a little less wobbly.

ADVERTISEMENT
Grant and Cheryl Denyer on the Logies red carpet. (Getty)

I know this sounds fancy-schmancy, but I had called in the help of a stylist, as that’s what most people do for major events. She was brilliant, and I trusted her. I had a trillion pictures of dresses I’d seen online and in magazines that I thought could be flattering to my shape, and a designer in mind after seeing her name on some dresses I loved. My stylist contacted her, we met, and she helped me create a stunning, custom-made dress. It was more spectacular than I could have dreamed.

So, we had the dress sorted. I had lessons in how to stand and walk in it (seriously), and felt like a robot trying to manoeuvre my posture. “Keep your arm away from your body, bend at the elbow and stick your décolletage bones out,” I was told. “It will feel strange, but it will look great, very flattering and slimming.”

Well, I took that to the next level — that arm was bent and hand on my hip, and I kept my arm well away from my body as I didn’t want any nanna flaps making their appearance. The only problem with this pose was when I had to move or stand while holding my clutch. I laugh now when I see photos from the night as I looked like rigor mortis had set in. The pose was seriously unnatural and it showed (though, I must admit, it did give my arms a smoother, leaner look).

The day finally arrived. I was so nervous heading in – and anyone who knows me knows if something unfortunate is going to happen, it’s going to happen to me.

7 years married today! And I've never loved you more... ❤️ #qualia #hamiltonislandweddings #2010 #togetherforever

A post shared by chezzidenyer (@chezzidenyer) on

ADVERTISEMENT

On our way to the red carpet for the first lot of photos, I realised I had stepped in chewing gum. My shoe, and subsequently my dress, had collected it. My beautiful black organza skirt was pulled and stuck to the bottom of my shoe, and, of course, I rolled my ankle.

To make matters worse, my bodice was so tight I couldn’t bend enough to remove it. So my poor husband — who was sweating bullets at this stage — and two other beautiful souls came to my rescue, while everyone watched on.

I felt tears welling up in my eyes, but I managed to keep the floodgates closed. The only thing more embarrassing would have been toilet paper stuck to the back of my dress – but, hey, that could still be a factor later on into the night.

Finally, the gum was off my dress, but I walked with a slight limp – not from my rolled ankle, which was completely numb at this point, but from the remaining gum residue that kept gluing me to the ground.

Listen: Spare a thought for Chrissy Teigen, who had quite the red carpet wardrobe malfunction last year. (Post continues after audio.)

We finally made it to the red carpet. My arm was fully in position as I’d been instructed. As my husband did countless interviews and posed for photos from all different angles, I just tried to make my smile look natural.

Then I felt a tugging from behind and realised someone was stepping on my train as we were being interviewed. We had to move onto the next interview, but I was stuck! I told Grant to go on, but he was confused, so I nodded behind me to show him what was happening. After seizing a moment to break free, it happened again. And again. Every time we’d stop, despite my best efforts to hold it off the ground, somehow my dress was pinned down. It even tore slightly when a very well-known celebrity unknowingly walked on it.

I couldn't believe my luck. Was this an omen?

Finally, after countless interviews, we were inside. We were the last to enter the venue, and our meals had been served – and taken away! Instead, I was offered a piece of bread and a glass of champagne. At this point, things made a turn for the better – my husband won a Logie for Family Feud. I screamed so loudly, and I’m sure everyone at my table was just a little embarrassed. But I didn’t care.

Even though he didn’t take out the Gold, we were so humbled and ecstatic that the show won. He spoke from the heart as he accepted the award – it just made everything that went wrong earlier in the night insignificant. I could not have been more proud.

logies body positivity
"I realised that night that I had focused so much of my attention on the things that didn’t matter – the material things. " Image supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

That night I realised I had focused so much of my attention on the things that didn’t matter. The material things. The way I looked. How much weight I should have lost. How I stood on the red carpet. The image I was projecting. It was all me, me, me, and that isn’t me at all.

I was disappointed that I'd let myself get some carried away with it all, especially when the things I dislike about the television industry the most are negativity and being fake. Yet, there I was, feeling like an impostor, doing everything I could to fit into that mould of what I thought people expected of me.

Stuff that. I had a very hard look at myself after the event, and realised my negative self-talk needed a serious overhaul.

This body has safely grown, nourished and birthed two healthy children in the last five years. It’s also been through some serious stress, overworked within an inch of its life at times while pursuing my career in television.

This body carried my husband up and down three flights of stairs for four months while he was recovering from a broken back. This body had been injured countless times, thanks to my sheer clumsiness over the last 30-odd years, yet it has never complained.

Listen: How Logies voting REALLY works. (Post continues after audio.)

It’s stocky and tough because that’s how I’ve needed it to be. I should embrace it instead of body shaming it.

What it has achieved in its lifetime so far is remarkable. I should celebrate the wrinkles caused by my incessant smiling, instead of wanting to smooth them out. That’s who I am. I smile constantly! I’m a happy, even-tempered person (except at the Logies).

My relationship with my body is a work in progress. I realise at any moment how easy it would be to fall back into the negative self-doubt, but I don’t want to. I’m conscious of it now.

And, if I’m invited to the Logies again this year – look out! This time will be different. I might even wear my trackies.

This post originally appeared on The Chezzi Diaries and was republished here with full permission. You can follow Cheryl Denyer on Instagram and Facebook

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???