Up Close: Brooke Blurton

Brooke Blurton is one of those rare personalities that needs little introduction. While first introduced to us on Ten’s The Bachelor, it didn’t take long for Blurton to win the fascination and admiration of fans across the country. Appearing as one of the few First Nations talents to be cast on the dating franchise, she was also one of the first to openly identify as part of the LGBTQI community. Breaking moulds would quickly become a signature of Blurton’s — not by choice, but purely by being unafraid to share herself wholeheartedly and without shame. A stint as the lead in The Bachelorette would only further cement that fact.

Now, Blurton has solidified herself as a true advocate for issues that so many still shy away from. In her most recent collaboration, Blurton has teamed up with iconic makeup brand Maybelline New York to become an ambassador for their global mental health promise, Brave Together — a commitment that sets out to change the direction and support of mental health for younger generations.

“Mental health is obviously still a bit of a taboo topic and not really spoken about,” Blurton tells Her Black Book. “It’s not normalised, there’s still a huge stigma around it, so having such a well-known brand support mental health, makes the topic much more prominent. Having that familiarity attached to it too, is a new way of sparking the conversation.”

The campaign is held in partnership with Reach Out, a mental health service for young people that offers trusted self-help information, peer support and referral tools. Blurton describes the organisation as a “champion for change”, adding the Brave Together partnership is an “inspiring pairing.”

Lending her voice to the campaign, Blurton is helping the global brand to normalise the conversation around mental health, and encouraging people to speak out and get support. She’s joined by fellow advocates AJ Clementine, Dom Skii and Olivia Anderson, all of who are also committed to championing change.

“We’re all sort of in similar spaces of working in social media, representing our communities, being part of the LGBTQI community, but also being in a minority group,” Blurton says of her fellow ambassadors. “We kind of know what it’s like to be oppressed or discriminated against, and to feel like you’re not really welcome.”

She adds, “All of us connected on that level. The [Maybelline Brave Together] campaign got us really quite emotional because we all have that lived experience. We’ve all had some past with mental health issues, and when we were all in the same room it was like, ‘Wow, okay. This is normal.’ We were able to relate to each other.”

There’s a reason Blurton resonates with so many, she leads with honesty. That’s clear in every venture she’s bravely put herself forward for.

“What I’ve learnt from working with these amazing brands, is that vulnerability is an absolute strength,” she says. “I think a lot of people are really quick to judge a person from face value, but we have no idea what is going on in their day to day lives. I think throughout the experiences I’ve been through, I’ve always maintained a level of empathy. I’m really sensitive to people’s feelings.”

She notes her experiences on reality TV as an example, knowing it was equally a sacrifice to her mental health as it was an immense power for her community.

“I knew in the long-term, the power of representation and the power of showing that Queer representation and First Nations representation. Being vulnerable with your feelings is a strength of mine, so if I can show you that you can do it too, you can be vulnerable with yourself and live your authentic life,” she says, adding with a laugh, “not on reality TV though.”

That sentiment rings true for one of Blurton’s latest projects, Nova podcast series ‘Not So PG’ alongside Matty Mills.

“I thought I have a lot of lived experience, growing up gay, growing up being First Nations, so I thought, I’ve got so many different ways I could share my experiences in hoping that they would help people. A podcast seemed like a really good idea,” she notes of the series, which touches on the pair’s lives and relationships, but also topics they’re passionate about, from suicide prevention, to the LGBTQI experience, grappling with trauma, and of course, mental health.

That sentiment rings true for one of Blurton’s latest projects, Nova podcast series ‘Not So PG’ alongside Matty Mills.

“I thought I have a lot of lived experience, growing up gay, growing up being First Nations, so I thought, I’ve got so many different ways I could share my experiences in hoping that they would help people. A podcast seemed like a really good idea,” she notes of the series, which touches on the pair’s lives and relationships, but also topics they’re passionate about, from suicide prevention, to the LGBTQI experience, grappling with trauma, and of course, mental health.

She says, “I think a lot of people will be surprised at how much I’ve overcome in terms of my life and being able to build the life I have now. The whole theme is the love that I’ve had for everything — the love for the people, the love for the jobs, the things that I’ve been passionate about or motivated by.”

“It’s kind of ironic, too, because I’m not very big.” Blurton adds.

The experience, naturally, has come with an immense sense of catharsis, as Blurton says, one which took “finding courage to put pen to paper and being vulnerable to the pages.”

“I might be judged for some of the things that I’ve written, but it’s truth-telling. Writing something that is my own story, owning my sexuality, owning my power, owning my mental health experiences and being like, these shaped me to be who I am.”

“I think the book really uncovers why I was able to do all of those things and still kind of come out of it being myself.”