The Making Of | Melody Thomas

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Melody Thomas is an RNZ Presenter and creator of sex and sexuality podcast, Bang!. She’ll be telling her story at Broad-ly Auckland on June 19 – but until then, we asked her to share three things that have helped to shape her into the woman she is.

Influential place: Battle Hill

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“I grew up at this place called Battle Hill Farm Forest Park, north of Wellington in Pauatahanui. My siblings and I had free rein to adventure and we made the most of it – jumping in rivers, scrambling up trees, rescuing abandoned lambs and sneaking up on Boy Scouts camped overnight to hiss like possums and pull out their tent pegs. We moved when I was eight, but I wonder how much of my independence and confidence can be credited to the way we were able to live in that place. We still camp there often, and the whenua of both of my kids are there too.”

Influential Song: King Princess, Pussy is God

“In the last couple of years I've slowly come to realise I'm bisexual. Part of getting there was recognising some of the negative messaging about women that I'd received and internalised, and then actively dismantling it. Pop culture has been helping me do a lot of this work, and this song – which turns a female body part that's often framed as unattractive unless adequately waxed, douched, perfumed and tucked into something to worship – is one of those. It's also sexy and funny and a total jam. Watch the video if you can.”

Influential Film: Fantasia

“When I was a kid we had three or four videotapes that we watched relentlessly – Satisfaction, Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias (all deeply imbedded in my DNA) and Fantasia. Fantasia is an animated film with an orchestral soundtrack and no real talking or story, and it's wonderful. There are dancing mushrooms and fairies who light up flowers at night with frosty sparkles and – my absolute favourite – a bunch of half-horse, half-women who, with the help of some fat, naked cherubs, rush to get ready for an incoming crowd of half-horse, half-men. The heteronormative brainwashing is probably one of many similar scenes that contributed to me not understanding my sexuality for so long, but I'm willing to forgive it for its beauty.”