When she appeared on the 2009 season of Australia’s The Biggest Loser, the red-haired, red-gloved, hooded Emazon cut straight into not only her trainees but also the audience, demanding nothing less than everything from the contestants in short, fierce sessions that took them so far out of their comfort zones that they could barely remember what comfort meant (and polarised viewers at home).
It’s easy to be shocked or intimidated by that sort of intensity, but it’s just as easy to forget that Emazon was putting just as much effort into drawing her contestants out of their former selves as she was into challenging their physical limits. Emazon has been working to help people overcome their conflicts with themselves for twelve years now, including helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault find or rediscover their strength.
There was no way that chatting with Emazon, also known as Emma Barbato, wasn’t going to be bloody interesting, and while she mightn’t sport that crimson hair colour any more, she is no less energetic and focused than when she first made us couch-potatoes sit up and take notice! We talked about Emma’s career up to now, her plans to take her STAND program to Saudi Arabia this year – and even about how our modern culture encourages us to dislike ourselves in order to get along.
So much strength in there. What happened to it? Where’d it go? My only objective was to get it back out again.
- Emazon on training a contestant, The Biggest Loser Australia Series 4