Werkin It Out

I want to say that it started as a massive screw you to every magazine, every movie, every bully on the school yard, every very concerned stranger and condescending asshole.

I want to say that my decision to dance burlesque was an exquisitely executed physical “bite me” to that girl that giggled when I walked into the gym.I want to say that I started stripping in defiance of every single music video and popular retail clothing store in existence.

But that wouldn’t be true.

The truth is that I had fucking issues.

I believed all those lies society told me.  I believed that fat was the worst thing that I could be. I believed that because of my body I was less than, unworthy, ugly, repulsive. Maintaining this belief was absolutely exhausting.  I was so worn out from holding my breath in anticipation of someone making fun of me, judging me, and rejecting me that I actively sought it out.It wasn’t bravery.  It wasn’t fierceness.  It was a satin covered swan dive.

I figured that if I stood on that stage in nothing but pasties and panties, I could finally get it all out there: a massive public humiliation that was the equivalent of quitting the job before I got fired.  I’d be free to crawl back in my cage and die.

But that didn’t happen.

It is difficult to explain what did happen.

In verbalizing this I am attempting to express the ineffable feeling of clarity in spirit, mind, and body.  Standing there on that metal chair next to Kitty Von Quim with my arms upraised, my hips twisted, my fat body exposed to the whole wide world, I became sinfully sacred.  I gained defiant acceptance of self.

I was set free and all my excuses of not living a thoroughly well used life were stripped from me.  I was set free to appreciate the complex beauty of those around me without the degradation of comparison because I was fast rooted in the belief of my own beauty, worth, and value.

I was reborn.

I dance because being part of something larger than yourself that challenges you and forces you to grow is a singular soul shaking experience.

I dance burlesque because this community is comprised of artists.  Twisted, creative, compassionate geniuses and it is a pure fucking honor to be among their ranks.

I strip because years ago someone told me that I was ugly, that I couldn’t dance, that no one would love me, that no one would listen to me that I wasn’t special… and every time I step on that stage I’m sending them the bestest, biggest fuck you ever.

And most importantly I dance for the person I was, the person that disappears in the crowd, the person that despises their body and lives a life painfully devoid of the truth of their own worth and value.  With every shake and shimmy I sing a siren song in hopes that they find their way home, too.

My Body

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