Log in

01 May 2010 @ 02:47 am
An uplifting post for the self-conscious  
Hi guys!

Today's post isn't going to be about para para at all. I know, that's disappointing. But this is something I have wanted to post about for awhile, so here it goes!

Let me preface this story for a bit. As a girl that does para para, I'm always comparing myself to Japanese girls. I know I'm not alone here! It's hard to accept that I'll never be that size, but I mean, it's really not feasible. I have a bigger frame. I've always been on the curvier side. I got teased a lot when I was young. You know the story. So many girls have it. Anyway, I had a bit of a body image problem. I always felt that I was too fat, that my hips were too wide, my boobs were obnoxiously big, my arms were always waving hello all the way up, my nose was big, my hair was poofy and frizzy. I mean, we all have these concerns. Even girls that we curvier women look at and envy have their own concerns.

For unrelated reasons, I started going to counseling back in January. One of the things my counselor said to me really STUCK though. I had mentioned that I was appalled that I've gained a lot of weight in the past year or so and that I needed to lose it and I was fretting over it. That's when she told me a little bit of life changing wisdom:

"In order to make real life changes, you have to learn to love yourself as you are right now. You have to find the sexiness and beauty in your physical self right now, if you don't, you'll never truly be happy. You'll always say you need to lose that extra five or ten pounds and then you'll be happy, but that will never come. Love yourself now and if you lose weight, it's just an added bonus. Diet and exercise will come from wanting to be healthy and this will lead to healthy life changes, not yo-yo dieting."

It was then that I decided to do something. . . drastic.

Burlesque has always been interesting to me, though it isn't something I ever imagined myself doing. I love the costumes, the glamor, the confidence, the talent, and the sense of humor that I've seen displayed in the lovely ladies that I've watched perform. As someone who loves being on stage, I thought, you know what, if I could get past my self consciousness, I could make a knockout burlesque performer.

Luckily for me, the Rose City School of Burlesque had just opened its doors and they were recruiting students for their first class starting only a few weeks later. So I took the plunge.

I went through a six week course covering all aspects of burlesque including history, costume making, character creation, dance, as well as stage makeup and hair. It was an amazing class that really combined my love of performance with my love for fashion. (And I mean, seriously, burlesque performers can apply for a 30% discount off of MAC cosmetics. How freaking amazing is that?)

But, while the sessions were fun and informative, the end of the class was the terrifying part: At our graduation ceremony, we had to do a solo routine that we came up with on our own that included stripping down to pasties and underwear (traditionally a g-string, but new-found confidence or not, I have my limits!).

Now, for someone as insecure with their body as me, that was terrifying! But in my time in the class, I learned how to make myself look fabulous and fierce in a corset and stockings and how to use a garter belt to cover up a couple of flaws.

I decided to do what I do best when I'm nervous and kind of make a joke out of it. My routine was to Teeth by Lady Gaga and I was dressed up as a dentist. My routine involved all sorts of questionable things like me grinding on a 3 ft tall toothbrush and flossing myself with a feather boa that I pulled out of a giant prop floss box.

And last night, when I performed that act for the public, I learned the most important thing of all: I am HOT. Even if I gained 30 pounds in the past year, I am freaking gorgeous. I am smokin'. I had the audience eating out of my hands! I could make them laugh and make them swoon. It was the most amazing feeling.

I can honestly say that I can look at myself in the mirror now in just my underwear and not see the tummy flab and the wide hips: I see something gorgeous.

And THAT is an amazing thing.

So, if any of you girls out there need to learn to appreciate yourself on a whole new level, I totally recommend learning some classic striptease!

(Here's a quick, blurry picture of me before I went on stage.)

Posted by Kristy
Densetsu13densetsu13 on May 1st, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
I LOVE this post on so many levels. You go girl! =D

I find it so tragic that most people don't really understand/know what burlesque is and it gets looked at it such a negative light.
crashboomkissescrashboomkisses on May 1st, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
It really is sad. All of the girls that I met in the burlesque community are amazing, artistic, and empowered individuals. They most definitely aren't being taken advantage of or any of the bullshit allegations that people attach to sex workers and traditional strippers, as well as burlesque dancers.

We're all just normal women who have come to understand that, despite our flaws, we are gorgeous and should not be ashamed of our bodies. We can bring people to their knees, as any good PERFORMER can do.
Steve: fabulousstevievox on May 2nd, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
You are always such an inspiration to me. I love you. You're fabulous.
zyxjimmathon on May 2nd, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
That was an insightful read - thanks for sharing :)
(Deleted comment)
crashboomkisses: Tee Heecrashboomkisses on May 6th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
You should do it! You should TOTALLY do it! Don't ever let self-consciousness or anything prevent you from it! It's the most fun I've ever had.

What time of year was the Dallas Burlesque Festival? Winter, right? I'm moving back to Missouri on Saturday, so I'm scoping out what festivals and stuff they have in driving distance. I got so used to having shows to go to all the time. There's a supposed burlesque scene in Springfield, MO but, um, those girls have no idea what they're doing.

I know I'm gonna go to the Oklahoma Burlesque Festival in Oklahoma City. I'm talking to the coordinators about performing.

But, yes! You should totally try it! it is the most amazing thing I have ever done both as a creative outlet and as a transformative body image sort of thing.
Bree_candy_pop_ on May 8th, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
Late but I never check this thing.

Re: jiggly arms, can I just post that EVERYONE HAS THEM. Unless you are like a skeleton or a bodybuilder (both gross anyways.) My arms are thin naturally and they jiggle. My boyfriend works out and his arms are defined and they still jiggle.

Just sayin :)
crashboomkissescrashboomkisses on May 10th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
Ha ha, yeah, I know. I mean, one of the instructors in my burlesque class is this amazingly fit dancer. She's so skinny you can see her ribs. But her arms have some jiggle.

But that doesn't make people any less self-conscious of them, you know? That's what I meant by everyone has things that they're self-conscious about. Even Violet, who is such a fit dancer with an amazing body is embarrassed by her arms, even though it's really common.