Last night I went to a burlesque cabaret with my sister and a couple of girlfriends and we had a blast. The dancers were awesome, the live band had us dancing in our seats, and the crowd was enthusiastic – it was a campy atmosphere with great energy, and I had a lot of fun.
Tassels and high heels aside, what excited me the most was the fact that each dancer had a different body type yet were all completely comfortable baring it all. And not just baring it, but moving it. There was no shame, and I mean that in a positive way. I came out of it with such a new-found appreciation for the human form (my own included).. who knew burlesque shows were so body positive?
I didn’t go into it with such a healthy mindset, though. When the first dancer came on stage, my immediate thought was that she was chubby and I felt badly for her. Like, “that poor girl, having to go up on stage and dance half-naked in front of all these people judging her.” It was stupid and rude of me to think that; I was projecting my own insecurities onto her and that wasn’t fair because this girl KILLED IT. I felt embarrassed for my judgmental assumptions because clearly this girl was in control: her body was hers and hers alone, and she knew how to move it. She wasn’t thinking about her stomach or her thighs or her arms – she was too busy dancing across the stage and flaunting her stuff, the crowd going crazy for more. I envied her. She looked so confident.
The rest of the dancers were the same: no matter what body type they had, they were owning it. They were sexy and seductive and fun, and best of all they were unapologetic about their bodies. Basically the antitheses to myself, the girl who feels she has to apologize to people on the street for having to look at her. If I had half the confidence fully-clothed as they do naked.. damn. I’d be unstoppable!
It was really empowering to see these beautiful ladies have so much fun on stage, especially when I’m at such an ambivalent part of my recovery. I feel like I can find the courage to wear a more fitted top now that I’ve seen these women take theirs off.
Bosley, the singer whose band performed last night.