In 2005 Vogue Magazine did a shoot with Crystal Renn, a high fashion, Haute Couture plus-size model. Those photographs changed my life. Plus-size model imagery is typically devoid of sex, and mostly focuses on hiding the body through clothes that boast a “slimming effect”. But here was a woman who had a body just like mine that was rockin’ it like a SEXBOMB. Renn’s ownership gave me permission to feel that the fat around my belly was not something to be hidden, it was in fact something to be adorned by fashion designers, photographed, and even shown off for millions too see! Still, to this day, I have the pages of that magazine kept in a box of sentimental things, now worn with ten years of age.
The images that surround us shape how we feel. I had a powerful experience of this recently when I attended the New York School of Burlesque Student Showcase to see several friends and clients make their burlesque debut. I saw about ten different acts that night, each with a different body type, skin color, skin texture, costume, breast size, butt size, etc. After the show I had a rendezvous with a lover that resulted in amazing sex. What was so amazing? Seeing all those bodies at the burlesque show left me feeling back at home in my own skin. And I didn’t even realize I had left!
When we are given permission to see one anothers bodies, exactly as they are, without the aid of filters or photoshop, we return to a remembrance of our rightness. The locks put in place by a media that feeds economically, socially and politically off of women’s insecurities get picked, and the gates swing open wide, allowing a sweet, sweet freedom to flood in.
- Adios Barbie www.adiosbarbie.com; A fabulous blog that debunks beauty myths and promotes body positivity.
- Click here to follow my Pintrest board of Sliver Foxes who bust through stereotypes around sexiness and aging.
- Miss Representation is a MUST SEE to understand just how media influences our perception of ourselves and our capabilities, every minute of every day
- Fat Is A Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach; a groundbreaking book on women and body image that changed my life
- Aleah Chapin’s “Aunties” is a gorgeous art exhibit that shows women in the marriage of Magner Mater and Sultry Sex Goddess beautifully
- Adipositivity is a photo project and organization that helps eradicate fat phobia through showing real bodies in an erotic light. There is even a 2015 calendar. HOT!
- Expose: Shedding Light on Collective Beauty (can I wallpaper my house with this please)
If this post resonates with you, I would love to have you join me for a day of Body Love Burlesque, February 7th in NYC. This is my last class in NYC before I move and it is already close to sold out. Click here to learn more.