Dear Me: Day 155

Uploaded 24 May 2011
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© Sarah Philipson
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Photo Info
UploadedMay 25, 2011
TakenMay 24, 2011
Exposure1/10 sec at f/10
FlashCompulsory Flash
Focal Length32 mm
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Day 155/365

I spent the day editing photos from last night's show. All day. And I know some people think it's weird, fangirling over burlesque dancers, watching shows from behind my camera lenses, finger constantly on the trigger, sore muscles, taking 15-20 shots that may seem almost identical to a casual observer.

But I don't see it that way. A lot of people equate Burlesque with stripping but their only partly (and a very small part at that) right. Burlesque is about art. Music. Comedy. It's about pushing the envelope of convention. It's about confidence and beauty. It's about being a size 2, a size 12, a size 28, a size 32 and getting the same level of applause and cheers when a skirt hits the stage. It's not about how voluptuous you have to be, it's about how you shake whatever you have!

The truth is, I think my attendance at these shows has helped my own confidence. Hell, didn't I just commit to wearing a dress myself at the next show I attend?

The thing is, if these events have taught me anything it's this: it really truly does not matter what you look at. It doesn't. It doesn't matter if you're looking at someone across a room, or at yourself in a mirror. It's about what you SEE. Do you see beauty? Or do you see flaws?

One of my favorite dancers is a woman named Pixie O'Kneel. She's probably about my size (maybe a little smaller) and when she gets on stage she shakes it for all she's worth. And the first time I saw her perform I thought, "oh man. Here we go. The applause will stop, the cheers, the howls. It's over now." Not because I didn't think she'd be amazing, but because I've had so little faith in other people-- I thought surely I'd be the only one who appreciated how BEAUTIFUL she is.

And that's about the time I fell in love with the whole Burlesque community. Because as she shook off her top costume-- the auditorium ERUPTED in applause and cheers and cat-calls. It didn't matter to them how big or small or pretty or plain the dancer is. The fact that she is confident enough to get up on that stage and shake. her. shit (pardon my french) is really what matters. Because what people see in those girls isn't cellulite, or fat, or stretch marks. They don't see stick-thin legs, 6-pack abs, and perfect chests. They see confidence. They see beauty. They see things that the rest of the world misses altogether.

And when I come home from these shows, I feel better. I feel stronger. I feel more confident. And a little jealous too, because I have a long way to go before I would even being to approach the level of confidence that Pixie O'Kneel, or Ginger Snaps, or Black Mariah, or any of the women big and small that grace burlesque stages all over the world have.

But what I see at these shows besides all I've mentioned already... is hope. Hope for me. Hope for my body, for my confidence, for my body future. Because if these women big and small and in between can have that kind of faith in their own be

1 response

  • Kaki J. Luitjens

    Kaki J. Luitjens said (25 May 2011):

    I love this! You are right... we all look but we don't see. Wish I could go with you to one of these shows. I am betting it's amazing! Thanks for sharing.

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