The Art of Body Image

Tonight I had the opportunity to go to an experimental Burlesque night; a girlfriend & I kept missing each other so when she suggested I attended tonight I jumped at the chance.  What could be a better excuse than a ladies night, with, well, ladies?!

I am by no means a Burlesque virgin; I have whooped and cheered along with the best of them, encouraging the girls to get their kit off.

*Cringe *

Oh God, how the bloody hell does this fit in with me being a feminist? Oh God, I am SHIT at being a feminist, isn’t this the SODDING opposite of what I am supposed to believe in, the opposite of what I think about how women should be perceived? Here I am, all of a sudden ENCOURAGING women to get their baps out, ENCOURAGING them to wiggle their wiggly bits in front of me.


Or maybe not… I love the ideal of female empowerment, something that has driven me to join roller derby, is burlesque really that different? Seriously? What is better than watching kick-arse women kicking arse, whether it’s on a flat track or on stage.

As the show went on, and as the audience got more ‘lubricated’, I started to realise that I wasn’t the only one cheering, I certainly wasn’t the only one cheering for the so-called ‘bigger ladies’… it seemed to be a bit of a theme, the bigger girls got a whole load more of cheering & encouragement. Was it a case of a pity cheer? Well, no. Not in the slightest.

In a double act, there was a slim woman who had a gorgeous figure: big boobs, slim waist; and a larger woman, she also had big boobs, but her waist was bigger and there may have been some cellulite on her thighs. She shook her arse so much that she shook her one of her arse tassels right off. The crowd went WILD! Not because she was thin, or because she looked like the sort of women the media constantly shoves down our throats but because she was a sexy woman, because she was amazing and because she fucking ROCKED her shit.

Let me just reiterate that. She was a bigger woman, definitely NOT a size 10 or 12, and she was CELEBRATED because she had the confidence and sass to be on stage and shake what her mama gave her like she was fucking proud of it, rather than being apologetic.

And she was not the only one, many of the ladies where not “celebrity” thin, instead they were normal. There were dimpled thighs, chubby tummies and wobbly upper arms. It was bloody fantastic. And they looked JUST LIKE ME! And they were ON STAGE!

I was lucky enough to speak to a few of the ladies afterwards and it definitely seems to be a case of: If you can’t shake it, you’re not doing it right.

So, an art that celebrates & embraces the idea of the more you have to shake the better, shunning the so-called “norm” of society, empowering women of all shapes and sizes, in a mutual celebration and humor of the female body?

Well truss me up & call me fanny, but THAT is what I call the very definition of feminism.

Shameless plug: Burly Unplugged is presented by Lola Cherry Cola & is held on the last Wednesday of every month at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den. Do yourself a favour and go, it’s great.


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