Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 2014 Blog Hop: Body Awareness

For this month's blog hop, we are talking about body consciousness.  The official title is: The Body is Art.  We could consider questions such as "how do we honor our bodies?"  Or, "Tell the story of your body."  I feel like many of you know the story of my body, so I decided to choose this subtopic:

How has being a poler, aerial artist or athlete contributed to your awareness of your body? Are you more critical or satisfied with your body? Are you more in tuned with your body?

Oh I am very aware of my body.  I'm aware of the rolls that hang over my pants.  My thighs that spread wider than I'd like.  My chins that occasionally double up on me.  My arms that sag despite surgical intervention.  My boobs that are a little too large and low for my liking.  Yeah, I have some crazy body awareness.  I'm aware that I don't like my body much.  At the same time, I so appreciate the things it does for me.  It carries me everywhere I need to go, even when I'm in pain.  It lets me dance and do yoga.  It lets me ride a bike.  It lets me swim.  I might grump about my body, and my body may hurt sometimes (thanks to my abuse) but it still gets me to all the places I need to show up.  So I appreciate it for that.  

This is such a funny topic for me.  I am very weird about my body.  On one hand, I hide my body.  I tug at my shirt to cover my fat, even though a lot of my fat was surgically cut off years ago.  On the other hand, I put on tiny shorts on a very regular basis and dance around, often posting photos and videos to public websites.  How does that work?!

See?  I'm so shy!
I've always been a walking contradiction.  When I was at my highest weight and started getting shy about going out in public, I started working with a local band and forcing myself to go out and deal with my new-found phobia.  I had an amazing boss early in my career who always told me "the worst someone can do is say no."  They aren't going to kill me or fire me, as long as I'm asking for something reasonable.  So I've kind of applied that to my entire life.  Even when I really, really don't want to do something, I just force myself to do it.  What's the worst that can happen?  Someone doesn't like me?  Ok.  Whatever.  It gives me an air of confidence that I don't actually have.  I still go home at night wondering if people like me.

I feel that pole dancing has furthered that attitude.  Sure, I am very self-conscious about my appearance and my lack of ability to dance extremely well or do tricks.  But I still do all the shows at Twirly Girls.  I make an effort to create an interesting routine so (most) people aren't wishing I would hurry up and get off stage. I fully realize I am not putting on the most amazing routine of the night.  But still, I do it.

I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped while cosplaying as Candy of Chunky Girl Comics.  Women generally in awe that I would walk around in such small shorts.  Always telling me how much they admire me for being brave.  I guess I'm supposed to be more self-conscious about my thunder thighs.  Oh well.  I guess I always figured if I faked confidence and self-esteem, it might actually happen for me.  Fake it til you make it, right?  It must be working because people are often surprised when I say I struggle with self-esteem issues. 

I recently played around at Twirly Girls and put a video of some of my moves together (still not back to free dancing a full song well).  I am frustrated because I have lists of combos I want to try but when the music starts, I freeze.  So, rather than continuing to talk about my body, I'm going to let you watch my larger-than-average body twirling around the pole and writhing on the floor.  It's my body, and I'll do what I want with it.  If you don't like, look away.  That's my attitude!


  1. I've always thought of you as a confident/strong badass. :D I like that "the worst thing someone can say is no" philosophy. I've been trying to apply that to my life as well, with varying degrees of success! :P

    1. I'm glad faking it is working! :-D You're going to be a doctor!!! You should definitely have the confidence to ask for whatever you want! <3

    2. And thank you...I love that you called me a badass. :-D