Tag Archives: feminism

Comic Con in the 90’s

I recently came upon the most amazing thing: Boxes that had been stored in my mother’s basement, untouched for 16 years.
I left them there in 1998 when I cleaned out my bedroom and headed back to college up north. They are amazing time capsules, full of a riot of items from my past: teenage notes, bad poetry, photographs, and more.

The thing in these boxes that I had been pining for the most was my comic book collection, left behind sheerly because of it’s bulkiness.

Inside the comic boxes I found not only a shit-ton of mostly X-Men issues (my Sandman comics are supposedly forth-coming) but random memorabilia from the San Diego Comic Cons I attended in the 90’s. I found badges, buttons, two issues of Sandman signed by Neil Gaiman and one comic signed by Dave McKean, a signed Elf Quest ashcan, and other random bits. Holding these things in my hands I had a flood of lovely memories resurface about my days immersed in the amazing comic book land of the San Diego Comic Con.

A few of the treasures I found:

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Before the mid-2000’s Comic Con was much more low-key than it is now. You could comfortably walk the aisles without being crushed in a sea of nerddom, you could get through lines in a reasonable amount of time, and everything was just a little more laid back (it was also way easier to use your friend’s pass to get in! shhhhh.)
It also wasn’t all over the news, I don’t remember having any concept that anyone outside of the little comic world really cared much about it.
Back then my friends and I just had a ball of a time looking at comics, getting things signed, and just lollygagging all day long.

Favorite Con story from back then: Glen Danzig used to attend the Con every year. A friend of mine, who was a snarky little punk rock boy, made it a yearly tradition to find Danzig and harass him about being short. Danzig would then chase him through the convention center.
“Oh, there goes Kevin being chased by Glen Danzig!”

I remember the 1994 Comic Con most vividly. I was 14, and had grown out of my superhero phase (but I still love X-Men forever;  80’s-era mohawk Storm is my girl.) I also had gained a certain consciousness about comics and their representations of women that irked me. It seemed like all the female comic book characters had impossibly small waists and boobs that defied gravity, with absurd clothing that barely covered these parts (they must have had superhero-strength-double-sided-tape.) Some booths at the Con hired women who tried to fit these beauty standards, and they lingered in the aisles, tasty eye-candy for the leering hetero-male nerds. I sneered at all of it.
On top of this, every pretty woman in a sci-fi TV show had her sexualized image plastered all over the con. Posters of Gillian Anderson in lingerie laying across a bed were all over the place, and in later years Seven-of-Nine’s busty Borg figure was around every corner.
I was so over it, even at 14. I thirsted for diversity, something non-exploitative, something unique and creative.

In late ’93 I had discovered a beacon of light in the land of spandex, pecs and boobs… At a small comic show I’d found Sandman, issue 51. I still remember when I picked it up from one of the vendor tables. I was drawn in by the beautiful and gloomy cover art. I flipped through, entranced by the looming Dream character and his sister Death (who is adorable, gothy, and has small boobs). Yes, I’d jumped on this train late, finding it at issue 51, but I was a youngin’, so I had an excuse.

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So that year at Comic Con, I was on a mission: To find more Sandman and things like Sandman.

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That year the Con was like it was every year, full of spandex superheroes. But then while walking down one of the aisles in the artist section, I came upon the booth of a particular art agent. This booth was covered in Sandman-esque art… and on closer inspection, some of Dave McKean’s pieces were, in fact, hung behind the table. His work is stunning, but even more so in real life, the texture of his multimedia pieces is quite something. My heart lept at this discovery, and I rabidly sifted through the boxes of comics on the table, deciding which ones I could afford, but wanting them all.

While in my mild panic about not being able to buy everything (or much of anything, really) at the booth, I was approached by a gentle-looking, bespectacled young man.

“Hi. Can I draw you? I’m not a creep, I swear.” and he grabbed a small portfolio that was sitting on the table next to the comics I was riffling through. Inside were gorgeous dark, but classical-style paintings of figures draped in fabrics. His name was Paul Lee, and he had the same art agent as Dave McKean.
Of course I said yes, and he snapped quick photos of me posing against the concrete walls next to the bathroom. My hair was extremely long back then, wavy honey blonde and down to my hips. Paul said I looked like I’d stepped out of a Pre-Raphaelite painting. I didn’t exactly know what that meant at the time, but later I realized what a compliment it was.
Paul and I became friends that year, and he really was not creepy in the least; I was also introduced to his lovely wife, Wendy.

And so it was, every year I came and hung out at the booth with Paul and Jon J. Muth and the host of characters who frequented there (I met Dave McKean, but he didn’t hang out much.) Each year Paul snapped pictures and then painted me when he got home, but sadly, he didn’t take pictures of many of the paintings before they sold. (Darn it, Paul!) I do have pictures of a couple of them from 1998 though:

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Paul and I at Comic Con in 1997:

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It was fun to be an art model, and while attending I slowly built-up my Sandman collection to a respectable size. One year I even got a couple issues signed by Neil Gaiman himself. I stood in line with hordes of others, while Neil, wearing sunglasses inside, exhausted his writing hand to appease us all.

Then I moved away to go to college, and my trips to Comic Con became less frequent. Years later, I worked for a Halloween costume company and was given free passes every year, but the Con just wasn’t the same as I remembered. It had become an over-blown circus, just getting from A to B on the convention center floor was enough crushing insanity to give you a panic attack.

So I haven’t been back in years. Every year I ponder it, but now I live even further away, and I’m not quite sure if I can handle the insanity. Maybe one day, if the mayhem and hype ever calms down, I’ll go back.

But I know, cynically and wistfully, that it will never be as amazing as when I was a teenager.

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This is a painting of Dream from Sandman that Paul gifted me one year in payment for modeling. I still have it hanging on my living room wall.

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A Letter to the Man Who Liked My Dress

Dear man who complemented me on my dress on 1st street,

I know the act of complementing a woman on her outfit seems rather harmless and arbitrary in of itself.

You were going about your day, and decided to compliment a pretty girl by telling her you liked her dress. Harmless, right? And the fact that she ignored you means she’s just a stuck-up bitch, of course.

I know you were quite miffed at the fact that I ignored you, as evident by your choice to then shout at me from the Dairy Mart parking lot.

I had chosen to wear a dress that is above the knee in public and therefore I should expect attention, right?

But I am writing this letter to explain that you, and men like you, need to know that these supposed compliments are not randomly harmless. They are a form of sexual harassment. Yes, of course, you can argue that you were just paying me a compliment on what I was wearing, but believe me, there’s more to it than that. And yes, on the list of things said to me by random men on the street, this doesn’t rank highly. But any harassment is not okay.

The thing is, I knew from the tone of your voice that it was not my dress that you were commenting on. It’s really just an okay dress, plain black racerback, knit material, and it falls just above my knee. It’s really nothing special. What I knew you were actually saying was that you liked my body IN the dress, how it showed my shoulders, and draped loosely over my very curvy hips and butt, but not so loosely that it didn’t compliment their shape.

I had debated wearing the dress before I left the house, because wearing any kind of dress by myself outside makes me anxious. But it was the first day of summer, a gorgeous sunny Saturday afternoon, and I wanted to walk a few blocks to the coffee shop and sit outside in the breeze to read my book and sip an iced drink. I just got the dress, and it’s quite comfy and cute, seemed perfect for a summer day.

I always have to think and strategize what I wear outside, as a woman. If I’m walking alone, sometimes I’ll wear one thing, if I’m going with a male, I’ll wear something else, if I’m going with a lady friend, it’s perhaps a different outfit.
But even all this strategizing sometimes has little effect on the outcome. I am still a target when I walk in public, even covered head-to-toe. I have been harassed an incredible number of times in my life (and also threatened and attacked)… the first time I was harassed was at the age of 4 (I’m not kidding.) So I’ve tried lots of different sorts of outfits and been able to test their effectiveness of making me feel safe or not. And I never, ever, walk by myself at night. I could be wearing clothing that has the same coverage of a burka and I’d still be putting myself in harms way, believe me, I’ve tried it many times. I’m lucky to still be alive.

I’ve gone through times when I’d wear whatever I wanted in public, riding buses in Oakland in mini skirts, feeling confident and sassy, my pepper spray tucked in my purse, comments and stares be dammed. Then, I’ve gone through other periods, where perhaps  a particular encounter with a random man had scared me to the core, and those times I feel like wearing a trash bag, I wrap myself in dowdy clothes and try to fold into myself while in public. But, even then, I’ve found that I still get harassed. Wearing that baggy outfit that’s covered in cat fur can’t save me from men like you… because it’s not about my outfit, really. It’s about power. It’s about socialization and how men and women act in the public sphere.

When a man came up from behind me and put me in a choke hold  at 8am on a Monday morning in 2001, I was wearing pants and a loose t-shirt. I screamed, and no one acted like they heard me, even though I was on a main street.

So, I figure, why not just wear the dress I want to wear?
Some terrible sexual harassment actually happens in Egypt, where women wear a lot of clothing, so clothing isn’t actually the main issue.

Walking to the coffee shop, I even purposefully avoided the main street for as long as I could (as I always do while walking alone in any outfit). I took the back streets through my neighborhood, which was actually a far more beautiful walk, everyone’s gardens are in full bloom this time of year. Even there, in this lovely lush green wonderland, I have to focus on calming my anxiety about walking by myself. PTSD is a bitch.

Walking in public as a woman often feels to me like a scene from some nature show, where the little gazelle is approaching the watering hole. She’s so thirsty, but she knows watering holes are a dangerous place, there could be a lion waiting in the brush, ready to leap out at her. So she creeps to the water’s edge stealthily, her eyes are wide and panoramic, her ears twitching, looking for any tiny sign of movement, ready to bolt. I am a woman and I have lived my whole life in a sea of potential predators. I hate thinking of men this way, but it’s due to life experience, sadly. And this alertness and mistrust has, actually, saved me from getting attacked at the watering hole many times over.

Then that day I cut up to the main street, which I had to cross to get to the coffee shop. It’s a busy thoroughfare, and it took me a moment to be able to find a break in the traffic. As I got to the end of the crosswalk, I saw you approach coming the opposite way on your bike. You had to pause while I crossed, and I knew that situation was ripe for you to linger and take in my shape and notice my aloneness.

As I said, I’ve been harassed by men countless times. I’ve gotten to the point where I can sense when a man will harass me even before it comes out of his mouth. So every time my inner alarm starts to sound around a man, I always try to will him not to do it… I think “don’t harass me man, don’t do it…” And then, of course, they almost always do.

So I knew you were going to harass me even before you did. And that, really, made it all the more irritating, because I was quite disappointed in you.

“Hey, I really like your dress…”

Now, you may wonder why I didn’t just thank you for telling me my dress was pretty. This is a conundrum I’ve often faced. It depends on my mood how I’ll respond to men like you, and I’ve also found that it really doesn’t matter, because either way it could go wrong. 

Your tone was creepy, and I knew it was my body you were commenting on, not my dress. I’ve responded with a “thanks” to comments like this before, just to try to deflect the perv.
But, if I say thanks, that can be seen as an invitation to keep talking to me or to follow me. I’d like to skip that annoying and potentially dangerous interaction if at all possible. Having to shake you off is even harder than just not engaging in the first place.

If I say nothing, that can be seen as an affront. But often silence deflects. Not always though.

I’m not really the one in control there, which is the entire point of harassment. It can escalate because of any little thing. Heck, I’ve been chased and threatened by men I didn’t even know were there 2 seconds before. So no, I know it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d acknowledged you or not.

This time, you were offended by my silence, as if I was obligated to engage with you.  I am not obligated to do so. So you yelled aggressively  “I could have at least gotten a smile!” from the parking lot of the Dairy Mart.

No, I will not smile at men like you.

I love smiling, I’d love to skip down the sidewalk in my pretty dress and smile at everyone who passes by. My prickly exterior has been layered on my skin from years of abuse. I want so bad to take it off. But I won’t, because I don’t feel safe. Because of men like you.

Your comment shattered the secure, calm feeling I was trying to cultivate while walking to the coffee shop. These comments are not compliments, they effect a woman’s whole experience while walking outside. My senses became heightened again, I hoped you wouldn’t follow me on your bike, which you luckily didn’t.

The story of an acquaintance’s experience popped in my head. She ignored a harasser on the bus recently and he followed her home and beat her up in her own front yard. All cuz she didn’t smile at him when he wanted her to.

I sat outside the coffee shop and enjoyed my iced coffee and read my book, “Savage Beauty” (I totally covered up the title of that one while I was walking, didn’t want it to elicit any comments from anyone) the biography of Edna St. Vincent Milay, an amazing, brazen, intelligent writer. Edna wouldn’t put up with shit like this either.
I enjoyed my afternoon at the coffee shop, my icy drink and book and cigar. You didn’t ruin that for me, I’m used to finding joy even in unsafe places, I’m a veteran of this war.

Walking home, I cut a different direction, avoiding the Dairy Mart, as I’ve figured that’s probably not a good place to walk by alone, too many random men getting beers and smokes in the afternoon. I tried to center and breathe while walking, doing my metta meditation:
“May I be free from danger
May I have mental happiness
May I have physical happiness
May I have ease in living.”

I tried not to tense when I saw any other men or cars pass by. But I did a little anyway.

Experiences like these won’t keep me from wearing dresses when it’s hot (I will not swelter in a muumuu when it’s 80 degrees outside) or keep me from taking walks by myself. I am so sick of this shit, but I’m gonna live my life. And I’m going to get my story out, create dialogue and affirm that all the women who feel like I do are not just paranoid or over-reacting.

I just hope that one day, men like you will get it. You will stop it. You will let me be so I can happily stroll down the sidewalk.

Then I will smile.

In the mean time, here’s a guide to properly complimenting women without objectifying them.

And this awesome video:

Ditching Chemical Hair Dye for Henna

The body, our best canvas for art and expression. I’ve had more hair cuts and colors and styles than I can count, I’m also quite decorated in permanent body art, tattoos. I love clothes, I love make-up, I basically love expressing myself with this physical form of mine.

One of the main reasons I didn’t follow my old dream of being a film actress? I realized I would have had to look mainstream and BORING for the rest of my life. No thank you!

But, of course, many of these decorative techniques we use in this culture are, sadly, toxic. Hair care and make-up are not well regulated. (here’s a guide to finding safe brands) Hair dye is known to be full of problematic chemicals (yes, even the “natural” ones). So my crunchy hippie side often has wrestling matches with my fabulous femme side over just how to decorate myself. The hippie side has, for the most part, won by little bits over the years. But my inner femme will never totally let go.

I used to be really good about being super body-positive, not buying into consumerist gendered marketing, and not putting toxic crap on myself. Then around decade ago I totally fell off the wagon. Something about living in SoCal again and being in fashion school totally brainwashed me for awhile and my hippie and some of my punk side flew out the window. I wore high heels every day, and wore skin tight trendy clothes at all times. My hair was dyed and flat ironed, and my make-up was harsh blacks and bright neons. I didn’t care how toxic anything was, I just slathered myself in it.

That phase kinda reminds me of this song, like I’d been taken over by an alien… “She, she wants me to go to the mall, she wants me to put the pretty.. the pretty pretty pretty lipstick on…”

But when I got really sick a few years ago a huge change occurred. It triggered my inner earth mamma again, suddenly I was pulled down and grounded, realizing I needed to wear the comfy shoes and non-restrictive clothing for my health. And suddenly being a trendy fashionista was not a top priority.
Now I’ve settled in between the two – A sort of hippie goth thing has happened. I decorate myself, but try to do it healthfully. I’ve researched non-toxic, animal friendly make-ups, etc… And I’ve done really well with it, except the hair dye thing.

I had a period during my recent uber-crunchy phase where I had totally natural, un-dyed hair… something I hadn’t had since being a young teenager. Then I got bored with it, as I always do, and decided I’d color it with henna to be healthy AND have fun. But eventually, I got tired of the mellow colors of henna and fell off the wagon again, going back to dying it bright red and dark browns.

I really have noticed a big difference in my hair’s texture and body since doing this. As you can see in this picture, the hennaed hair, on the right, is shiny and thick and wavy, and the hair on the right, which has been dyed for 3 years now, is kinda fuzzy and flat.

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BUT, can I overcome my love of dark hair to go back to henna? I think I just might. I’m going to eventually go for a brighter red than the color in the pic, which was a brown henna.  I’m also going to get a heated hair cap, which, apparently, makes henna more vibrant.

(And yes I know, there are black and dark brown henna’s on the market… but I’ve never seen people be able to get their hair really and permanently dark with them. Maybe you have and have some tips? Let me know below.)

Now, if you yourself are looking to switch to henna hair dye, be very very picky about which brand you choose. There are henna dyes out there that are just as toxic as conventional hair dye. Make sure it is PURE, fresh henna. Here’s a quick FAQ on henna.

I’m personally a fan of Avigal Henna, and Lush Cosmetics Henna, but there are other quality brands out there. Basically, if it uses any weird ingredients, don’t buy it.
READ LOTS about henna before you use it- otherwise you may end-up with no results, a frustrating, messy time, and sometimes even green hair.

Henna is, absolutely, a bit more of an undertaking than conventional hair dye. It’s a natural product, so it’s gritty, clumpy, crumbly, and takes longer to process. But it makes your hair look and feel AMAZING. So it’s totally worth it.

Things I personally like to add to my henna mix: I use hot coffee instead of water, and add red wine for a redder shade. A couple tablespoons of olive oil is also a good call if you’re using a powdered henna.

Also, I’m going totally henna crazy and am going to learn to do henna tattoos as well. I’ve been madly in love with the traditional designs of it for years, and would love to set-up a little booth with draped fabric and pillows at festivals and decorate people with it. So I’ll be using lots of my friends as guinea pigs and will photograph the results.

In a few months I’ll also post a hair update to see how things are going with the henna transition. So far, the first application went great, but my roots are lighter than the rest of my hair, which is not ideal. It was immediately so much thicker though, and made my scalp really happy.

Have you hennaed your hair? Have any thoughts or tips? Please post them below!

 

About The Belly: Dance and Body Image

Hello everyone, It’s been a bit since my last post. I organize conferences for a living, and just got back into town from one of them… So now I’ve decompressed and am back in gear for writing.

Discussion about body image and the fucked-up beauty standards our culture holds women to is all over the internet these days. I wanna add my 2 cents, as a dancer and feminist and mature woman. I think the more voices we have talking about these issues, the better. Our collective storytelling holds immense personal and cultural value.

There is quite a bit written and said about belly dance being this amazing magical art form that makes women love their bodies and gives them the courage to parade on stage in a belly baring dance bra no matter what their size.  And it does, in many ways, give women confidence, I’m not going to knock that. But I think there’s a bit more complexity to it.

I think lately I’ve been wishing that belly dance WAS that magical, that it would make all my body insecurities go POOF.

I’ve had body image issues since childhood, like most girls, even though for most of my life I was skinny to average. I now find myself suddenly weighing more than I ever have in my life, even though I am technically still in the “healthy” BMI catagory. It’s been both good, bad, liberating, and disheartening all at once.

I remember when I first started to have anxiety about my looks, I was 11 years old, and my moon cycle had just started. All of the sudden my little girl body sprouted hips, so quickly that I still have stretch marks from it. I felt like my body was morphing out of my control, and I did not like it. I was so embarrassed of my new shape that I wore long t-shirts to school every day.  Classmates made fun of my hairy legs, so I started shaving. My face was pimply, and I felt like Quasimoto. One horrible boy on the playground walked up to me one day and said “God, why are you so UGLY?” and I was too crushed to tell him to fuck off.
I look back at photos of myself now and can’t believe I ever felt ugly. Not to toot my own horn, but I looked like a lovely girl, looking at the camera with a shy insecure smile. It breaks my heart that I ever disliked myself then.

The apex of this middle school body image crisis was one day when some other boy made fun of my “big” nose. After school I went to my best friend’s house and locked myself in the bathroom to cry. In the middle of my cry I realized that I LOVED my nose. It had a bump on the bridge like my grandpa’s nose, and it kind of looked like my mom’s from the front. And I love my grandpa and mom, so why did I feel ashamed?

Then I realized that if I didn’t believe the insults that people hurled at me, that those insults couldn’t hurt me. 

I decided to love my nose, and I haven’t hated it since.

In my late teens/early 20’s I gained some weight, as most women do, and like most of the fabulously pear-shaped women in my family, became a bit bottom-heavy, with a little pot belly. At that time in my life I was mostly surrounded by very body-positive women, so I didn’t stress too much about it. But then I moved away from those women, and went back to Southern California,  the land of anorexic movie stars and beach babes.

Here’s a picture of me then, for reference. (Punk rock selfies, yeah!)

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I’m a radical feminist, I have a freaking Women’s Studies degree from a women’s college in the Bay Area, I should be totally immune to bullshit beauty standards, RIGHT!? Man, I wish. Brainwashing dies hard.

I seemingly had every woman’s dream come true happen in my mid-20’s. I rapidly lost weight, with little effort on my part, I was just exercising more. Then I went vegan, and even more weight melted off… I remember going to the Levis store to shop for jeans, since my clothes were too big, and I realized I was their size 0. Some people would have been excited, but I was a bit terrified. Any smaller and I could no longer fit in women’s jeans. I didn’t feel like I was in control of what was happening to my body. But everyone else thought I looked fabulous! Men would compliment me, other women would look at me with this strange mixture of disgust and jealousy. I took on this hipster persona and went clubbing constantly, DJ’ed, go-go danced in rock clubs, the whole gamut. I totally exploited my scrawny frame in tight ass designer clothes.

But, underneath the fashionable clothes I was wasting away for no apparent reason. My face looked gaunt, my hair was brittle and dry, my skin looked like shit, and I tried so hard to eat “healthy” (by the misguided nutritional information I was given.) I was always hungry, and I purposefully ate more to try to maintain my weight. I managed to put on a few pounds, and got up to a size 2, so I felt a bit better about it. I was societies ideal for women, I was the size you see on TV and in magazines, and it’s because my body was eating itself from the inside.

Here I am at my tiniest. The hilarious thing about this photo is that I actually felt bloated that day. There are no photos of my bad skin, I’ve photo shopped or deleted everything that showed it. My legs were covered in ugly spider veins that popped up randomly when I was 22. You also can’t see my very prominent collar bones and ribs. But, look, I’m a model!

Thin Drea

Years later, after an avalanche of health problems, I realized I had what seemed to be Celiac disease. Wasting away is common with this condition, because your immune system attacks your intestines, damaging them and impairing your ability to absorb your food. That’s why I could eat and eat and not gain weight. It just went right though me (literally.. I know, TMI)
Going on a strictly gluten free Paleo diet helped heal my gut, and my skin and hair were suddenly healthy. I started putting on weight too, partially from being able to absorb things, and partially due to the arthritis and spinal damage that was the consequence of my unintentional malnutrition. I couldn’t exercise or dance very much, even walks around the neighborhood were sometimes interrupted by excruciating muscle cramps in my legs.

Eventually I got healthy enough to exercise more, but the weight stuck on. After years of malnutrition, I felt like my body just wouldn’t have it if I dieted in the least. I practically wanted to inhale tons of nutritious food, my brain, nervous system and whole body were still recovering from the debilitating crap I’d been through. If I felt like I needed a second bowl of stew, I ate it. I listened to my instincts instead of Weight Watchers point system.

Because of this, and my fabulously pear-shaped body, I went up 4 pant sizes in 2 years. The booty blossomed, so to speak!

At this point, I should have been celebrating my new found health, and relishing in my new womanly body. Honestly, and this is hard for me to admit because I am trained to be the super-duper body positive feminist… Instead of celebrating, I was distressed and disgusted, and a part of me was wishing I was still a malnourished waif.

I tried my very best to overcome my programming and give myself positive affirmations, even when my favorite pants would no longer zip up, or my underwear got too tight around the thighs. My girlfriends exclaimed positively about my newly grown booty, but my partner at the time wasn’t so supportive. It came out in therapy that he was less attracted to me now that I’d gained weight, and I still remember the disgusted looks he gave me when I ate things he disapproved of.
Part of me felt like crawling deep, deep inside myself and never coming out again. The other part of me enjoyed snacking on wedges of cheese in front of him as a big “fuck you”.

I tried so hard to counter-balance this negativity with more affirming things. I started a Pintrest page with gorgeous pictures of curvy women:

And I listened to things like this, which soothed my soul:

“Love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet.”

And what’s totally ridiculous about all of this is that I am still, even at my heaviest, technically not overweight for my height. Yeah, I wear size large bottoms, but I am, actually, perfectly healthy.

Sometimes I think about dieting, but I don’t want to. I eat really healthy food, and I hate feeling like I’m starving. So I’ll just have a full serving of dinner and my glass of wine and be happy and chubby.

Rad things about my weight gain:
My skin looks WAY better, and I actually look younger than I did at 27, I think. I still get carded regularly at 34.
HEALTH.
I finally gained enough for my boobs to get bigger! My boyfriend keeps laughing at me cuz I am constantly staring at and/or playing with them.

So, yeah, that’s my body image story. I’m still struggling, but trying hard to accept myself. Now that I am performing with Black Magdalene, it’s an even bigger curve ball, cuz now I see pictures of my belly on stage and I just want to cringe. But I’m trying not to. I’m trying to love it, dimples and all.

There is no one cure-all for the body image bullshit we have to deal with. Belly dance won’t make it magically go away, but, I think it does help. Supportive people help. Loving yourself helps. Being good to your body helps.

Love the belly, it loves you.

xx

 

Black Magdelene