Thursday, October 25, 2012

Naked Chicks and Producer Pricks

Photo Credit: Franky Panky

Hooray!  A bonus post for today!  I just couldn't resist posting when I read this story.  It touched on so many things I'm passionate about (burlesque, body image, sexism, bullying...) that I couldn't wait a day to put this out there.

In case you aren't in the link-clicking mood, I'll summarize for you:

Burlesque performer in a show is pulled aside after rehearsal one day and told "Lose weight or you're out.  There are new restrictions being put in place in my company now."  When she says she is uncomfortable with this request, he replies:

" are fighting me about this because a.) your feelings are hurt by my honesty about a situation that we both know to be true, and b.) it dredges up all sorts of hurtful self image issues that you are applying to yourself. If you were to step back and look at the situation rationally,  you would agree that this isn’t the body image that you want to represent yourself with or that you want to put onstage. You want to be healtier, more attractive, stronger, faster, leaner. You want the same things that I want for you. You just don’t like hearing it from me. "
...along with some other nasty things, but there isn't room to paste all of it.

I found the burlesque community just over 2 years ago, and I was so impressed with the openness and utter fun that they embraced!  Burlesque dancers are gorgeous, unique, totally fun, and often quite hilarious.  (seriously, if you've never been to a burlyQ show before, I strongly recommend it!  (If you're in Vancouver, check out Screaming Chicken for some great Revues...There's one this Friday, in fact!)

So, to read this article and see that bullying has even spread to this amazing community was just a shock.  Well, I suppose it wasn't nearly as much of a shock as it should have been.  We deal with body image restraints and issues all the time.  It's just a matter of course for women and, if you happen to spend your time exposing a lot of your body in front of a lot of people, of course someone will bring up your body size/shape.

But it shouldn't be that way.  One of the greatest burlesque performers I've ever seen (and my former teacher!) does not have the typical "ideal body" we're all forced to shove down our throats.  She's curvy.  She's beautiful.  She also won 1st place in her category (humour) down at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Vegas this year.

It doesn't take a stick skinny person to be amazing and gorgeous.  But it takes nothing more than one prickish producer who thinks he knows what his performers want to make his performers feel like dirt on the bottom of a shoe.  Kudos to the lady who experienced this and was strong enough to say "No," and walk away from his bullshit.  She is a true role model.


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