Hey Everyone, I know it’s been a while but being cooped up in the apartment for weeks with two sprained ankles didn’t spark much inspiration for a new blog post. I’m back at work now , preparing to teach one of my workshops in Galway City in 2 weeks time and planning for some pole dance performances I’ll be doing over the summer. If you want to find out where exactly I’ll be performing you can tap here.
Today I want to talk about something that affects all of us no matter what size we are and that’s our body image. Like most, its something I’ve struggled with my whole life. I always carried a few extra pounds and even as an adult, when I was at my smallest I still saw a “big girl” looking back at me in the mirror. Ive also noticed this a lot in strip clubs, I’ve seen the most beautiful women at work picking their bodies apart , wanting to lose weight / to gain weight / have bigger boobs / have smaller boobs / have a bigger butt, you get the idea. The strip club is a different world when it comes to body image I guess and some customers feel like they have permission to tell you what they think is “wrong” with your body. It’s definitely something I experienced when I went up two dress sizes over a year ago. Imagine already feeling bad about your body and for an absolute stranger to tell you, “You could do with losing a few pounds” or “I’m not paying for THAT!” I’ve gone home crying over some of the things that men have said to me at work, it shouldn’t matter when these men aren’t exactly Calvin Klein models themselves but of course it still hurts. Being a dancer means you need to be resilient, goal focused, money focused, charming, beautiful, funny (the list is endless) and to be honest, it gets exhausting. #stripperburnout
The worst part about my weight gain is that I WAS desperately trying to lose it. I was watching what I was eating, exercising and trying to limit myself with sugar and alcohol. The pounds crept up so slowly that I didn’t even realise until one evening my favourite pair of jeans didn’t close anymore. I later realised that my weight gain was connected to taking an SSRI anti depressant and after a bit of research I discovered that some of these drugs can even slow down your metabolism. I decided to speak with my doctor and she agreed that I was well enough to come off of the medication. I’ve seen huge changes in my body in the last few months, one of them being weight loss. I feel less bloated and my clothes fit better. I know the weight is coming off, the stretch marks are physical proof but I still have that nagging voice in the back of my head saying things like: “are you really losing weight?” “You look bigger today, maybe you’re actually gaining weight”. Some days I don’t know what to believe and it’s annoying that it’s such a huge deal for me. It’s easy to see why weight gain is something so many women obsess over when it’s being spoon fed to us as children through the media. I can remember at age 10 I was comparing my body to a fully developed woman in a magazine, not to mention that the models I grew up looking at were severely photoshopped and edited anyway.
So, what can we do to spark change in society when it comes to body image? Well, we can start by following body positive women like Beanie the Jet, Shanka B, Princess Ivy and Alabama Whirley,(just some of my favourites) instead of buying into the industries that make us hate our bodies for profit. We can stop following the celebrities who are endorsing laxative teas and other weight loss products. We can teach our daughters and sisters how to look after their bodies and encourage them to feel beautiful no matter what size they are. We can teach our sons and brothers that they are not allowed to voice their opinion on our bodies without permission. We can support sex positive/body positive porn directors like Erika Lust, because like she says, most children learn about sex from porn. (And body standards in my own opinion). And I think that we can just be a lot nicer to each other in general.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post and I always love hearing from you! Please feel free to comment or message me directly if you have any queries or just want to share your own body image story. X