I’m fat- should I hate myself?


Social media is full of body-shaming at the moment. Accusations and insults fly: people are too fat, too thin, unhealthy etc.

Recently, we were treated to this lovely piece of poison, stating that fat people should not be confident in themselves, but should display shame and self-loathing at all times, because they are fat.

It’s a common theme. Every time someone fat dares suggest that they are ok with themselves and don’t necessarily hate and loathe their bodies, the “it’s unhealthy” brigade pop up. Apparently, if you appear unhealthy, you cannot display any confidence or sense of self-worth, lest you “glorify” whatever makes you unhealthy.

Fat Bitch

This happens so much, today I suddenly thought…”should I hate myself because I’m fat”?

The answer is definitely no, despite what certain portions of the internet might say.

Fat Shaming

But why not? Why should I still feel a sense of self-worth, happiness and confidence, when I am the most socially repugnant thing a woman can be (except a hooker) – I’m FAT! I should HATE my body and be constantly ASHAMED and UNHAPPY, right? No.

This is why not:

There is more to my body than fat.

I was born in my body. My mam held me as a baby in this body.

I’ve grown up in my body, learned to walk, run, dance, talk, sing.

With my body, I’ve held my loved ones, and they’ve held me.

With my body, I’ve gone all over the world, bounced & gyrated on stage and made people laugh.

My body has given me thoughts, helped me write books and blogs and academic stuff.

My body was with me through the death of my dad, my graduations, and all the big moments.

Me and my body like to get drunk together, have fun and be silly.

My brain is part of my body, and my brain makes me kind, selfish, a bad cook, a bookworm, an animal lover, a friend, a daughter, a rocker, a performer, a writer.

My body is my bum, hips, lips and legs, and I don’t like the way they look. It’s also my hair, skin, feet, back and boobs, and I do like the way they look.

My body is all of those things. Annnnnnnd my body is fat.

I am not one thing. I am a collection of past, present and future, all wrapped up in my body. How could I hate it and my whole self because of one thing- the fat?

Don’t get me wrong, my self-confidence is not great. There are many things about myself, physically, mentally and emotionally, that I don’t like. And I don’t like being this fat. I would like to be slightly slimmer, fitter and stronger, for a number of reasons, one of which is because I still feel I would like to fit in more with that standard idea of “attractive”. What can I say, it’s been drummed into me for 33 years, I can’t lose it entirely. But I don’t, wont, deny myself happiness or confidence because of my figure and I will not measure my worth or my life, according to the amount and shape of the flesh on my bones.

There is more to my body than fat. And that’s why I don’t hate myself.

So there.


Who should teach burlesque and how? Survey Results

A long while ago I did a survey regarding the “teaching problem” in burlesque, and having sat on the info for ages,  here it is!.

We all know the issues with teaching in burlesque:

-Inexperienced performers teaching

-Inexperienced teachers teaching

-Burlesque graduates being too ‘cookie-cutter’ or not trained well enough

-Bad reflection on the credibility and quality of burlesque as an art/industry

And so forth.

Over the years, some experienced performers have looked into setting up a burlesque lesson curriculum of sorts, with the aim to get accredited. After all, other performance arts have levels, exams, and guidelines if not a curriculum. Why not burlesque? This has been quite thoroughly investigated, and the main problem is getting accreditation and who to get it from. We don’t really fit anywhere, not with dance or circus or acting or fitness organisations (although there is a fitness accredited burlesque instructors course, which “qualifies” you to teach burlesque, but more in the fitness realm than in theatre).

There are divided opinions about how teaching is best approached in burlesque, and any effort would need to be informed and supported by the burlesque world.

So I did a survey to find out what you all think: here is a summary of the results (happy to provide full results on request):

Burlesque Teaching Survey: 73 respondents

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