Welcome back

Thanks, it’s been awhile.  I keep inventing blog posts in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep, and then forgetting them in the morning.  So, until I can think of something (at least semi) worthwhile to chat about, I’d like to present you with two videos with messages very dear to my heart.  The first makes the case that women’s obsession with thin-ness and beauty is a public health problem, something I’ve felt is true for a very long time.  People pay lip service to this notion all the time, but it never gets the attention that this so-called obesity epidemic does.  The second, relatedly, is not in my favorite art form — slam poetry — but resonates with me and is something that I imagine trying as hard as I possibly can to impress upon my imaginary daughter. 

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5 Responses to “Welcome back”


  1. 1 Raoser October 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Wow. Both were so amazing. Thank you for both of those videos. Brilliant reminders indeed. If I have children I hope I raise them with those exact sentiments. In my opinion, these things cannot be said enough.

  2. 2 kayt October 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you.

    I”m about to get the results of my latest photoshoot and I’ve long blogged about how physically and emotionally exhausting such shoots are…and I blog about what choices I make with photoshop, if I do decide to use it after, and why. On Bellydance forums I hear some insane ideas about how we dancers should change our digital images. A friend of mine, a larger woman, full-chested, was told by another dancer that she should remove the cleavage line in her shots, to down play her breasts. Absurd. Women don’t have unibreasts and we shouldn’t be made to feel like naturally occurring larger breasts are slutty/unsuitable for women engaged in family-appropriate dance entertainment with folk roots…and the list goes on.

    This post came at a good time for me.

    My plans for this thyphoon day is to tackle a blog about how dancers shouldn’t be trying create images of themselves that make them look like models or fashion spreads…because models serve as tools to sell other things; clothing, artistic visions, make-up, ideas…and that’s not what dancers should WANT from their promotional material. We need to be showing people our range as dancers and our personalities.I don’t want to fear I’ve been hired just because of my looks, because I know how people treat dancers they see as objects. I’ve been assaulted on the job before by someone I know didn’t see me as human…I don’t want people to think of me or other dancers or other women as “THINGS” of beauty.

    I want to be hired because a client, prospective student, venue, band sees some of my personality, gets a hint of my unique mix of movement and self, and want to be a part of that. And, it’s not like I can afford to lie about what I look like because they are going to see me when I show up to perform, filterless. Same goes for other dancers of a variety of sizes and ages. Being honest about what you look like (well, in full performance gear and make-up) might lose you some gigs, but they are gigs you can emotionally and physically afford to lose.

    My “plus-sized” friend with the promenant cleavage knows that there are venues that won’t have her, but she also knows she can serve a community that will want her and might actually need her (she often markets to Women’s groups and parties that will have a variety of sizes and ages represented, who might want and need to see a woman, like themselves, confident/lovely/in motion.)

    I also know that right now I fall near many cultural and media-driven images of beauty…but I’m going to age and my body is going to change and I have to be prepared to be confortable in the skin I’m in when that happens or I’m going to risk emotional and perhaps physical health in “battling it”…and that starts with working at being confident in who I am, not how I CAN look.

  3. 3 kayt October 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Some of what I have written about dancer marketing is very specific to bellydancers, because unlike many other genre dancers, we’re not generally trying to get hired to fill roles, work with a choreographer, be in shows, take on new moves/personas/roles…we come from a solo-improvisational dance form that is very much about the dancer being the choreographer and the subject.

  4. 4 Sara H November 1, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Great video – I’m so horrified by all the photoshopping and such these days. I think it’s bad for young girls, ladies, and men too – it’s a faux reality.

    Seen the Marie Claire hoopla?

  5. 5 kateandgracie November 1, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Have not seen the Marie Claire hoopla — shall google now.

    Kayt, great comments — thanks. It’s amazing how all-encompassing and pervasive this problem is. And how it just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. In fact, like the video says, it’s getting worse.


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