Glitter and Feathers
So the other day, I got a calgel manicure. That’s not anything new, but I was trying out a new place that can do fancier stuff then the place I usually go.
Before I went and got this manicure, I showed my boyfriend pictures of some of the things they can do, which I found on a random website. And I was freaking out inside, because I was so excited. Throughout the course of conversation with no less then three people that week, leading up to the appointment, I showed them the pictures at the slightest opportunity. Maybe we were talking about how nice the weather was outside, and I would say, “OH you won’t believe it, I’m so excited, look at the next manicure I’m getting!”
Yeah. No joke. I was out of control. So I showed my boyfriend these pictures and he literally looked at me, and watching me carefully, said, “oh. Babe. Really? Isn’t that too much?” This is a man who is supportive of everything I do. And when I showed him this manicure—okay, fine, it was feathers, they put feathers on your nails—he thought I was going over the deep end. I laughed, I said, “LOOK HOW PRETTY!” And then two days later I got exactly the feather manicure I wanted. I have become a woman who puts feathers on her nails. And glitter. Lots of really bright glitter. And on my toes, too. And I was thinking back, and realized how much pink I’ve been buying recently. And all these really girly dresses.
And it got me to wondering: what is it about pink, and feathers, and glitter, that is all of a sudden an obsession of mine? When did I go off the girly deep end? There isn’t anything wrong with it—don’t get me wrong. But it’s not the kind of thing I’ve really been that into. Especially pink.
Last night, one of my students was talking about how she wasn’t ready to come out of the “pole closet” to her guy friends yet, because she had told a couple of them and they had kind of laughed at her. And all of a sudden—WHOOSH! I jumped on this giant pedestal and started lecturing. I talked about how pole dancing brings changes. How you realize how strong you are, and how able you are, and you have all these little victories in class when you nail new things, and how you slowly begin to understand that you are able. Capable. And that inner strength and outer strength begin to transform the way you think about yourself. And the things you will put up with. And accept. And how, eventually, you will get to a point where a person’s reaction to your favorite hobby becomes a kind of litmus test. Not that you need to defend pole dancing—but if you hear that ring of judgment in a person’s reaction, you know. You just know. That person isn’t making it to your speed dial. Ever.
That story, about my student’s friends, laughing at her, made me MAD. Because how can you accept yourself, when you are surrounded by that kind of negativity? People deserve support. When they do something brave, and difficult, and hard for them, they deserve support.
I feel like pole dancing is one of the most unabashedly feminine, female things that I do. I don’t have to be hard, or be “masculine” or be stereotypically sexy to get where I want to go– I can be strong and a woman and soft and beautifully myself at the same time. And thanks to pole, I have developed a confidence that carries through into every aspect of my life. You want to know why I got feathers and pink glitter on my nails? Because I can. Because honestly, I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks about my manicure (and pedicure), because I know it makes me happy. If someone wants to judge me on something silly like that, then they can suck an egg. They’re not going on my speed dial, either. And you know why I love hot pink? Because it makes my tan look AWESOME. AWESOME. So, if I buy a ton of pink and wear it all at the same time, I CAN.
There is a tremendous freedom in having the confidence to act in a way that is true to yourself without fear of judgment. Maybe the lecture I gave my student didn’t sink in quite yet. But I hope that one day, it will. And she will realize, one day, that if she wants to do something crazy or silly or wild or categorically unlike the “usual” her… that it is a gift she gives herself. And screw what those stupid boys say.
The next post will be Monday due to July 4th holiday here in the USA : )…