I worked in the exotic dance trade for many years until being forced out, partially due to my weight and age. In the last few years, I’ve gained weight which concerns me a lot more than it does the people around me. No one makes fun of me or bullies me over it so I’m not sure if it’s my age, weight, or a shyness that I’ve developed, but I feel like I’ve become invisible and I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin now. Here is a poem about my feelings…
As I sit here bored senseless each day at my desk,
I struggle through it like it’s some kind of test.
I like that they think that I’m smart and efficient,
But this mundane existence seems somewhat deficient.
I have quit the dance, given up my art,
Traded up for a better life, but when does that start?
I really do hate this 8-5 scene,
I wish I’d wake up and it would be a bad dream.
I’d awaken on stage surrounded by fans,
With dollars in each of their outstretched hands.
The desire of many, possession of none,
I’d symbolize sex and exemplify fun.
I know the grass always looks greener on the other side,
But, I miss my alter ego in which I could hide.
I liked living in my own little world of illusion,
My rock & roll fantasy sex-goddess delusion.
I was looking to have some glamorous pictures of myself that I could look back at, maybe even share, that would make me feel like a pretty woman again when I heard about this project. I was very scared and nervous, not about the camera but about my husband’s feelings of my participation. Will he and others understand and not turn it into twisted gossip or judge me? This is not about my being fat or old, as that does relate to the topic of the project, but there are so many aspects of judgement involved on the subject of having nudes taken for publication. A lot of aspects of this way of thinking hadn’t really occurred to me before learning more about this project and I intend to not let it intimidate me. I just hope it shows viewers that they are not alone and that other people look and feel the same as they do.
I have to admit, I wasn’t as mentally prepared as I thought I was to pose fully nude but this project made me think more about what other people think and how it could possibly help them feel better about themselves. I am still a positive open minded person and I’m not going to give in to any form of prudish influence. I hope seeing my fat old ass running around naked in the woods makes people smile (not laugh) and realize that real women are beautiful without being any certain way, shape, age, or color. We have to be ourselves and we are Be-YOU-tiful just the way we are.
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