I started belly dancing in high school, but really started to feel comfortable dancing in my second decade; I moved out of my mom’s house and was able to pursue my own dancing career. When I was doing belly dancing in clubs, I wasn’t necessarily trying to look cool. I just wanted to dance with a good, solid guy, I didn’t want to look like I was a fat kid. So being that person I am, I’m also kind of an outsider in that regard, so I definitely take advantage of my belly dance role as well as my other roles as this fat, skinny person to really give myself a kick start.
And that’s awesome – I think people who get into belly dancing as a way of being themselves are going to gain self confidence because it is kind of a fun thing to do. It’s not just going up on a stage trying to look like this is what someone’s body looks like, it’s more like, hey, I made it!
We’re all human, and our bodies can get messed up.
Do you feel the same way about the world around you?
I do. The world is not that much better off than it was when I was a little girl – the world is a dark, dangerous place. The people still exist, but there are probably more people still being oppressed.
At the same time, I think it’s a wonderful place to be. Because not only do I have a body that I like and look at as a fun thing to dance around, but I like being able to interact with other people. I think it’s fantastic to go out and get to know other people, and I feel like it’s a great place to do.
You can always tell yourself that some people just have more issues on their mind than the rest of us, but I just think it’s a great place to feel like you don’t really need to worry about the people around you.
We’ve seen your work with The Body, where you get to dress up like a girl for the purpose of getting a feel for what other people are feeling.
I feel like there are a lot of ways that one could use this kind of body. I think it’s like going to an art gallery and wearing a lot of cool jewelry and having a lot of fun – it’s not just a body that you look at and get some body image from. There are a lot of things that can come with this person’s body
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