Saturday night I went to a burlesque show. I hadn’t ever been to one & it was great. The women were beautiful, talented and funny.
If you’d rather listen to this blog than read it, please click the play button. Otherwise, keep reading below.
Most of the women were full-figured, probably American sizes 16-20 if I had to guess. They were dancing and stripping on stage, looking beautiful and fully alive. Sure, I noticed their size because I was looking at them, nearly naked, but what stood out infinitely more than their weight was their energy and confidence. It was magnetic.
At intermission, I heard a few interesting conversations:
Those girls must just see their bodies differently. I could never do that.
I won’t even get naked with the lights on, nevermind in front of a crowd of people. We’re all sexier in the dark…
I admire their confidence. I can’t even imagine feeling confident enough to wear that or dance in public.
Here’s what I noticed about these ladies: They were having an amazing time. They looked absolutely beautiful. They radiated confidence and energy.
You can convince yourself that you’re too fat or not sexy enough to “wear that”. You can convince yourself that you can’t get naked with the lights on because you’re not thin enough.
Your thoughts, actions and words can absolutely reinforce that belief.
Alternatively, like these ladies in the show have done, you can convince yourself quite differently. You can convince yourself that your size doesn’t stop you from having fun or doing/wearing what you love. Why should it? You have one life and you’re going to have a great time! Your choices don’t hinge on the size of your jeans.
The ladies in this show didn’t have super powers, but they did have a positively powerful story.
I love to sing and dance and I’m going to have fun! I don’t need to be a certain size to do this.
What’s most obvious to me is that they wouldn’t make it on stage with a story about what is wrong with them or what they can’t do. That story is certainly available to them, to anyone, but it’s not the story they choose to tell.
They simply choose to pursue what they love and not pollute their minds with doubts, fears and limitations.
Fear doesn’t stop death, it stops life.
The only thing your fear of judgement is stopping is your full experience of life.
I have asked many, many men what makes a woman sexy and almost all of them agree:
It’s far less about the size of her jeans and far more about the way she carries herself in them.
Confidence isn’t something you get to claim once you’re under a certain weight threshold.
It’s mental. And it begins with a choice. It begins by no longer telling those limiting stories about what you can’t do or how gross you are.
People can sense it when you feel apologetic about your body. That’s the opposite of confidence. It’s the opposite of sexy.
You can’t have that energy and vitality when you are focused exclusively on what is wrong with your body.
Don’t shrink from the space you take up. Hold it down and be strong and as alive as you can possibly be.
Create a different story. It doesn’t have to begin with, “I’m sexy and beautiful” if you don’t yet believe that.
But it could be as simple as: I look great in this jacket. My hair looks good like this. I have a radiant smile. My mascara is on point today.
For some reason, burned into my memory is my first class at CrossFit New England. I didn’t know what to expect, I was intimidated. I didn’t know anyone. As the class stood around the white board listening to the coach’s instructions, I noticed that I had wrapped my arms up in the body of my shirt.
I looked ridiculous. I was trying to hide. To make myself disappear.
That moment, and moments like the burlesque show, remind me to proudly occupy the space I’m in. They remind me that confidence begins with your attitude.
I’m choosing not just be impressed by these burlesque girls, but to challenge myself to take action based on their example. I’m going to do some shopping this week to buy some clothes that I might normally tell myself I don’t look good in because of my size.
I’ll look good in them because of my attitude.
Like this ridiculous spandex mermaid dress I wore on Halloween…..