The author of this piece, Pixie O’ Kneel, “The Mom You Wish You’d Had” was one of the first burlesque producers in Dallas, and has been performing and stage managing longer than most in the Southwest have known the word burlesque. She’s a hell of a nice lady, and damn, can this woman dance! – Admittedly biased editor’s note from Shoshana
This is me and this is my Body.
I wear my Body every day and she goes with me everywhere I go. We have been together for a long time. My Body and I have been lots of places and seen lots of things. We have been married twice, had 2 babies and a miscarriage. We have worked hard, been lazy, loved and been loved. We have been made fun of, called ugly things, bore the brunt of the anger of others. We have been abused and have abused ourselves.
My Body and I don’t always agree and we don’t always get along with each other. There have been some pretty dark times but we have always managed to come out good on the other side. During one of the dark times we found belly dance and we decided we would try it. We decided we liked belly dance and would stay because we had friends there so it would be okay. During another not so okay time, we found burlesque and after we talked about it for a little while we came to the conclusion that we wanted to try it out and after doing so, we decided we didn’t feel so naked and exposed after all, that we both really liked glitter and we made lots of new friends so it would be okay if we stayed here for a while.
Other people started asking us to teach them about burlesque and belly dancing. We thought about it for a bit and decided it was an important thing and we should do it because the other people may not be getting along with their bodies right now. My Body and I decided we would teach the other people about dancing but mostly we would teach them that even though they might not like their bodies every day, they should love their bodies because in reality they only had each other, and they needed at least be able to be civil with one another.
Sadly, some people think it is okay to get on a stage dressed in a costume designed to make fun of me and my Body. It’s a fat suit. She puts it on with a dress and strips out of it. She thinks it’s funny and okay. It’s not. Fatness is not something we can just put on or take off whenever we want. It is something that is put on in many different ways but it can never be stripped out of and flung aside like a glove.
My Body is not your costume. My Body is not your reveal. My Body is not yours. It is mine and you cannot have it.