Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Fashion Trend I Support

I came across the post on Refinery 29's Instagram account. The statement was focusing on NYFW (New York Fashion Week) and the lack of diversity in models during runway shows. The idea was that many top designers didn't use runway models of different ethnicities.
 So, with that model Ashley Chew came up with an idea of creating "Black Models Matter" t shirts and can be purchased on her etsy account. I support this because being mixed heritage- Native American and Ukrainian I have experienced the same as a burlesque performer and as a model.
I remember responding to a casting call in which the photographer stated he wanted Native models, I wasn't chosen because he thought I didn't "look" Native; however, the model he did choose for the shoot had dark blonde hair and blue eyes...definitely not Native, clearly the model looked Caucasian.
 I think with social media and in entertainment industry there is a set stereotype for what women should look like. I honestly believe in the burlesque community here is the same when it comes to women of ethnicity.
 I remember one time during a show I was getting ready backstage and had another performer ask to touch my hair and couldn't understand why my hair was "natural".....I get it and I experience racism in many different other areas as well. I also remember in my first troupe experience there was an attempt to market me as a "ghetto black girl" because I'm not blonde and ridiculously pale. I obviously refused because I felt that was offensive because that is to assume all African-Americans like that particular culture which is not the case. People are people, some people may like that some may not but to generalize within itself is a form of racism and prejudice.
 Naturally, I am a redhead...my natural hair colour is dark auburn. I have freckles and I tan. People assume about me a great deal. To this day, most people in the burlesque world here make assumptions about my heritage and don't even ask me what my heritage is and half the time they think I am making it up. I think to an extent acknowledging my heritage would mean closer to them, making me be something else makes others feel a sense of superiority. I'm not saying it does but many people think that way, sadly
 So yes, racism
still exists, cultural ignorance still exists. I am surprised how in this day and age how culturally ignorant people still are.
 So instead of trying to market me as this race or that race, market me as a person...a human being, you know?
 I commend Ashley and other models for speaking out about how yes, ethnic models are still over looked. Black models matter, Native models matter, Latina models matter.

 

http://www.refinery29.com/black-models-matter-instagram-nyfw-diversity


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Proud Bunhead

I have been criticized by many burlesque performers it would seem because of my ballet/dance training. Ballet takes extreme discipline and is a form of art and it is a passion of mine since the age of 6. Those who criticize probably have not been in a dance studio nor have done barre work as well do any sort of pointe work for ballet. I don't criticize about burlesque so don't criticize ballet. They are two completely different forms of dance but can be just as exciting, expressive and imaginative.
 I am a firm believer that there is more to burlesque just than flashing your boobs for attention which sadly many women are overly sexualized when it comes down to it because that is all they have to offer.
 I am very proud of my dance training and exceptionally proud to be a BalletMet student; it is not everyday get to be surrounded by so many talented artists and performers and have learned far more about being on stage than anything else. I am a huge fan of modburlesque because it focuses more on dancing and modern choreography than just being on stage and taking clothes off. I get it that is what burlesque is marketed as but the same individuals who express that is an art form are the same ones criticizing. I respect you so respect me as a performer. I also love how the burlesque performers who complain that my numbers are horrible are the ones who see nothing but just stripping as part of it, yet say it is more.
 I am a dancer and always marketed myself as one more than a burlesque performer and the ones who criticize are also the ones who are attempting to look more "dancer" in their routines.
 So for the lovely burlesque performer who messaged me the nasty message earlier...I am actually ashamed you are a human being.
 Overall, if the focus of burlesque is to empower women why is it necessary to message others and put them down to make them feel bad about themselves? That is the sign of insecurity...focus on being better people and performers than constantly worrying about what I am doing.
 So with that being said...I am a proud bunhead.
the end
.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

memento mori

One thing I learned these past few months is to let go of things, people and experiences who are negative and even though we grow as people there are still others who because their own lives are miserable they have to make it the same way for other people around them. I learned to let go of people in my life who are the "users" you know the ones who only are around you for their own benefit, as well the ones who have to put down others to make themselves feel better in life. Basically, if they loved themselves, their life and the path they're on...they wouldn't need to bring down everyone else.



For all the times that you rain on my parade
And all the clubs you get in using my name
You think you broke my heart, oh girl for goodness sake
You think I'm crying, oh my oh, well I ain't

And I didn't wanna write a song cause I didn't want anyone thinking I still care
I don't but, you still hit my phone up
And baby I be movin' on and I think you should be somethin'
I don't wanna hold back, maybe you should know that
My mama don't like you and she likes everyone
And I never like to admit that I was wrong
And I've been so caught up in my job, didn't see what's going on
And now I know, I'm better sleeping on my own

Cause if you like the way you look that much
 you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I'm still holdin' on to somethin'
You should go and love yourself

But when you told me that you hated my friends
The only problem was with you and not them
And every time you told me my opinion was wrong
And tried to make me forget where I came from

And I didn't wanna write a song cause I didn't want anyone thinking I still care
I don't but, you still hit my phone up
And baby I be movin' on and I think you should be somethin'
I don't wanna hold back, maybe you should know that
My mama don't like you and she likes everyone
And I never like to admit that I was wrong
And I've been so caught up in my job, didn't see what's going on
And now I know, I'm better sleeping on my own

Cause if you like the way you look that much
  you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I'm still holdin' on to somethin'
You should go and love yourself

For all the times that you've made me feel small
I fell in love, now I feel nothin' at all
Had never felt so low when I was vulnerable
Was I a fool to let you break down my walls?

Cause if you like the way you look that much
  you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I'm still holdin' on to somethin'
You should go and love yourself
Cause if you like the way you look that much
  you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I'm still holdin' on to somethin'
You should go and love yourself