‘Body confidence’ are the words on everyone’s lips. Wherever you look you’ll see Instagram superstars showing off their tiger stripes, celebrities baring their bellies in bikinis and powerful women and men showing the world that all bodies deserve to be celebrated. Similarly, the burlesque world teaches us important body confidence lessons and many of the Love You Burlesque ladies will tell you that there are few things more empowering to them, than burlesque.
Here are 10 things that burlesque teaches us about body confidence…
It’s okay to celebrate your wobbly bits
‘Buy shapewear to hide your muffin top!’, ‘Banish those bingo-wings!’, ‘A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!’ – how many times have we heard or read these sentences? Too many times to count probably. Society would have us believe that wobbly bums and tums are things to be ashamed of, but in the burlesque world shimmying, wobbling and shaking are all things to be celebrated! If you’ve got it, flaunt it (although if you’re not a fan of showing off your skin too much, that’s fine too, burlesque doesn’t judge, just do you!).
There are so many different ways a body can be sexy
Sexiness in the media is perceived as long legs, olive skin and curves that a violin would be jealous of – but there are so many different ways that a body can be sexy. Burlesque provides women with the space to explore and reconnect with their bodies in an environment where diversity is paramount, creating an inner confidence that absolutely shines on the outside. Bodies can be sexy because society says so, but bodies can also be sexy because people feel confident and empowered from within, something that burlesque definitely supports.
Everyone has different abilities
Most of us have no idea what to expect when going to our first burlesque class, and often one of our main concerns is that we won’t be able to do or remember the choreography. One of the biggest things that burlesque understands is that everyone has different abilities and what one person might find easy, another may find impossible. Burlesque teaches us to respect the differences of others and adapt to their abilities – whilst still looking fabulous when doing so!
Moving your body can be fun!
Sometimes the last thing we want to do after a busy day at work is to go swimming for an hour or take ourselves for a run. On those days when moving your body feels like a chore, burlesque dancing is something that can get you in the mood again. Moving your body can be fun and taking an hour out of your day to be around other fabulous women from all walks of life can lift your mood. We guarantee that you’ll leave class smiling and looking forward to moving your body again!
All bodies are burlesque bodies
If you want to get your kit off in front of an appreciative audience, then burlesque is for you. If you want to rebuild your body confidence once a week, then burlesque is for you. If you want to express yourself through burlesque costumes, then burlesque is for you. If you’re a person and you want to join your local burlesque troupe, then burlesque is for you. Our point is, is that whoever you are and whatever you look like, burlesque is for you. All bodies are burlesque bodies – everyone’s got it in them to shake what their mama gave them!
How you feel about your body can change every day
Body confidence is something that can ebb and flow. One day you might feel like you and your body can take on the world, but the next feel shy to even take off a sock. Burlesque can teach you that you’re not going to feel fabulous all the time, burlesque can also teach you that it’s okay to feel this way. Surrounded by your burlesque family, you’ll soon realise that they will love and support you no matter how you feel about the size of your waist. They will always encourage you to be the best thing that you can be, and let you lean on them when you don’t feel like you can do that right now.
Confidence is a state of mind
Burlesque superstar Immodesty Blaize once said that “there is no mystery to confidence, it’s just about self-knowledge”. Burlesque helps us understand our bodies and be able to appreciate what we can do with them. The physical nature of burlesque also means that we are touching and moving our bodies in a way we wouldn’t usually, creating an intimate relationship with how we move and exist in our skin. Ask any Love You Burlesque lovely and they’ll be able to tell that their confidence comes from within, burlesque helps us fall in love with our bodies time and time again.
Burlesque doesn’t judge
Burlesque is chock-full of creative, colourful and diverse people. If you want to dress as a knight and remove a full set of armour and chainmail, there’s a place for you. If you want to be a replica 1950s pin-up girl, there’s a place for you. If you want to duet to Shake Your Tail Feather as the Blues Brothers, there’s a place for you. Whatever you enjoy, you can add a burlesque flair to it and choreograph something fabulous – burlesque doesn’t judge, you can be sure of that.
Bodies can do wonderful things
Our bodies are phenomenal! Once you’ve seen chest-shimmies, hip rolls and bum-sweep in abundance you can never bored of how glorious our bodies look in action. Again and again, we find ourselves floored by the impressive things that burlesque performers can do with their bodies. Burlesque opens our eyes to the things that are possible with our own bodies too. We slowly but surely realise that we can move and live in our skin, exactly as we want to!
We are the only thing stopping ourselves
It takes a lot of time to realise that we are the only thing standing in our way, and it takes even longer to realise that we can do something about it. Burlesque helps us push the boundaries of what we thought we could do, mentally and physically. Many burlesque performers will tell you that they never expected to perform on stage, let alone strip down to just pasties and frilly knickers! We are in control of what we do with our bodies, and when – burlesque teaches us about self-love, self-acceptance and self-confidence. We wouldn’t give it up for the world.