My whole life I've always wished I were just a few years older. I have fantasized what it would have been like to be a young woman in the late 1960's. Being an 18-yr old at Woodstock has always been my dream. Members of my burlesque troupe - the Velvet Hearts! - and I played out one of my dreams. As we swirled and danced in the trees, I channeled my inner-flower child... all we needed was the brown acid. (Scroll to the right for shots we couldn't post on the Facebook!)
How do we find a way to love our bodies when we're challenged at every turn?
You're not thin enough.
You're not fit enough.
You're not curvy enough.
It's a challenge every day to look in the mirror and say to yourself, "You're beautiful."
I've battled self-confidence issues my whole life. And, after struggling nearly fifty years, I can assure you that there isn't a magic answer. There's no point in your life where you just miraculously stop criticizing yourself. The best you can do is... persevere. But, learn to persevere with courage. Muster up the confidence to look at yourself and... love yourself no matter how much your brain fights you.
Media. Judgmental, cruel people. Inner demons. There are plenty of things standing between You and Confident You. But, I promise, if you practice self love enough, those obstacles won't be as challenging.
For the next thirty days, each day look in the mirror and say to yourself, out loud or in your head, "You are beautiful." No matter what you feel like, no matter how corny or stupid you think it feels, just do it. You'll be surprised how, if you do it routinely, you really will feel beautiful. I've done mirror exercises at a few points during my life, and it really does help if you let yourself be open to it.
Find something that you love about your face and really focus on it. If you have pretty teeth, or great skin, a cute nose, or if you've earned distinguished wrinkles around your eyes or laugh lines. Focus on the positive.
Then, be really daring. Stand back and dare to look at your body. Celebrate your breasts - whether they're perky or full. Touch your mid-section. Is it round and voluptuous like the Venus of Willendorf, or do your ribs stick out a little? Either way... it's your stomach and it's gorgeous just the way it is. Let your eyes travel to your hips - your full, strong, lusty hips. Hips that are uniquely yours. Look through a different lense. Be kind to yourself.
Starting tomorrow, and for the next thirty days, let the mirror be your friend. Be kind to yourself. Appreciate yourself. Baby steps. You ARE beautiful.
OCTOBER 17th was the SIXTH anniversary/birthday of my beautiful Velvet Hearts! We first stepped on the stage together October 17, 2008. I can remember that IDKEX weekend show like it happened just yesterday! The faces of my Velvet Hearts! family has changed over the years - incredible tits and asses have come and gone. But, through it all, my brand remains true... gorgeous queers doing classic burlesque together as a family. I'm grateful to each and every Velvet Heart! over the years. Every one of my troupe members throughout the years has contributed to the Velvet history - and I acknowledge and thank each and every Velvet family member.
To my current Velvet family I say - I love you dearly and thank you for sticking with me during the good times and the bad. I love you, Sandy Rollins, Brett Morehead, DeeDee Viscious, Gunner Suicide, Lilith Vain, Minnie Grey, Ms.Thickjustright, Samantha, Charelotte Van Dyke, CJ Licker... and a most special shout-out to our honorary VHs Chere, and definitely our Madman Colin Dearth.