Belly Dancing Memories (even if I never did it)

When I was younger, say 7 or 8, I would hop on my banana seat bicycle and bike to the library by myself. One of my passions at that early age was books on learning to belly dance. I checked out every book, then checked them out again & again. Librarians, ever classy, never raised an eyebrow but my mother gave me that raised eyebrow, wondering why her little girl who didn’t even wear a training bra was deeply engrossed in how to make a belly dancer’s sequin covered bra.

I haven’t thought about this in a long time… but by the time I developed a bosom worthy of a bra I had already developed poor body image and didn’t dare even dream of bellydancing.

Now, I discover the fabulous Margaret Cho has her own line of belly dancing hip wear — because she, not surprisingly, adores belly dancing. She wrote:

When you go see a belly dance show, if you look around, a lot of the women are crying. Tears for a million different reasons. Because they can’t believe how beautiful the dancer is, and because that beauty is something reachable, accessible, not distant and elusive. Because we have all wasted so many years hating ourselves for how we look and not appreciating ourselves for what we can do. Because we’ve sucked in our stomachs since we were children and now our backs are racked with pain. Because we have criticized our bodies for so long and we have just begun to feel what its like to compliment them. Because we have wasted so many years longing for something that didn’t really exist, but was sold to us by movies and fashion magazines. Because for many of us, we would have never imagined we could wear something that would expose our midriffs and now that is all we wear! Because bellydancers are never too old, too fat, too ugly, too anything that we are too much of in the ‘real’ world.

It’s observations & statements like these that make me love da Cho.

I feel a trip to the library comin’ on…

  • SlipOfAGirl says:

    Oh, thanks so much for stopping by and posting your link!

    I love this line of yours:

    Or maybe it was the goddess in the little girl. Most people think only sexy when they think belly dance, but I also see beauty and grace, exquisite control.

    OK, it’s 2 lines, but still… *wink*

    I’m off to read more of your blog!

  • thru my eyes says:

    Hi, I have never been to your blog before and right now I am not even sure how I got here. But I have already entered you into my Favorites. I loved the post on belly dancing. I do a similiar thing. I teach pole dancing to everyday woman. It is liberating. Women come to our classes nervous, not knowing what to expect. The hold back and are shy at first, and almost every one of them has body image

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