Gosh who hasn’t had it?! Someone makes a comment and before you know it you are staring in the mirror questioning yourself. Burlesque is no different from life in that respect. We are not immune to taunts, hurtful comments and soul destroying remarks. It seems for me I am either too fat, too crazy, too unconventional, and I will admit each comment has chinked my armour.

My rather bawdy personality tends to give the impression I am not hurt by such venom, yet sadly I am. Sure the odd comment you can brush aside because they are only saying it to make themselves feel better. Though sadly, whether the remarks come from our family or a stranger they can cut deep and often do.

Khandie Khisses (©Haley Richardson)

Khandie Khisses (©Haley Richardson)

My mom says, ‘you should not speak bad as it will come back with bite’ (So – karma then Mom?), but it seems not all of us on this tiny blue planet can get along. Perhaps it goes back to our animal pack mentality: instead of fighting it out physically, we resort to mindless and bitter confidence destruction. Well you know what – STIFFEN that upper lip my love. For every bad comment there are tons of good ones to be said about you. Yeah I am chunky, I might not win Miss Svelte of the year, but my jiggly puffs (tits) are pretty good and I still can get a crowd going.

I think people feel threatened by strong men and women and thus the rather juvenile desire to tear them down. Perle Noire (God I love her!) confronted one sneering woman whilst on stage performing with, ‘they are just breasts’. Even the greats get the knocks. The key is how to handle them. If no one wanted to see you perform you wouldn’t be on stage in the first place. You will never please all and be everyone’s cup of tea. So gussy up and realise you shouldn’t waste precious rhinestoning time fretting about such idiots. I could get ‘Hallmark Card’ on your fine ass and say everyone is beautiful, but you don’t need to hear that. You should know you are.

Every so often, someone you respect makes a comment that hurts you. Stop and take a breath. Often they don’t realise they have hurt you. If they have done it intentionally, I would tell them to ram it. Wait – I mean smile sweetly and say, ‘cheers – next time you want my opinion I won’t hold back’. Okay, so not a good answer either. The key is to understand you are doing something that makes you happy, and so provided no laws are broken you can do it. I won’t apologise for my burlesque career and I am aware some people hate what I do, but I have done the model citizen thing, having served in the military, and came across more hatred towards that job than this one.

Burlesque isn’t the worst thing you can do. It’s not brain surgery or finding a cure for cancer, but if it puts a smile on your face and glitter on your arse don’t listen to muppets who want to trash you. Get out there, strut like a diva and wink like a winner.

P.S. A glittery arse is a great accessory.