Rockstar and Fat.
When I was growing up I wanted to be the Jackson 5. Mostly Michael…but I would have settled for Tito.
ALSO, when I was growing up I wanted to be the Osmonds. NOT Marie…because, BORING…mostly Donny…but I would have settled for Jimmy.
I wanted to be a rockstar.
I have spoken about this a number of times…but I don’t think anyone has any idea how deep this dream went…and sometimes, unbelievably, still goes.
AND back when I was growing up there weren’t the number of lady one woman pop or rock music performance machines there are now…OF COURSE there was Cher…but I didn’t see myself in her at all.
She was tall, dark and skinny…like really skinny. Not that there is one damned thing wrong with that…BUT I did not see myself.
You see, back when I was growing up, I wasn’t fat (god, I hate that word) but I was chubby…and that was it’s own host of problems…I might as well have been fat. The way people made fun, the way some of my family worried that I would be fat…even though I was VERY active. BUT I did like a bag of chips…a sweet love, which to this day has never changed.
WHEN is fat? What is the line? So many questions that went unanswered.
I loved music, dancing and singing. I made a graphic (read colouring pencil sketch) of the cover of my first album and hung it up beside my twin bed with the purple polyester cover. The title of which was simply: DYNAMO.
I would like to mention here that I was probably at least 10 years old
Now, no one ever told me that I could not be a rockstar.
You know what informed me that I could not be a rockstar?
There was no one like me who got to be a singing, dancing, pop star.
I remember as early at 10 thinking, “If I could start losing weight now, I could be a pop star.”
And a life long belief was born.
This belief shaped the true capacity of my dreams.
And I have always been a big dreamer…always.
There was a day when I questioned the validity of that statement…BUT AMAZINGLY it wasn’t until a few years ago…because that belief was perpetuated (and sometimes quite harshly to say that very least) by high school teachers, dance teachers, college teachers, other actors and singers, directors, casting directors AND STILL the good old magazines, TV, movies and album covers…and now videos, internet, books, posters…the list goes on and on.
Even just a few days ago a friend I love, who knows me well…who should know better…made a point about people who have fat bodies…and I sat there and did not get uncomfortable and squirmy BUT I just stared at them as they continued on…realized what they were saying while I stared at them…stammered and then changed the subject.
We carried on, but the point was made…this is not a conversation that I will stand for. FAT and BIG is not something to be commented on, made fun of, made to feel different or a topic of conversation when I am around…I will comment, argue or leave. No more. No no no more.
My body is NONE of your business. Focus on your own deal, thanks.
When I began to focus my artistic voice in cabaret, one of the big reasons was that I could be anything I wanted in cabaret.
What I didn’t realize when I started was that I really just simply wanted to be myself.
My instincts were just searching for a place and art form where I could be me.
Our spirits and minds are truly amazing if we listen to them.
For me cabaret is like being a rockstar.
I sing whatever I want, I dance whenever I want…and then I tell stories…well, that is the icing on the cake. AND when I started I was in cocktail gowns and high heels…which I still wear a lot of the time and do love getting dressed up…but I felt myself evolving more and more into myself. Finding the things I really liked to wear…finding my own style…in fashion and in format.
I was becoming more and more me…I was accepting myself everyday.
And the images I saw on TV, in movies and in magazines tested me…and the way big women (and men) were portrayed in the media, in TV shows and movies tested me…and made me frustrated…and mad.
Big people are not less…they are not lazy…they are not different…they are.
They just are.
Every time a women walked into a scene in a movie or TV I cringed…waiting…waiting to find out the reason they were there…because it is NEVER just as human with love and life. They are overeaters, they are victims, they are sexless, they are usually loveless, they are the butt of a joke, they are the explanation of a catharsis for another character….again, the list goes on and on.
Kate on THIS IS US is a source of great sadness for me. I wrote about her journey as soon as the show began to run…and just yesterday I watched the season premiere where her 37th birthday cake were two rice cakes. While her journey is a true journey for many people I am heartily conflicted with the fact that her storyline is NEVER far from her weight. Never.
Big people can be anything they want.
I will say it again…Big people can be anything they want.
Also, big people don’t have to stay any size…big people ARE JUST PEOPLE!
So, really, ALL PEOPLE can be anything they want.
NOW there is a ground shaker.
I don’t quite understand the world’s fascination with “perfection” or the world’s worry about what other people… who they consider “different”… are doing…how does my journey, if you feel I am successful, make your journey less?
What does my size, shape, skin colour religion, back ground, have to do with YOUR happiness…and why does it feel threatened?
Sigh of sighs.
When read the breakdown for Flo on Frankie Drake Mysteries, NOWHERE in the breakdown was shape mentioned. And Flo loves her body. LOVES.
And I have not given up on being a rockstar.
I got myself to a Lady Gaga concert this past month and as soon as she walked out onstage I burst into tears of joy and wanting.
I was thrilled that this is still something that my spirit loves and wishes for…and my mind actively tries to figure out the how and the when and where of the happening.
Isn’t that amazing?
And tomorrow, I will preview my cabaret for kids…in which I totally feel like a rockstar.
I sing Triumph, P!NK, Bruno Mars…SO many great songs…and I bought myself a cool pair of Adidas to wear…because kids aren’t impressed by high heels…thank goodness.
And one of the ideas in the cabaret surrounds the sentence, “I hate the word FAT”…which is always hard to say, no matter how accepting of myself I am. The reaction always surprises me…and I remain open to new reactions…and, as always, a little nervous.
That is what makes it all interesting.
So, finally, at the age of 49, I feel that I am one day closer to being a rockstar.
Or maybe, I already am.