Anything I say here are my views…and I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad. These are my personal opinions, and they don’t mean I think less of you for your choices, or because you do what makes you feel comfortable, I stated that again and again in pt. 1 after all. First rule of being a plus sized dancer, do what makes you feel comfortable. So that being said…on with the blog!
This blog is mainly going to focus on ways to dress to make yourself more comfortable on stage…and other small tricks…like contouring.
So I asked Facebook what was up with the body stockings. Was there a cultural reason behind them? Or is suddenly everyone paranoid about their bodies? I started wondering this as the cabaret scene and tribal scene came together more in the recent months. (I will happily admit my ignorance when it comes to traditions. I come from a modern-tribal-fusion upbringing, and my main focus has been on choreo and technique rather then culture and history.)
I was told…
Ellway Haung- “I know that classical Egyptian dancers wears them because they have to cover their stomach for the cultural reason.”
Missy Moore- “In Egypt, it is forbidden to expose your stomach.”
There ya go. I was also told for religious reasons, some women wear them.
I don’t care for them (The stockings themselves, not the reasons!). I never did. I feel like when a bigger girl wears a body stocking, they’re shouting to the world their insecurities. “Look at me! I’m so uncomfortable with my body I’m trying to hide it!” I’m sorry, I’m not trying to offend anyone. I know quite a few of you posted that the exact reason you wear a stocking is to make yourself feel better. So good for you for doing what works to get you out there!
For me however, I’d much rather see you rock what mother nature gave you. Let it all hang out. Show the scars, show the stretch marks, show your rolls! My own back has more scars then the moon has craters. No one has lost their lunch because they saw my scars. Or my gut.
A few blogs ago, I talked about the finer points of wearing a costume that fits you. With bigger ladies, this is so important to be sure that your costume fits you properly. We have more “jiggly-bits” to keep in check. It’s all about creating smooth lines that compliment your dance. You can’t create a smooth line if you’re boobs are stuffed into a bra top so tightly you’ve got boobs around your neck.
Please for the love of all that is good, don’t dwell on the numbers in this case. No matter your style, you need to have a costume that FITS YOU. It’s just a number. 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22…on and on. This is one of those times you don’t want to lie about your measurements. This is the difference between a flattering costume that stays in place, and a costume you have to adjust all the time and may ride up, or worse fall off. I promise you, the person filling your order isn’t going to die of shock or laughter because they have to fill your true size of 16 rather then the fake size you ordered of a 12.
One of the unfortunate truths about being a plus sized dancer is finding costumes in general. Most garments that come over from India are so small. I know this tip is going to get eye rolling…but…One of the best things a plus-sized dancer can do is learn to make her own costumes. Learn to sew. Or make a friend who can.
Most tribal hip-skirts and wraps can be safety pinned into place. A no-sew option. Just remember to pin them to your pants too. (safety pins are your best friends!!)
A yard (or more if needed! I use a yard and 1/4th) of fabric folded and cut down the middle into two matching pieces makes a quick and easy skirt that gathers on the sides and builds out your hips. (I wear these ALL the time.) No sewing required, just invest in good safety pins.
Now, the one company I haven’t had any problems ordering from is Sharifwear. (http://www.sharifwear.com/)
I find their pants run true to size, or are very stretchy. If you’re new to them, I suggest trying things on. Many vendors at dance events carry their products. My booty can squeeze into a size small, but the pair I own is a medium and fits perfectly. I also own a pair in brown that’s a large.
On to makeup. (Yay!)
One thing I noticed about myself a few years ago is when my belly is tan (rather then it’s natural shade of white) that I feel like it looks smaller. It also hid my stretch marks, or at least blended them in well.
I’m all about NOT going into the sun…I even use a parasol at most festival gigs, and I don’t care for tanning beds. I do think pale is lovely, but parts of the body (like my belly) don’t see the sun, and are naturally paler then my arms and chest. So I decided to go the route of the self-tanning lotion/gel/spray/foam.
I took the suggestion of Jezebel Shuvani and checked out Bath and Body Works. Unfortunatly I found myself shopping at the completely wrong time of year, and the local stores didn’t carry the lotion she had suggested. I happened to have been at an outlet mall a week later, and picked up a different product by the same company.
True Blue Spa makes some awesome self tanners!!
Their lotions are thick, so if you do look into it I suggest applying then wetting your hands and smoothing everything over.
Besides tanning, you can also contour your belly as you would your face.
Using a bronzer a few shades darker then your natural skin tone, run a blush brush up the center of your belly and on the sides. Be sure to blend the bronzer in well!!!
I’ve run out of thoughts for now, but I’m very interested in hearing what others do to make themselves comfortable. Feel free to weigh in on this topic, and let others know what works or what hasn’t worked for you!