Can Burlesque have a negative effect on women?

monique aislabie

In a interview recently I was asked “Do you think Burlesque can have a negative effect because it puts women under even more pressure to be sexy?”. My answer (the long version)…. in our society I think there is a lot of pressure on women to be “sexy” and yes this can be a form of female oppression. But only because we associate this word with women being objectified and images of unobtainable body shapes, of one very specific age and ethnicity group. If we think we don’t fit into this unrealistic idea of what “sexy” is supposed to look like then we have failed and therefore undesirable. THIS is what puts women under tremendous pressure.

That’s why I’m trying to create a space where women can start to see themselves as sexy no matter what their age or body size might be. In a safe environment that celebrates diversity and focuses on a body positive attitude, for this can be an extremely empowering form of self discovery.

It’s time to stop buying into the bullshit that is dumped on us about how we should look in order to obtain those sexy standards for a society that thinks they own and control our sexuality. Well guess what ? They don’t ! Nobody does ! Not your parents, not your boyfriend, not your employer, not those men who leer at you on the street, and certainly not the mainstream media. Don’t give them that power over you. Your sexuality belongs to you and ONLY you. Don’t let anyone make you afraid or ashamed of it, love it, be proud of it, and express it in your own unique way. The balance between being strong and successful, but at the same time allowing yourself the space to get in touch with your femininity and female sexuality is the epitome of the powerful modern day woman!

Photo by: Carsten Schulze