As it stands, I know at least 3 different people who actively participate in Burlesque dancing and a few who dabble in drag. Both are separate, but related practices that focus on hyperfemininity: revealing costumes, sensual behavior, crazy, over-the-top makeup, and a sprinkle of raunch. There’s a lot of creativity involved in both, and though Burlesque doesn’t necessarily involve drag, it’s not unusual to have a drag performer (or several!) in a Burlesque show. Both involve twisting our perceptions of “normality”.
What I like about the Sociological Images post is the comment by the author, Lisa Wade, that most of us are in drag constantly – not the makeup or the clothes, but the performance. As a culture the West has normalized the “action” of womanhood, and it takes a great deal of time and money to even look natural by our standards. Go onto Youtube and search “natural makeup”- there’s a zillion videos. I like this one on Jessica Harlow’s blog- not only is she using upwards of ten products, she’s wearing false eyelashes.
This isn’t wrong or bad by any means, but I think it’s worth being cognizant of what we’re actually putting on our bodies and faces to even be considered “natural looking”. How many of us girls (myself definitely included) would ever dare post a Facebook photo of ourselves without at least concealing our under eye circles? Probably very few.
On that note, I’m gearing up for No Makeup March. Anyone care to join me?
PS- If you want to watch a video explaining drag in greater detail, watch this hilarious Miles Jai Video.
Friendship has been somewhat of a recurring theme in my yoga classes lately for reasons that I have yet to determine. I spoke yesterday morning about expectations you can have of people that may preclude you from ever forming a relationship with them, and how that’s just silly, because people are constantly surprising. However, in thinking about this friendship theme pre-yoga class, I was struck by how I seem to have somewhat of a theme of picking my closest friends- my inner circle, if you will- and it got me to thinking about whether or not we have “friend types” in the same way that we might have a “relationship type”. And that got me thinking about friend dating.
I have this weird theory about friend dating. Friend dating is NOT to be confused with dating friends. Friend dating is the art or practice of wooing a stranger into becoming close friends with you. It is almost exactly like dating in many details, expect at no point will you be expected to perform the horizontal tango with this person.
STAGE ONE- THE WOO- So you’ve just met someone that’s captured your attention. Maybe she also happens to enjoy watching Disney movies at odd hours, or playing Man Safari at a local bar. She seems like a strong, independent, capable woman, and you’re intrigued. You casually mention that you also enjoy doing that thing she’s talking about together and ask if she’d like to do that thing with you sometime this week. She smiles and slips you her phone number. Score.
STAGE TWO- THE FRIEND DATE- You’ve watched Sex and the City. You know how this works. You’ve planning on meeting her for lunch at a casual diner somewhere so you can trade witty repartee about how stupid boys are for an hour or so. This is the crucial moment where you need to charm her, but don’t overdo it. Tell her a funny story about your asshole ex boyfriend, but don’t get too caught up in the dramatic, gory details- there’s plenty of time for that later. Mention something about feminism or politics so she knows what a well-rounded individual you are. If it seems right, you should invite her to your weekly girl’s night at the local club, just to dance. If you don’t have a weekly girls night, then I guess your life isn’t based on a sitcom, either.
STAGE THREE- THE FINAL TEST- You’ve succeeded in making a friend, you crazy devil you! She’s been a hit with your old friends, all of whom are secretly a little jealous over the attention you’re lavishing on new girl. You know her shoe size, her dating history and her weird habits. All that’s left is the final test (it’s a woman, of course there’s a test, dummy), and if you pass it, she’s going to be your new bestie until petty drama do us part. This could be anything- a favor, an invitation to a party, meeting the significant other- but her aim is to see whether or not you’re really got her back in a pinch or whether you’ve just been hanging around for the juicy gossip.
See? Getting a friend is just like dating. The jealousy, the novelty, hiding all your weird secrets until it’s too late, all there. So next time you need a gal pal to drag to a football game, follow these handy steps, internet, and you’ll have a well round group of sassy gurlfrands in no time.