Bitchin about the body

On Tuesday night, with the sister in tow, I headed to Irene’s Warehouse in Brunswick to become, for the very first time, a Real Hot Bitch.

It was an organised and synchronised dance class with the realest, hottest, bitches from the Brunswick region and it was a helluva piece o’fun.

To the rock pop stylings of not really anyone’s favourite bleached and spiked blonde (Roxette) we learned a choreographed dance that was low on technique and high on dance passion.

Dressed in lycra, g-tards (gee-string leotards), with some dancers donning mullet wigs, we stepped our way through a routine to She’s Got The Look. 

The Real Hot Bitches perform around Melbourne, most recently as part of the Fringe Festival, and have taken what people love doing drunk on a Saturday night to the 80s and 90s tunes of a jukebox and made it into a coordinated dance set which hasn’t quite taken off, but has gained urban momentum.

There were a few key moves we were shown on arrival and all grew from a powerful crotch thrust and a confident-crazed look upon face. It was crotch power fair and square – we were even split into two Bitchin’ groups by a crotch-o-meter. (You will have to attend for yourself to find out what I mean)

A few nights later when recapping the Real Hot dance session while trying to sleep I realised there was an inherently fabulous element to the night which may have initially been clouded by a lycra-blind, but was now quite obvious to me: in spite of, nay in the face, of crotch thrusting and self-loving arm sweeps, nothing about the session had been sexual. Or sexy. It had been fun though, and quite empowering. But still nothing about it was sexy.

How strange I thought. Then I slept.

The next day I recalled another occasion, which this time I’d witnessed as part of an audience, which again, was anything but sexy. And this time it involved nude females. Standing on a stage singing. Over and over the same lines, standing still before a crowd. With no clothes as protection. Pure unadorned female body and rather than being sexy it was powerful in its stark and pointed declaration of the purpose of a female body and also just in its plain normality; all different versions of the same.

We were viewing nude females and weren’t being encouraged to think about sex. What an anomaly.

The realisation that both the Real Hot Bitches and the nude performance shared a message was quite fabulous. That one can be female and be something more than sexy. That a female body can provide fun and extravagance and outrageousness. That it can provide purpose and and also just be something very simple.

And then I saw a Rhianna Instagram picture. Of her clad in g-string, garter belt and thigh-high leather boots. Saying as sweet-as-can-be thank you to Prada for some lovely custom boots. All-but-butt naked and shared with the world. Because that’s apparently as sincere as a thank you card.

She dances. She sings. And yet what she showcases couldn’t be clearer. It’s the same that is published in magazines, on television, by female weather readers and movies targeted at 15-year-old males. It’s the lifeblood of the Kardashians and the explicit point of female music videos.

It’s plain and simple: sexy is the goal; all beauty, allure, arousal.

It’s tiring. I’m tired. Being sexy is hard work. I tried it Saturday night and it just doesn’t come easy to me. And yet if I judged my success in life on the values espoused by the majority of female pop music videos, I’d be a dramatically unsexy failure. And then feeling fed up I’d look at Facebook to fill 15 minutes. And my newsfeed would contain a picture which declares itself to be espousing boredom on the couch but which actually depicts a can’t-look-away cleavage paired with an overt pout and surprised eyes. And there it would be again, the import of sexy.

So, so tired.

I’m not saying being sexy is all bad. I tried it Saturday night. It’s just not the ‘be-all-and-end-all’ (as my mother says) and when we are faced with a barely-clad or not-at-all-clad female body, there needs to be a possibility a female body – even an incredibly toned and shapely female body – can be viewed as something more than just sexy.

At Seven Sisters watching the female performance and at the Real Hot Bitches dance class, while definitely polar opposites in terms of tone and taking one’s self serious, they both made use of the female body to explicitly and implicitly share a message of what else was possible with the body which is unique to the woman – pure function, pure fun, simple self. Nothing sexy.

For me, Tuesday’s dance class was a refreshing reminder there’s more like me out there. Types like me everywhere. Who are keen to dance. In lycra. Giving everything to the music. While looking anything but sexy.

Real Hot Bitches. Image courtesy of Real Hot Bitches.

Real Hot Bitches. Image courtesy of Real Hot Bitches.

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