Sparkly confessions: The belly dancer and body glitter
I have a confession to make. To anyone who knows me this might come as a shock. I am pretty well known for bold and flashy choices when it comes to costuming and performance…but I have a secret I’m pretty sure nobody would ever guess. Until recently I have been absolutely terrified of body glitter. I know, right? Belly dancers are all about the glitter. More glitter is always better! GLITTER EVERYWHERE! But it is true, I have had a fear of body glitter for a very long time.
Many of my dance colleagues swear by body glitter. They say that when it comes to hiding imperfections on skin, nothing beats glitter reflecting in the stage lights. Now don’t get me wrong I have always loved a glitter bodystocking, I’ve got about a closet full of those…but the thought of putting glitter on my bare skin has always seemed like something I couldn’t possibly do.
My skin has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years. I have stretch marks streaking all the way up past my navel, across my hips, and on my thighs. I have a belly button that folds in all kinds of strange places instead of the round little innie I once had. I have that classic lower belly loose skin, I call it my kangaroo pouch because I absolutely cannot stand the term mother’s apron. Up until recently I could not believe that putting glitter ON MY SKIN would mask anything. To me it would be like putting my flaws in neon lights for all the world to see. And not for nothing, I’m also a voluptuous lady and the girls tend to draw plenty of attention on their own…so I have always worried that I shouldn’t put glitter on for that reason alone.
So basically I am still scared of body glitter…but I also have had a bit of a mental revolution over the past few years. As time goes by I have been becoming less and less concerned with what others think and more concerned with doing what makes me happy. Sure it sounds like a simple concept, but the world can be a very judgmental place andit isn’t always an easy task. For me it has been a slow progression over time. I used to be consumed with worrying what others would think about how I look and how I dance. As I have matured as a dancer I care much less about what others think and more about what message I want to send and what makes me feel whole inside. The days march on and I become more and more unapologetic and true to myself. And here I was stuck on body glitter…no matter how many F’s I didn’t give about other things, body glitter was still a major terrifying roadblock.
But here’s the thing…glitter does make me happy. Glitter makes me very, very happy. Actually glitter is one of my favorite things ever. And I simply would not try using body glitter because I was still so terrified of what others would think of my wobbly belly covered in twinkly sparkles. About six months ago I decided screw it, I was going to take the plunge and give it a shot for the first time. It wasn’t about covering flaws, it was about the fact that glitter is pretty and damn it I like glitter!
I started small with a fine silver holo glitter gel called Unicorn Snot (made by FCTRY). It seemed safer compared to some of the bigger glitters and I could control the application fairly well. I felt like I was getting away with murder. I slathered it on and I wore it to a hafla. Nobody said anything negative. I was scared but I was also giddy because I was so sparkly! Then I wore it to a general public performance, and yet again nobody cared. Oh my gosh I was wearing body glitter and nobody cared. I was the glittertastic sparklepire I had always dreamed of being.
Let’s just say sticking to fine glitter didn’t last long and I quickly started to experiment with bigger, chunkier glitters. Colored glitters! Why not! Glitter IS FUN! My new favorites are by Lemonhead Cosmetics. I have Midnight Society which is a thick silver glitter with crescent moons and Sea Punk which is a positively delicious iridescent green glitter goo. I can’t wait to try more. These are definitely bold choices when it comes to using body glitter for stage and go on thick with barely touching them, but gosh darn it they are still so fun. They also look fabulous in hair if that is your thing.
In the end I have to admit, I still get nervous before going on stage with body glitter on. I think it will take some time to shake that feeling after so many years of thinking I couldn’t possibly do something like this. And I’m sure there are some who think it is inappropriate for me to wear, there is always someone. But glitter makes me happy, and life is too short to be anything less than happy. If you have made it this far into my internal struggle with body glitter, thanks for listening. I think the point to this whole body glitter saga isn’t actually even about glitter itself. It is about giving less of a damn about what others think and learning to focus more about doing what you find fulfilling…especially if that special something happens to be sparkly.