“For a fat girl you are really beautiful”
“You dress really nicely, even though you are fat!”
“For being fat, you have a really nice face.”
Every fat person knows this dreaded compliment which isn’t a compliment at all. It hasn’t been said to me for a long time, and even if someone would imply something like that, I know I wouldn’t care anymore, because I know I am beautiful. Full stop. Not for a fat girl, not even though. Just beautiful. And everyone who begs to differ, can kindly fuck off.
Learning to take a compliment and not questions the intentions, the hidden thoughts or searching for the hint to discover the great big lie is a tough journey, but usually I am quiet good with it. I learned to believe that people don’t usually say nice things to you, if they don’t really mean them.
Strangely enough, in the last few weeks every time someone complimented my pole skills, told me how much stronger I look, how great I am doing, how flowy or pretty my moves look, it always left a strange aftertaste and I couldn’t quiet place what it was.
Why Can’t I Accept this?
I turned this thought in my head for a bit, and finally it dawned on me, it was my own doubts, the mean voice who was adding “…for a fat girl”, to every comment and compliment I got. It was myself thinking ‘Well for being the fattest girl in class I am probably doing okay’. Constantly comparing my progress to the progress everyone else was showing, and always assuming, that no one really sees me, but always thinks about how my progress is good for a fat person, how I am doing a move okayish for the fact my big thighs might be in my way. It’s unfair on myself and everyone who takes the time to say something nice.
Obviously my body weight plays a part in all of this. Gravity is working harder on my spins, I have to push and pull a lot more weight than most of the Peaches in my group, and maybe I am not as strong as some of them or just not trained as much as someone else, before starting pole. But that doesn’t mean no one can see my personal progress, my strength or my weakness, the uniqueness I bring into poleing. So why is it so hard for me to accept a compliment just as what it is?
Fit & Fat?
I think being labeled as unathletic and not fit all of my life definitely plays a big part in it. When I was in school I hated school sports and I sucked at most of it. But I used to go to swim training two times a week, learning to be a life guard and I rode my bike to school every day, still I never ever considered myself as fit, because being fat and being fit just didn’t work out together in my head.
It’s one thing to let go of that thought in general, but apparently another thing is to actually stop believing those fat-hating rules because they don’t apply to your own life anymore. I want to let go of the thought that everyone judges me, but it’s fucking hard in a world where fat people are stigmatized, harassed or discriminated on a daily basis. I don’t yet have a solution, but I will try to remind myself every time I hear the “…for a fat girl” pop up in my head, that I am not good for a fat girl, but that I am just good.
I didn’t choose the pole dance life. The pole dance life chose me. No, seriously, I had never really considered pole dancing as something that could be fun to me, but for a very long time I was dreaming about trying Burlesque. I researched it sometime in summer, that’s how I found out about Madame Peaches, I gave them a follow on Facebook and for a few months I didn’t really think about it anymore. In October or November a “Pole Beginner Taster Session” event popped up in my timeline, it sounded nice enough, but I was going through a series of tonsilitises during that time and probably was still looking for an excuse not to try it. The final push I got was when my friend Paula told me she loved her taster session and is doing 1-2-1 sessions now. I gave in, convinced Elsa to join me, and we booked in to the taster session in early December. I really enjoyed it, but I still didn’t expect to love it as much as I do now. Three month later, and here we are, I am constantly bruised, I am stronger, I dance around a metal pole two times a week half-naked.
The Very First Time
I was very excited but also very scared before the taster session. When we arrived at the studio I was a bit intimidated by all the cute and mostly thin looking girls. What if I would fail epically? What if someone would make a mean comment about my body? Should I have worn more than anti-chubrub shorts and a crop top? Jess, who has a heart made of gold, welcomed us, we did a little warm up all together, before chosing a pole, I shared one with Elsa. Step by step she showed us a few moves, really easy things like gracefully walking around a pole, doing a Pirouette and even our first Fireman Spin. The first time I took both feet off the ground and actually span around a pole for like a second I wanted to squeal with glee before I not so gracefully landed on my bum, instead of on my feet. Immediately failure was creeping up, you won’t be able to ever spin so lightly around the pole as everyone else is doing, I heard a little mean voice saying. Luckily, right in this moment Jess decided to jump in front of me, shielding me from my doubt. She came down to the floor and told me I shouldn’t worry about landing on my feet, as I could always just lay back slowly, do a sexy rolling onto my belly and then get up again. She said pole was not about everyone doing the same thing, but everybody finding what they could do and what works best for some. Right in this moment I was sold.
No Pain, No Gain?
I wholeheartedly hate this phrase, but I really can’t deny that my body is a canvas of bruises. After the first sessions, I started a six weeks Level 1 course at the beginning of January, it was mostly my shins. Now, that I am working on seats and holding my self onto the pole by sheer willpower and the strength of my thighs, it’s all over my legs.
But there isn’t only the physical pain, it’s also the frustration that comes with falling in love with a sport, while being fat. Just like I already mentioned in my last post being fat makes you go an extra mile or two most of the times. Finding the gear for doing pole dancing safely, like knee pads, is still a quest I am on. Finding affordable and cute pole wear in plus sizes is possible but definitely harder than it is when you wear a conventional size 8. Seeing how everyone spins and spins and spins or how the others who weigh half of what I weight can hold themselves up so much longer even if they aren’t more or better trained then I am can be very frustrating. Gravity is a thing and it’s pulling me down a lot faster than it’s pulling down a 50kg girl. But you know what? It’s doesn’t matter, because I found something that makes me feel amazing. That helps me fall in love with this body and everything I am able to do again every fucking time I step into the studio.
See The Fat Girls Fly
Last week I went to the Open Training for the first time, a class where you can drop in and just practise a bit. Just like always I felt welcome and supported even if everyone else was on a lot more advanced level than I am. I finally felt safe enough to ask if my coach Emma could do a video of me spinning. I even was brave and posted it on Instagram an in the Madame Peaches Pole FB Group and got nothing by positive feedback.
Even though one could think that pole dancing is a mostly thin bodies dominated sport, there are quite a lot of plus size pole dancers out there. It’s super inspiring to see what they can do, it helps me to dream big and think about all the things I will be able to learn in the next weeks, months and years. If you want to see some fat girls fly you should definitely check out Eda Marbury, Roz The Diva, and Dreacosta.
You can expect a few more posts about pole dancing, as I have a lot more to say, but this will do for now. Let me know if you have any questions or want to hear more about my pole dancing journey.
I am Katrin and I am the Killerqueen. This blog may contain a lot of personal content about plus size fashion, feminism, sex or food. If you want to know more about me, head over to my about me.