“Stripper shoes” and Facebook

October 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm 5 comments

I posted this picture, among others, on Facebook yesterday.  I’ve posted similar pictures before, including pictures of me poling in a sports bra and booty shorts (although without cheek, mind you), but this was the first time I was wearing platform heels in any of them.  My cousin has known for a while that I pole dance, but we haven’t really talked much about it except for a comment here and there on Facebook (she lives far away and even though we’re close in age, we don’t talk often).  Anyway, she left a comment on this picture that read:

Stripper shoes?  And I thought you were always so well-behaved…

Now, I know this comment is pretty harmless.  She’s not exactly calling me a stripper by referring to my platforms as “stripper shoes,” and while I don’t see this as a very provocative picture it might just be entertaining to her to joke about it.  Fine.  But because I am friends with a lot of family members and several friends whom I don’t want thinking about me in that way, I couldn’t help but respond, and this is what I said:

They’re part of a costume I’m wearing for a routine for a recital in late October.  It’s totally PG – my parents are coming.

To which she replied:

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrre……

Disclaimer: by the time this happened, I was already having a really bad day.  So maybe I was just overly sensitive, but this last comment really pissed me off.  Yes, I realize that platforms are closely associated with stripping, which is why I didn’t post pictures of me wearing them before.  But I had been in the studio practicing my routine that day, and decided to take some pictures in my costume which ended up turning out really well.  So I figured since I already have a ton of more athletic-looking pictures of me on the pole in bare feet, it should be okay to post this too – especially since I’m still doing a cool move (I’m not just standing around showing off my “stripper shoes”).  Plus, I do like wearing them sometimes and I think they look pretty.  And on top of that, I’ll be wearing them in a very non-sexual routine that I also plan on posting.

Despite any stigma that might come attached, wearing a certain pair of shoes doesn’t make me (or anyone else) any less “well-behaved.”  I don’t have a problem with strippers, but I do have a problem with my family questioning my values and behavior just because of an immature comment on a Facebook picture.  Especially since I am very careful and selective about what I post; even if I were doing something wrong, I certainly wouldn’t be stupid enough to post it for the world to see.  I feel like comments like my cousin’s undo a lot of work I’ve put into breaking down the stigma associated with pole dancing, which is why I post pictures on Facebook in the first place.

I thought about how I should respond to her comment for a long time.  I wanted to bring up everything I just mentioned, but the last thing I wanted to do was sound overly defensive because that would not have helped my case.  The whole point, after all, is that I am not supposed to be ashamed of what I do, what I wear, or who I am.  Then I had another thought: Okay, platforms don’t make me a stripper, I know that.  But I do still like to dance like one sometimes.  I wouldn’t post any of that on Facebook of course, and I certainly don’t want my family to know that, but I am an adult.  I’m not going to cast off my sexuality for the sake of public approval, and at the same time, I’m not going to rub it in anyone’s face either.  So instead of responding, I deleted her comments and sent her a private message:

Hey, I took down your comments on my photo because I’m working really hard to change people’s misconceptions about pole dancing. I’d be happy to talk to you about what’s been going on with that later if you’re interested. 🙂

After that, she practically apologized.  She was right, in a way; I’ve always come across to people as being exceptionally “well-behaved.”  But it is for this reason that I feel like I’m the perfect advertisement for pole dancing: Look, I’ve always been a weakling and a “good girl,” but now I pole dance – it must not be so bad, right?  Her comment was not the first – or the worst – remark I’ve gotten about what I do.  Maybe I’m just begging for immature remarks and passive-aggressive criticism by posting pole stuff on Facebook to begin with, but you know what?  It has to be okay.  There’s always going to be that person who doesn’t get it, and I am just lucky that I haven’t gotten any seriously negative responses from my own family.  I’ll continue to post pictures and videos on Facebook, and I’ll continue to do it unashamed.

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Entry filed under: Controversial, Thoughts. Tags: , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lori Myers  |  October 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I grew up Mormon and, although I don’t go to church anymore, my family still sometimes tries to shove their beliefs down my throat. They have been pretty smart about keeping their mouths shut about my pole dancing adventures. I still remember when my mom came to a private class once so she could “support” me (which was very nice) and she enjoyed it right up until my instructor suggested I perform my dance to Darling Nikki (look up the words to the song if you don’t know them…hahaha!!). Anyway, good for you for standing up for yourself. I think you handled it well. I too battle back and forth between trying not to care and wanting to punch people when they are rude. I think you look amazing and I LOVE your stripper shoes! Twirl on, sister!

    Reply
  • 2. Michelle  |  October 4, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I think you chose a route that was mature and non-aggressive. Well done on handling a difficult situation!

    Reply
  • 3. originalribenababy  |  October 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I know the girls who get catty about my pictures are generally just jealous – no matter what I am (or am not as the case may be!) wearing.

    Most girls are really encouraging and envious.

    You look amazing, great Ayesha and the shoes look FAB!

    Reply
  • 4. Turn and Burn  |  August 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I bet if you didnt have shoes on in that pic that you would not have had stripper comments.. i dont post pics with shoes for that reason because I get pissed when I get those comments.

    Reply
  • 5. Jacki  |  November 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I relate completely with this post. Scarily so. It’s easy for me to get my feathers ruffled also on a bad day from an offhand “stripper” remark. 🙂
    I’m sure you do what I do, which is to never stop poling.
    Best of wishes and pole on!!!

    Reply

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