naked dance party
by third planet living
So, last night I got to hang out at a naked dance party. No it wasn’t in the basement of some bookstore in Hillcrest or on a rooftop somewhere downtown, it was in my sister’s living room.
The participants: Jaiden (the only male of the group, age 1), Lily and Bella (age 3), Kiaurah (age 4), Star (age 5); four of my five nieces and my nephew.
It was bath time, so post-nakedness and pre-scrub-a-dub-dub, the gang spent fifteen minutes or so shakin’ and shimmyin’, playing a little air guitar… basically just reveling in their nudity.
I guess having my brain geared towards The Sugar Syndrome has brought about some feelings of vulnerability, knowing that I have all of these little girls racing their way to teenhood, and praying that they’re lucky enough to get through it without feeling humiliated by, ashamed of, disgusted with their bodies. But have any of us escaped that completely?
Watching the naked dance party reinforced the truth that we’re really taught body consciousness very early. We’re taught shame very early. I played witness to a group of kids who hadn’t been touched by that yet. No one was looking around, checking out what other people had, or how what they had measured up… it was complete freedom. It’s probably best my oldest niece Jazz wasn’t there… she wouldn’t have participated. She would have wanted to really badly… but she wouldn’t have. Her dad, coming from a place of fear no doubt, taught her very young what it was to be a “hoochie”… you don’t just go around showing your business to other people, period. No matter if you’re two years old, no matter if it’s just with the family… nakedness is reserved for the shower and when you get out, you best not linger too long in your skivvies. In her daddy’s mind, he wanted to curb any behavior that made his daughter comfortable with her body, because in his mind, being comfortable with your body = letting other people be comfortable with your body = sex = teenage pregnancy = a life down the toilet. Whew. A close one, ay?
That is so sad to me. Our culture makes us ashamed of the bodies we have, and gives us images to aspire to that are, at the very least unhealthy, if not completely unattainable. We get it from Hollywood… we get it from home… it’s no wonder that more than 90% of people who suffer from eating disorders are adolescent girls. Who’s checking in with them, (or rather not checking in with them), who’s building their confidence? Even if we’re doing a bang-up job at home, how do we protect them from all the crap they see elsewhere?
Where’s the accountability? When do we say to Hollywood, enough is enough? How can we be more successful in protecting our little sweethearts?
I think awareness is where it starts, and I’m so proud that MOXIE is producing The Sugar Syndrome and shining a light onto the world of young women.