Thursday, May 21, 2015

Feeling Like a Tourist

"First, I'm trying to prove to myself that I'm a person. Then maybe I'll convince myself that I'm an actress." - Marilyn Monroe

I studied theatre and earned my associates in it three years ago. I have worked with theatre companies big and small, never in a performance role though. I continue to study at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and was awarded a solo-performance thesis. And yet...I feel like a tourist in my own industry. Why?

Body image and self-esteem have admittedly more to do with it than I like. Only recently have plus-size role models like Rebel Wilson and Melissa McCarthy come forward to usher in an era of being big and talented and ok with yourself, in the US. Somehow these women have figured out how to value themselves enough, to have enough confidence internally that they consider their work valuable to others. This leaves me about 20% envious and  80% curious. I want to investigate,I want to know how that happened, because while I cannot speak for all plus or curvy women, I know that many of us already consider ourselves to be a sort of other at base.

That's a harsh realization, but an honest one. One, that needs to be acknowledged before any sort of self-reparation can begin. And, not just with women, but men too - people, in the western world have so largely gotten caught up in the lives of "The Digital Jones'," that our own successes start to pail in comparison. So how do we get back?

I Am Not An Other

Saying these words are effortless. Especially for anyone with acting in their background. Just conjure up a vision of the most confident person you can think of an lie to yourself a little.  Actually believing this, is another matter all together.  Confidence despite flaws, including weight,  is so foreign an idea that it is used as comic fodder or applauded because of it's rarity.  An exoticness is tacked on to someone who deviates from the norm with detached and convinced bliss, and thus owning that you are not supposed to act a certain way because of how you look makes you rare, and in that rarity lies a power to control your options more. 

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