Photo by Luna Anna Archey, 2017.
With the Bedazzled Anatomy Leotard, I play with the seemingly dissonant concept that feelings of vulnerability and exhibitionism can happen simultaneously. It is possible (and even common) to feel both while performing onstage, but as a female-presenting performer, it can have consequences. When I first started competition dance, I was at the “early bloomer” stage of my life. I was catcalled for the first time outside of dance competition venue at the age of twelve. Dance costumes that used to look “cute” on me and my prepubescent friends were now considered provocative and inappropriate. I tried to my best to hide my growing body, piling on heaps of “body glue” to the insides of my costumes to keep my “skimpy” outfits in place for fear of exposing myself to the judges. Making this leotard and wearing it on stage has been both my worst nightmare realized and a middle finger to the people who made feel uncomfortable with my body.