My Offensive Experiment
Today, I observed the manifestation of an idea. My original nugget of inspiration came from the enjoyment of picking scabs and the pleasure of popping pimples. Picking at the body is commonly admonished as a repulsive act. Similarly, when rolling across the Marley dance floor and sweeping against your nose skin comes a dust cluster full of human hair and fingernails caked in dried sweat, well, that is usually regarded as disgusting. I am not disagreeing with this notion. Yet, for me, inside this ball of hair and skin lingers the memory of when these bodily discards were attached to a human figure, and then, way back in time, they were not disgusting. For the most part, we don’t regard fingernails still attached to the living finger as nasty. We don’t regard the skin of our friends as heinous – until it falls off and then it becomes a biohazard and a threat to our purity.
I fully admire the human body. I regard its everyday acts from digestion to breath as miracles of life. I am thankful and impressed by the feats it can accomplish. Because of this certain organization of cells, tissues, etc, etc, I can laugh and leap and write this damn blog. I love my human body!
Next door to this admiration lives the previously mentioned repulsion. Blood, Earwax, tears, pus, toenails, dead skin, spit, semen, sweat, scabs, hair, mucus… which of these items are not absolutely disgusting? And yet, most of them we could not live without.
Today, I wanted to take a look at something that might have provided some artistic insight into this relationship between admiration of the body and repulsion of bodily discards. I wanted to turn my body into something visually revolting, but I wanted to dance my most gorgeous, moving in such a way that might incite admiration for the physical abilities the body could accomplish. All I wanted to do was illicit simultaneously incongruous feelings regarding the human body. Instead, I offended myself.
To make myself “revolting,” I stuffed about 40 inflated condoms inside a nude body sheath stocking. I wanted to look pusy, bulbous and bearing a load of swollen, benign cysts. In other words, I wanted to look healthy, but gross.
When I finally took a peek at myself in the mirror, I was horrified. It looked like I was wearing a transparent fat suit. One could clearly see the outline of my trained dancer’s body, however, the indistiguishable outline of a voluminous figure was indicated by the perimeters of the condom sacks adhereing to my body. This was a fit person imitating a fat one. My reflection in the mirror reminded me of an incredibly stupid movie in which Gwenyth Paltrow, with robot-like conventional beauty and a slim, trim body, portrays a 300 pound woman. In order to do this she had to wear a fat suit. The premise of the movie follows a man who somehow becomes cursed with only seeing Gwenyth Paltrow’s character for her inner beauty – meaning he only sees her as a skinny woman. Um, double you tee eff! This is perpetuating the notion that beauty is relfected as a skinny, blonde, white woman with no pimples or scabs if it were to present itself via physical form. Anyways, here I am, another version of Gwenyth Paltrow in her lame fat suit.
I am not sure yet if I’m going to pursue this little tidbit of performance art. If I do, I want it to support the respect of ALL human bodies. I do have some more ideas, which I’ll share later. They also might be offensive, but hopefully not exclusively so.