I’ve been thinking a lot about this month and what it means to me. With the majority of students that walk through the doors of Phoenix Flight Studio identifying as female, celebrating women is an everyday occurrence. Our studio is built on the cultural foundation of empowering and seeking beauty and strength in everyone. Every day we fight the patriarchy and cultural expectations. What is beauty? What does healthy look like? How strong is too strong for a woman? Where is the line that we cross over from acceptably sexy to inappropriate and provocative?
As a female-owned business, this month is even more important to me. It wasn’t so long ago that women weren’t able to have their own money or property, hold a job that wasn’t deemed “a woman’s job”, have a hope of pursuing equal pay, much less owning a business without the permission and participation of husband or father. There is a lot to be thankful and grateful for when thinking of where we have come from and those that fought so I can have this right.
But as most of us in the pole community know, we have a long way to go. There is a long way for us to travel and minds to change before we no longer flinch and wait for the dreaded reaction when someone asks what we do for our hobby, workout, or where we got our bruises from. And it may never come. But I fight the good fight in my own small way. My deepest wish is to create a space that fosters each individual to find their strength, their beauty, and their voice. Taking up pole dancing almost 9 years ago has been the most empowering thing I ever did for myself. How I saw myself and my value transformed. But it has only been in the last couple years that I have recognized another transformation. The transformation of how I saw other women. Beauty is no longer two dimensional to me. A woman’s value and worth are not wrapped up in her jean size and the number on the scale. Its evolved so beyond that. It’s what I see when someone is released during freestyle, or puts on a pair of Pleasers for the first time. It’s that pure joy when a new trick is nailed. I am grateful every day that I started pole dancing for the transformation I found in myself. But I am more grateful of the transformation I have found in women all around me.