LOUD Girl Movement always encourages Black women and girls to discover, acknowledge and embrace their authentic selves because these are all modes of what it means to love your LOUD. So, during February and March, LOUD Girl Movement is exploring self-love, a vibe with many different facets and depths that takes constant practice and produces wonderful results.
Check out the interview below to learn more about their organization and how loving your sexuality is integral in loving your LOUD.
LOUD Girl Movement (LGM): How does using your voice tie into sexuality?
Skye Syren: Brown Girls Burlesque (BGB) is dedicated to elevating the voices of women of color in the neo-burlesque movement. Our theatrical shows challenge the ways in which the mass media represents race, class, gender, and sexuality, reclaiming our bodies, our stories and our cultures. BGB shines the spotlight on our own truths, and fishnets together a world of women's experiences in a smart and sexy way. We are harnessing our power through self-reflection and self-reclamation.
LGM: How is Black women’s sexuality political?
Skye Syren: So much of our sexual identity is defined through the male gaze. We often times do not assert our desires and pleasures. It is an act of power to create space for self instead of moving out of everyone else’s way or being used as a stepping stool for others. Taking that action step is political in itself because being a Black Woman has often meant being unseen or unheard.
In the words of the goddess mother Audre Lorde, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” As long we exist in this racist patriarchal paradigm that feeds into self-doubt and insecurity, taking precise and purposeful care for ourselves - which includes nurturing healthy sexuality - will always be political.
LGM: What does Brown Girls Burlesque want Black women to know about Black women’s sexuality? Our bodies?
Hoodoo Hussy: Black women need to know that the way we express our sexuality is self-defined and we have the right to express it however we please - whether that is in the ways we dress, walk down the street, in our speech or in our intimate relationships. Society does not dictate how we should behave or present ourselves.
As Black women, we have had a very complicated relationship with our bodies, given the history of exploitation and oppression in this country. Our bodies are beautiful and come in all different shapes, sizes and skin tones. We must celebrate the full spectrum of Black bodies as a form of liberation and rejection of anti-Black beauty standards.
LGM: How is appreciating our bodies and our sexualities an act of self-love?
Hoodoo Hussy: Loving our bodies and our sexuality are acts of self-love because from childhood, Black girls are taught we are the polar opposite of mainstream beauty standards. [We’re taught] our skin, body shape, hair, lips and noses are all a problem. We are conditioned from a very young age to reject our very genetics.
When we embrace ourselves fully and when we love on ourselves, we are literally flipping off all of those beauty and body standards that have left us feeling like we are not enough. Embracing our sexuality and not letting society dictate who we are is the ultimate act of self-love. When we repress what comes naturally to us, we are harming ourselves.
LGM: What can people look forward to experiencing at your upcoming show, Love Got Game?
Skye Syren: Love Got Game is about joy, celebration, humor and connectivity. It is a space to showcase the many things that make our culture so beautiful: dance, comedy and love. We find creative and innovative ways to tell our stories from our perspective.
And there you have it, LOUD Girls, a taste of what it means to love your LOUD sexuality from Hoodoo Hussy and Skye Syren, women with an empowering practice of doing just that.
Kick off a week of self-love with the Brown Girls Burlesque Next Gen Krewe by catching their upcoming show, Love Got Game, a provocative swirl of a burlesque and comedy revue and contestant dating game for The Woke & The Restless, updated for the Netflix and chill, speed-dating era of identity politics and fluid gender expressions. The show will take place at Gin Fizz Harlem, located at 308 Malcolm X Boulevard; New York, New York, 10027.
Purchase tickets at http://www.bit.ly/LoveGotGame1 (Special 20 percent off discount for LOUD Girls: BGB20).
Find the Brown Girls Burlesque Next Gen Krewe at www.browngirlsburlesque.com; or via social Media (Instagram, Twitter & Facebook) at @bgburlesque.