Burlesque b*

A Burlesque Tale

viewing down a rabbit hole of darkness

by Synful LeFemme

Hi all! For those that don't know, I'm Synful LeFemme ~ The Devils Blush, from Anchorage Alaska!  Yes, even in the tundra we have glitter♡ I was encouraged to share with you all my story. Because it is my personal truth, it's hard sometimes hearing it and writing it down, yet I know,  there is someone else out there in the same place I was about 2 years ago. So, what follows is my journey into burlesque and beyond.  I promise, although lengthy,  it will be worth the read.

About 2 years ago, I was asked my a fairly new friend of mine, if I wanted to do burlesque.  Now, I immediately thought,  'Me? Burlesque?'  Those two things don't go together anymore than an ice storm in the Sahara. She had to have lost her mind I thought. That night, I was laying in bed, going through my thoughts and reflections of the day as I usually do. Then, tears. So I get up, go to my bath, to clean my face,  when I look up, I was hit with what WAS my reality at that time, a tiny hole cut out of the blanket that was covering the full wall length mirror in my bathroom. You see, I, have Body Dismorphic Disorder, or BDD. For those that don't know, it's a condition where I am unable to see, understand,  nor believe, that there is anything positive about my body. I had been diagnosed with one of the most severe cases ever documented. Most people who suffer from this, are only focused on one particular issue. Not me.

It all started so young. I was a pageant girl. A queen as my momma would say. 'Sparkle Baby'. I hear it everyday still.  Now, I love my mother (adoptive, and biological - rest in peace), however,  things were different back then in the south. And for my mother, perfection was everything. Her idea of it anyway. You had to be oh so perfect. 'You never know when a judge will see you' she'd say. As I got a little older, my first memory anyway,  I was 6 years old.  My momma taught me how to not gain weight so I could won all my sparkly crowns and make her proud. It was that day, I binged and purged for the first time. 6 years old.

Well, years passed,  pageants got harder.  Although I won every time,  it just wasn't enough. Today it's called fat shaming. Back then, it was 'Do what your momma says'.  I went through years of antics and such to achieve perfection from the one woman I wanted it most from. Locks on the refrigerator doors. Locked outside to get lighter hair and darker skin. I always wondered why she adopted me if she was just going to re create me. My hair was died from jet black to platinum by the time I was 4 years old. This (and other issues I'd rather not disclose) led to eating disorders and a very low self-esteem/self-worth situation.

So, as I stood there in the dim light of the nitelight in my bathroom,  viewing down a rabbit hole of darkness, I ripped the sheet off the mirror. That was the fist time I had seen my whole face, without makeup, and the first of my body head on in a mirror in many many years. I collapsed.  Fell straight to the ground. After pulling myself up,  I stood and and when I side,  I accidentally hit the light switch....ON. as if I needed that, right! Well, turns out I did actually. 

Just a few weeks prior to this night, I had attempted to take my own life. Mind you, I was the at the lowest point in my life.  I was also my heaviest,; at 244lbs.  Had it not been a friend, who just said he had a bad feeling cone about,  I wouldn't be writing this today. I had about 90 pills in my with my can to mouth to flush them away and that's when he pushed open the door. 
Needless to say it was quite terrifying to go through something like that.  So, once I was calm again,  I decided to take every in inch of clothing off, makeup,  nails, everything. A blank slate. I must of stood there for hours. Terrified, mortified. It was then, in that moment, I knew I had to take drastic measures to save my life. I was literally on the edge of a cliff.

So, two days later, there I stood, at a burlesque practice. 

Like magic, a month later, it was Showtime! Nerves, lights, people,  reality, it all got to me. As I approached the stage,  I forgot my entire choreography.  I turned to run away and someone grabbed my robe, twisted me around and shabam!  All eyes were on me.  Next thing I knew, I was collapsed back stage in a full blown panic attack.  Yes, I had managed to do my routine,  although till this day, I actually have no memory of it. I was just in shock as to what had actually just happened. What I did hear was the girls telling me if the crowd is screaming so loud that we can't bring our next performer on, honey you done your job.

So I composed myself, watched the remainder of an amazing show, and went home. I woke up the next day and started nirmal life again. At some point over the next few months, I looked up in the mirror again. Which at this point,  hadn't been such a dramatic issue for me. Struggle yes, end of the world,  not so much. This time, I noticed something. I saw a reflection.  I saw ME. I honestly can say, at 33 years old, I was able to look at myself and smile,  genuinely.

Today, as I sit on the last leg of my first tour, I reflect. There has been a lot of issues lately in our community especially,  with body - shaming.  This is why I felt it was important for me to agree to write my story. We do not know what anyone's personal truth us. What they are struggling with deep inside or right on the fragile surface. One must be careful with words. They can make an impact on someone that you might not want to have to carry around for the rest if your life.

I'm a VERY passionate performer. I care a great deal for everyone in this industry. I treat everyone with respect and dignity as they so deserve. Not just because I'm a genuinely nice person, but because Burlesque unequivocally and most literally saved this glitter life. Sometimes we fail to realize that people are watching and listening.  So I want to thank everyone who has been supportive of my journey thus far. Without you, without Burlesque,  I would not be alive.

Thank you,
Ms Synful LeFemme ~ The Devils Blush

This Article was published in the Burlesque Bitch Ezine on Apr 06, 2015.
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