Billie

Billie 

Original; oil on canvas 16x20 inches

‘A few years ago, I felt insecure when I started showing my sexy, feminine side. Generally it felt not acceptable to express yourself in a sexy way unless it’s for your partner. Showing parts of my skin, emphasizing my curves or dancing more seductive than what people are used to, would feel wrong in public spaces. The desire to explore my feminine side felt stronger than the criticism in my head after all. From being a gymnast for a couple of years, to going to play soccer, made me miss the gracious parts of doing a sport. When I got to go to university and started to live on my own, I seized the moment to take some pole dancing classes. A sport that combines strength, technique, grace and sexiness to whatever amount you want. This is my sport. I love to built my strength, float in the air while I turn around the pole or finally hold the superman position for a couple of seconds. The blisters on my hands, bruises on my arms (shoulders, thigh, legs, knees, anywhere) and the agonizing pain of the skin between my legs squeezing down the pole, made me stronger. Physically but also mentally. I am more aware of what I love to do, pursue my goals and make them count. Experiencing the importance of this made me more secure and also made me value other people in whatever they enjoy to do more. This painting had to be a part of the series. Without her, there wouldn’t be enough of me in the series. Cheeky, gracious but though is what the name Billie reminds me of. Ooh and ‘bil’ means ‘butt’ in Dutch, just so you know.’

— Melissa