Impossible beauty standards can leave one feeling hollow, angry and insecure, especially if you don’t think you measure up. On Saturday, February 11, a group of body positive performers will offer another solution— “Love the Skin You’re In,” a variety show featuring burlesque, drag, spoken word and visual art.
Hosted by body positive activists and performers Ruby Jade and Eclipse Galaxy, the showcase will offer more than just a feel-good message. Proceeds from “Love the Skin You’re In” will benefit the River Centre Foundation and create scholarships for individuals receiving long-term treatment for an eating disorder.
Burlesque as activism
Jerri Measley, aka burlesque performer Ruby Jade, was inspired to stage the event to share the sense of self-love and empowerment that she believes her performance outlet can offer to those experiencing low self-esteem.
“Burlesque is entirely about celebrating the body: its form, its function, its beauty,” she said. “Burlesque does not discriminate by height, weight, hair color, aesthetic. It truly is for anyone who wants to express themselves. In fact, it empowers us by allowing a space for all bodies to display their beauty and sexuality through the art of the tease.”
Hoping to help heal the anger and hurt she felt for those who could not love themselves, Measley discussed the idea for a variety show with friend and fellow performer, Eclipse Galaxy. The pair planned the event on the shared feeling that the power of burlesque goes beyond the stage “I have long been a believer that social standards begin to change when like-minded people gather together and raise their voices loudly to drown out the demeaning social messages that tell us we are not enough,” explained Eclipse.
Supporting a cause
To help the message of “Love the Skin You’re In” last long after the curtains close, Measley and Eclipse decided to donate the show’s proceeds to a local non-profit. Selecting the River Centre Foundation, a local organization that promotes community understanding and awareness of eating disorders, was an easy decision.
“We selected the River Centre Foundation for several reasons,” said Measley. “The first is because the foundation conducts research to improve outcomes for patients with eating disorders. The River Centre Foundation helps patients not only to overcome the eating disorder, but also to establish an identity outside of that eating disorder. And, they do so through the arts, which is near and dear to our hearts.”
A body positive message
Audiences can expect to see performers of all varieties celebrating their bodies, telling their own personal stories and encouraging all to engage in self-acceptance. Performances will range from comedic to emotional, but above all, meaningful and extremely relevant. Audiences will walk away with a renewed sense of self and the radical notion to accept themselves just as they are.
7pm. Saturday, February 11. $15.
Collingwood Arts Center | 2413 Collingwood Blvd.
419-244-2787 | Rivercentrefoundation.org
For more information, see the Facebook event.