Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Meet Tipsy

Half German and half Irish, I was raised in Arizona, England, Virginia, and Texas. Even though we settled in Texas when I was 8, I was exposed to many different people and environments during the crucial young child development years, and they left a permanent impression on me. Even after living in Abilene for years, I knew a Bible-thumping, Republican-voting lifestyle was not the only way to live. There were other, better options for me. If that’s the life someone else wants to lead, fine, but I knew I didn’t have to because it didn’t feel right. A life of khakis and polos, of going to Wilco concerts, of blindly accepting authority, of believing everything you hear on the news, of believing that uttering a few curse words here and there will end with you burning in Hell, I knew, was not for me.

I’ve always been incredibly shy, and I still am. I’ve just gotten better at hiding it. I wasn’t cute or cool in high school. I was too ambitious for the punks, didn’t wear enough black to fit in with the goths, was too weird for the nerds, and the preppies…well, who wants to fit in with those people? I never, ever fit in anywhere because I was too eclectic for my peers. I grew up loving classic rock; my favorite bands when I was 8 were Aerosmith, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, and The Cars. I hated the first day of school every year because the teacher would make us introduce ourselves to the rest of the class, and it was always the same for me. I rattled off my favorite books, movies, bands, and hobbies, and everyone looked at me like I was nuts. They had no idea what I was talking about, and thus, had no interest in any of it. The very fact that I did actually read for fun usually result in confused looks.

To top it off, I wasn’t comfortable being a girl for the longest time. When I (finally!) started developing in high school, I didn’t want to wear anything that actually fit me. At 5’2 and 110 lbs, I’d wear XL shirts, Jncos (remember when those were popular?) at least a size too big, and skater shoes. I wore dorky glasses and didn’t dare try putting on make-up, even though I really, really wanted to. I basically looked like Avril Lavigne, ties and all, before she came along and ruined it. I loved bright colors, crazy patterns, and wild hair; I just didn’t have the confidence to look the way I wanted to. I also was under the impression that I was chubby because I actually had a figure, hence the baggy clothes.

Moving to Denton to attend UNT, while it didn’t result in me receiving a degree, was by far the best thing I ever did for myself. Though it’s changed a lot since I first arrived, I’ll always be grateful to this city. Here, I found the courage to let my freak flag fly as high as it will go. I found the courage to embrace my feminine side, and I decided that being a weirdo is not so bad. I decided that I will never let anyone make me feel inferior just because they think I’m strange. Go on living in your nice safe, black-and-white, straight-and-narrow bubble, those who look down on me. That life ain’t for me.

I decided to give burlesque a shot a few years ago to help conquer my shyness and to give my girly side the ultimate outlet. I had absolutely no dance experience. Hell, I put on lipstick for the first time for one of my early burlesque shows in 2008. I’m still very much in the learning process, but I’m loving every bit of it, even the bad parts. I’ve met horrible people, but I’ve also met some wonderful people. I’ve had horrible experiences, but I’ve had some wonderful ones too. I wouldn’t change any of it for anything

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