The BIG Bang and I live in a town where body love and burlesque share the stage... and we're damn happy about it. Steve (yes the Steve- the brain behind the #FatGirlsCan video) has captured 150,000 images of our burlesque scene from over 1,200 performances which includes over 150 different bodies. Seriously. The BIG Bang is here to tell you how all of this happened, and I'm here to encourage you to support Steve's Kickstarter which is: a gorgeous coffee table book full of those images. Sign up for this shit (and get rhinestone pasties!). I will always promote him and his projects for many reasons, several of which include making my career as a Body WhateverIam possible. Really. I wouldn't be here without 'im. He's a great photographer and a great friend.
The BIG Bang on Tucson + Body Love + Burlesque and why it's SO important:
The BIG Bang McGillicuddy. That’s my stage name.
I chose it with intention, and I write it with intention - the “BIG” in all caps. It’s not a sexy name. It doesn’t stir up visions of a svelte, slender woman, writhing and shimmying across the stage. Truth be told, if you say it out loud it really doesn’t stir up visions of anything. But then I take the stage, and it all becomes abundantly clear.
And I strut onto that stage, all 200 pounds of me, and tear. It. UP.
By society’s standards I shouldn’t be anywhere near that stage. I shouldn’t have the balls to tease and taunt and strut and flaunt and make you believe that I am the best damn thing since strawberries and Nutella (don’t front - you know that shit is the bomb). But I do. Historically speaking, a girl of my size (and shade of brown, if we’re going to be real here) should be more comfortable fully clothed and taking your order, than half naked and serving you up the glam. If I was going to dare be a performer, I would have to be a lounge singer, and probably wear a long and conservative gown. Still fabulous, don’t get me wrong, but there would be no believing that I could be sexy. Because dark brown ain’t sexy. Jiggly thighs ain’t sexy. Stretch marks that make up the entire landscape of your belly ain’t sexy. Right?
The Tucson Burlesque scene is one of the places where all that and then some are considered sexy as hell. Body positivity and performance have come together in one giant ball of sparkle, and made the most beautiful twin babies, named LOVE & ACCEPTANCE. Where once the slender, hourglass figure was the “requirement” in burlesque, today Tucson celebrates all shapes, all sizes, all ages and all colors. Everyone from the full figured Gypsy Danger and Luna de Lumbre’, to the more slender and hourglassed Bunny Boom Boom and Fanny Galore. Women with skin as svelte as a panther’s coat like me, The BIG Bang McGillicuddy, to the fairest burly babe in all the land, Diamonda Morgue. The youngens like Miss Harlequin Hex, to the seasoned and posh pros like Stormy Leigh. Even the disabled - like Jacqueline “Miss Dis-a-BURLY-Tease” Boxx. Literally EVERY DAMN BODY is welcomed into the rhinestoned arms of the Tucson Burlesque scene. These women light the stage on fire with their own personal brand of confidence every time, and dare you to look away. But where does it come from? Where do they find the strength to say “Fuck The World - I Own This!”? What IS that??
It’s Burlesque - plain and simple. It’s the Black Cherry Burlesque “Burlesque For The Soul” mentorship program. It’s Don’t Blink Burlesque’s “Fanny’s Fox Den”. It is the belief (and innate understanding) that in burlesque, weird is okay. Unacceptable is expected. And mocking the social construct of the day is damn near a requirement. The word burlesque is Italian in origin, stemming from the word burla, which literally translates to “mockery”. Isn’t that what we are doing when we dare to take the stage and shimmy our way into your hearts? Aren’t we mocking societies rules and standards of beauty? Aren’t we mocking the horrendous diet culture and social construct that says we’re not good enough, and that we’re not worthy of the applause?
AREN’T WE MOCKING EVERYTHING THAT WAS EVER CREATED TO MAKE US FEEL INADEQUATE/UNPRETTY/UNLOVABLE/UNWANTED/UN-EVERYTHING WONDERFUL IN LIFE, SIMPLY BY POPPING ON A PASTY, SOME RHINESTONED PANTIES AND BUMPING N’ GRINDING LIKE OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT??
Fuck yes we are. FUCK. YES. WE. ARE.
And you better believe that here, in Tucson, we are unapologetic about that shit.
Check out and support Steve's campaign here!