Slice Of Life: ​Of scars, survival and feeling sexy

I was in a car accident a few years ago in which my shoulder was very badly injured. After the operation, in which a metal pin was inserted, I was left with a really big scar. Because it is still really painful most of the time, going to gym to keep active wasn’t an option for me. Besides, I’m a real doll, so can’t be wearing gym clothes and sweating like a pig just to keep fit. After I saw the movie Burlesque, I decided that doing burlesque dancing would be a really elegant and sexy way for me to keep fit.

I found out about this dance company called Rogue Revue Burlesque Company and decided to give a go. I was a bit nervous, but my first class was amazing. It was such a safe, inclusive space – inclusive of women of all shapes and sizes. I didn’t feel conscious of my saggy boobs, my cellulite and stretch marks. I felt really sexy.

When the time for our first studio show came up, I was so nervous stepping out in front of an audience – especially because of this scar on my shoulder. But, you know, my fellow dancers were so encouraging. They were telling me how beautiful my scar is; how every scar tells a story and that the fact that the scar is there, showed my strength as a woman – a woman who has survived.

After a lot of nerves and inner conflict, I stepped onto that stage and did my thing, stripping down to only my nipple caps. It was amazing: the cheering of the audience and the support of the dancers. Also, just seeing how much fun the other dancers were having on stage; how happy and beautiful they looked – despite what people might see as flaws. It was such a liberating experience, feeling confident and sexy in my own skin for the first time … ever.

Tamlynne Thompson, 28, as told to Carl Collison, the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail&Guardian

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Carl Collison
Carl Collison
Carl Collison is a freelance journalist who focuses primarily on covering queer-related issues across Africa
Advertising

Coalition politics and law: The fight over Tshwane

With coalition politics on the rise, particularly in local government, this kind of court case is likely to become more common

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread
Advertising

Press Releases

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday