Keeping Up With the Joneses: On Social Media

So this month’s blog hop is social media.

Which I have feelings about.

***Social Media*** scares me a little, in that there’s always pressure to be sharing everything, and then intense scrutiny when you do. (Or at least the sensation of it, admits this perfectionist).

Sometimes, I look at this silly little blog, and I think, look at all that white space. Look at all those words. PICTURES, VIDEO, THIS IS WHAT I NEED TO BE INTERESTING. I must prove to everyone that you actually DO do this several times a week and don’t just sit around critiquing everyone else’s hard work!

And then I do take a video, or a picture, and it’s just not. good. enough.

If my technique is good, the face is bad. If the form is good, the moves are boring. If I do something interesting and spontaneous, whoops, I look fat. All these conditions lead to the same conclusion: You don’t look like a pole dancer. DO NOT POST.

Which leads me to wonder: what does a pole dancer look like? Close your eyes and picture her. I bet we’re all seeing the same thing.

As Pole Dance Competition was writing, for the vast array of pole-related materials being posted out there, there’s not a whole lot of diversity.

In what, you may ask? In anything. Body type. Style. Music choice, even.

Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that in a sport dominated by women, we’re all terrified to step out of what we assume the parameters of that sport to be.

We need to look, dance, move, even dress a certain way. Sexy, but not slutty. Sporty, but not graceless. Strong, but not masculine. Thin, but you better be able to fill out that sports bra.

Maybe I’m thinking specifically of Tumblr here, but a lot of what we’re comparing ourselves to when we look at pole-related social media is the streamlined, aspirational stuff. And, yeah, aspirations are great. But not when they start feeling like they’re backing you into a corner. A corner where you’re scared to share anything that doesn’t conform to what’s already being shared. Which sort of defeats the purpose of putting new stuff out there, no?

So to that, I say, Balls.

BALLS.

Because beyond “balls,” I don’t really have an answer. I feel the pressure too. I love pole. But I can’t deny that the intense drive behind mastering it is rooted in not quite feeling good enough at it.

Maybe that’s okay.

And maybe it’s also okay to post a few pictures on the WAY to “good enough.” It might dial down the pressure on all of us.

LOVE and happy twirls,

Cathy

12 Comments

  1. You expressed this so much more gracefully and eloquently than me….Thank you for writing and adding so much depth to what I was trying to say. Maybe if enough people start thinking about it, we will start seeing more diversity? One can only hope. Maybe I just need to post one of my many awful practice videos. Not sure if I’m feeling that brave though.

  2. While I do see what both you and Kim are saying, I think one of the main things that needs to change is that we all need to stop feeling “not good enough” and start sharing more. If the problem is that only “perfect” pole dancers share pictures and videos, the only way we challenge that is by posting even what makes us cringe a little, even the pictures where our toes are not pointed or our faces are flushed and red.

    I think that since pole is such a new sport, we often forget that the pole-brities we see post really are star athletes, and that we don’t need to compare ourselves to them. I mean, if you’re on a bike ride with friends and snap some pictures, would you be comparing yourself to the riders in the Tour de France and decide not to share because you’re not good enough? No. If we can start thinking about pole the same way: about how what we do is amazing even if it’s not always “perfect”, I really think we can show the world how diverse the sport really has become 🙂

    (And I guess my comment wasn’t very social media related.. I personally loooove using social media for all things pole related, and especially love how it has connected me to dancers I never would have known otherwise:)

  3. BALLS!! LoZLoL!!! Love it!

    ..esp when the Jonses we’re scared to keep up with are ‘super-humans’ who have a lifetime of gymnastics/ballet/circus/performance experience!

    Btw, when I closed my eyes to picture a pole dancer, I saw Felix!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*