The Beauty of a Warrior

This post is part of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VI! To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 11th.

I’ve never been one of those women who can embody soft beauty or high glamour. There’ve been many times when I wished I could be that kind of woman, but I’m not. Even when I try that look on, I end up feeling silly or like I’m playing dress-up in someone else’s clothes rather than feeling powerful or sexy. It’s like wearing a pair of shoes that’s just a little too small — I feel like I spend most of my time fidgeting and trying to get comfortable, and I just come off looking awkward.

It was this discomfort with glamour and pin-up style femininity that kept me from trying burlesque for so long. I wanted to try it — I love watching shows, and I had so many women friends who had been so empowered by it — but I just couldn’t picture myself doing the coy smiles, the 40’s style clothes, the sugar-sweet femininity that characterizes a lot of the scene. I enjoyed watching those kinds of performances, but I couldn’t imagine myself doing that without feeling foolish — exactly the opposite of what I wanted to feel if I was going to get up and strip in front of 200 people.

Then I saw Adelaide Renegade perform. She wasn’t a soft pin-up kitten — she was a WARRIOR. Combat boots, camo pants, mohawk hair sprayed up to the sky. There was no softness, no coyness there — there was only strength. Only power.

ThatI want to do that.

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Photo by Dee Hill. HAMU by Vivienne Vermuth.

It would take me another year to get on stage, but over that year as I prepared to make the leap, I kept that image of Adelaide’s power with me. I wanted to go on stage as a Warrior — to claim my power in a new way.

I’ve always felt most beautiful when I feel powerful. When I’m standing in circle leading ritual for women, when I’m in front of a classroom talking about a subject I know well and am passionate about, when I’m doing advocacy work — that’s when I’m most standing in my power, and that’s when I’m standing in my beauty. I don’t feel powerful just because I look good on a given day — rather, I feel like anything I’m wearing, any way my make-up is, is beautiful when I am standing in my truth and my power.

I feel most beautiful when I am a Warrior.

Burlesque has given me the chance to channel that Warrior Self in a new way. I’m standing in my power and my truth on that stage, because I’ve decided that I deserve to be there even if I don’t conform to what society says is beautiful. When I’m getting ready for a show, layering on the makeup and glitter and clothes (seriously, I wear more clothes to get mostly naked than I do on the daily), it’s like putting on armor. I’m going to battle, going to reveal not just my body but all the magick that lives in me. I’m taking a stand that I deserve to feel powerful and beautiful, and no one has the right to tell me otherwise.

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About dreamingpriestess

Susan Harper, Ph.D., aka The Dreaming Priestess, is an educator, activist, advocate, and ritual specialist living and working in the Dallas, Texas area.
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20 Responses to The Beauty of a Warrior

  1. bodyworkspt says:

    From one warrior to another – this is AWESOME! Thank you!

    Like

  2. shanjeniah says:

    This made me grin! Glittery, removable armor created from the beauty of strength beneath! Such a lovely image; such a powerful message! I’m so happy you shared – and dare to live that dream in a way that works for YOU! May you happily strip again and again and again!

    Like

  3. jsredmond says:

    Rock on, warrior woman!

    Like

  4. Tara Whitney says:

    What a beautiful way to claim your true self! Love it!

    Like

  5. Helena says:

    Yes! Keep being a warrior.

    Like

  6. I stand in awe of your strength and power, Sister!! It is so important to do YOU. That is the most important message to share with women, that we are strongest when we are living the truth of ourselves, not somebody else’s. We should reach out to help each other understand how to feel our own power, so we can live our own lives to their fullest potential. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us!

    Like

  7. This is a strong and powerful post, warrior lady! It shows female strength radiating in nearly every word! You have an admirable power. I too am not into softness and glamour… but I’m still on my path to gain the strength you already have. Thanks for this!

    Like

  8. Jenny Hansen says:

    Woo-hoo! Go, Warrior Woman!!! I love this post, especially this: “.. that’s when I’m most standing in my power, and that’s when I’m standing in my beauty.”

    Like

  9. KM Huber says:

    Love this, warrior woman! Beautifully written piece. I could see you transforming as you wrote. Talk about standing in your power! Great post! Thank you.
    KM

    Like

  10. Once again you’re inspiring me to try burlesque! Perhaps you’re my Adelaide. 😉 Thanks so much for the (truly) beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Musa Masala says:

    This really resonates with me! Thank you for this message.

    Like

  12. “I’ve always felt most beautiful when I feel powerful.” Amen, Sister, Amen!!

    Like

  13. I have always wanted to participate in burlesque. It is so very sexy. Do you have any videos? I’d love to see them. Proud of you for finding your way.

    Like

  14. I love that you’re standing in your power. The world has a great need for warrior women now!

    Like

  15. Diana Beebe says:

    I love hearing stories of women who find their strength in new ways. I’m still working on that myself. Keep on being a warrior!

    Like

  16. What a fabulous post! You are a beautiful warrior, not that you need to hear it. You know it inside.

    Like

  17. Fantastic! Way to be brave and powerful… Love this post!

    Like

  18. There is nothing quite as empowering as embracing your inner self and harnessing it. Go you! I love warriors!

    Like

  19. Eunice says:

    I love burlesque!! It’s such an empowering way to show off your true beauty. Keep on with your Warrior ways!

    Like

  20. YOU are more than a warrior than I. I’ve always been fascinated with burlesque, but haven’t had the guts to get up there and even try! Wonderful post!

    Like

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