Monday, September 15, 2014

Someone Reported Your Photo...What?!

It's never happened to me, but it has to a lot of my fellow pole dancer friends.  The technological slap in the face- I reported your photo to Facebook because I didn't like it maneuver.  Generally when this happens, people are reporting pictures they find offensive by claiming the photo in question contains nudity.  Of all the pictures I've seen reported- NONE have contained nudity.  They have all been women wearing standard pole attire. For the average pole dancer/competitor, your attire is a safety issue.  Yes, we show more skin than a football player.  Some may even argue certain sports or dance disciplines such as volleyball or gymnastics actually wear LESS than pole dancers.  Much in regards to the great attire debate can be disputed.  The one thing that can't be debated is, when you put a woman wearing a bathing suit type attire with a pole- suddenly people take offense. 

I'd like to take a few moments to explore the "why?"  Simply put- people fear what they do not understand.  I used to have an extreme fear of flying in an airplane.  The strange thing about my fear of flying is it was just a fear of flying in airplanes.  I could sit all day long in a helicopter and fly over the mountains all day long.  This never bothered me.  On our honeymoon helicopter ride over the Great Smoky Mountains, my husband was beside himself as the wind grabbed our helicopter pitching it up over the mountain peak in an unsettling ride that left us momentarily assessing our fate.  Through this encounter, I wasn't as panic stricken as I would have been if we were on an airplane.  The reason?  If you've ever been in a helicopter, you're practically in the cockpit sitting with the pilot where all the action is.  I have a better understanding of the mechanics of my ride.  Knowing what is going on eased my anxiety, therefore flying in helicopter always felt safer to me.  (Statistically, I'm not sure this is true compared to an airplane?)  It wasn't until I went on a Florida trip a few years ago with my husband that I really began to lose my fear of flying.  I was in my hotel room on St. Pete beach skimming through the television channels as I got ready to turn in for the night.  I happened to come across a show about "When flights meet disaster."  Not entirely the type of show I was wanting to watch given I was about to board a flight home in the following days.  Initially I didn't settle on watching the show as I knew it would further my anxiety about my upcoming flight.  A funny thing happened while watching this documentary depicting flight tragedies.  I learned more about planes and the safety mechanisms in order to evade tragedy.  It was through this insight that I was able to finally understand my fears and for the first time I actually looked out the window and payed more attention to why I felt sick and what was going on to make me feel the way I was in flight. 

I'm not entirely sure people "fear" pole dancing in the same magnitude as they would flying.  What I can decipher is that pole dancing images make people uncomfortable.  Simply because they don't understand what they are seeing when looking at a picture of a pole dancer.  The group of people that are offended by pole dancing pictures see a negative connotation.  Others privy to the pole world see athletes.  It's an amazing world out there full of so many interesting differing opinions.  I love how the pole community is dedicated to shedding light on the dark areas of pole and what it really is compared to what it used to be. I feel like as time goes on, more people will begin to understand we're just working out in the best way we find appealing to us.  Treadmills aren't for everyone, and for that percentage of the population that has found their true calling in maintaining a healthy lifestyle? I applaud you and encourage you to not sweat those who don't understand.  Continue to share your achievements and maybe some day they will eventually realize their unsettling feelings of discomfort as a response to your picture is really more about their misunderstanding of a movement more welcoming than their misinformed judgment.

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