Kinky Boots Kick Away My Body Image Assumptions

Laurie making a peace sign dressed in a nice blue floral shirt and earrings
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I feel fantastic wearing the outfit I bought on my Solo Intuitive Adventure Day. My body is the same as yesterday, but it makes a difference what you wear and how it fits. I feel at peace with my body today.

Can a MUSICAL change your life?


Laurie and Mark in theater seats

Mark I just before the show starts. We’re at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, about to see Kinky Boots

YES! Yesterday experiencing the message of Kinky Boots, the musical, changed my life. Kinky Boots, on the surface, is the story of a quirky friendship between an uptight shoe factory owner and a flamboyant, seemingly amazingly, confident and charismatic drag Queen named Lola, who between them save the dying factory by designing for Lola’s niche market and who discover they are more alike than different. Whew! THAT’S a mouthful of a sentence!

For more details, here’s the Wikipedia article – all about the musical with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein.

Men in sparkly thigh high boots in the theatre lobby

Audience members get into the spirit of Kinky Boots! It’s so fun to see everyone so joyful and happy looking.

The backstory of why I feel the musical was life changing at this moment

On Day 87 I released an episode where I finally released indecision about my eating/body image/progress path.

On Day 88 I released an episode about how I legalize all foods as part of my process. This one, about my nemesis, potato chips.

Both of these episodes resulted in loss of blog followers, Facebook likes etc. It hurt. I fell again into my worse nightmare — I told you all my truth and experienced the flight away from the ‘real me’. Or did I? I also received supportive, loving emails from BCs. Some of these were from BCs who follow a similar path to me, some from BCs who are doing something very different. I had my ‘woe is me’ cry, picked myself up and decided yet again to be myself, come what may. It is too painful to not tell the truth.

Now for those of you who have been listening and following from the beginning, this doesn’t sound like much of a change, does it? Haven’t I been KNOWN for telling the truth that many think, but few say out loud? And what the heck does this rant have to do with Kinky Boots?

Don’t worry, I’ll tie it all together.

Sure, I’m known for telling the truth, but in a way, the truth I was sharing felt universal to those of us who struggle with food issues. People pleasing, wishing to be at a ‘better’ weight, the pain, the loss, the obsession… I wasn’t really saying anything radical. Those who couldn’t relate, just moved on immediately and never participated. Those who could relate, contacted me in some way and BC audience grew.

And continued to grow, until I switched gears into wholehearted intuitive eating. Now, to be clear, the number of people who download the show, didn’t stop growing. It was the number of people who participate in the show.

The people who post, call, leave comments on FB, Retweet on Twitter etc. The interactive element. The part of Compulsive Overeating Diary that made it special for me. The part that proved there were out there, “Folks like me”.

Off the Pity Pot and Back to the Story…


Anyway, after considering for a millisecond, changing my mind about my behavior to better fit into my ‘niche market’, I shrugged my shoulders, put on my nice outfit and went off with Mark for a day of distraction at the theatre.

I’ll digress for a moment. I grew up in the time of the original Star Trek, and experienced first hand its importance to growing racial diversity acceptance for viewers to see Lts. Sulu and Uhura, not in stereotypical roles, but in roles where race made no difference. It was also a time where women were not portrayed as officers or leaders. Star Trek was ground-breaking.

But being caucasian, and young, the importance of this racial and gender diversity didn’t really resonate in my heart.

Now I have ranted and raved many times in my show and in this blog about the “Fat Chick Friend” stereotype and other visions of size that are not flattering or dimensional. Fat bashing truly is one of the last socially acceptable stereotypes. I am heartily sick of the assumptions made about me, or anyone, based purely on body type. One of the reasons that Intuitive Eating is hard for me, is that deep down, I have always felt that when my weight was up, I wasn’t socially acceptable. And that I deserved the scorn. That was one of my diet triggers, my desperate drive of wanting to fit in.

Sound familiar? Isn’t that a similar drive to want to change my own body process and my show to better “please and attract” participating BCs?

Damn right! I am always chasing the dream of “Fitting in”. By definition,that means, I Laurie, don’t believe in my heart that I “Fit in” as is.

To change this mindset is very tough, and takes a lot of positive self-talk and reflection. It also takes action, not reaction.

When Mark and I went to the show, I expected to see a campy, fun musical. I did NOT expect to see a cast filled with people of all ages, sizes, and genders reflecting the diversity of what I experience in my life. AND the people “Of Size” (for lack of better term), were, like Lts. Sulu and Uhura in their day, written and portrayed no differently from the young, fit characters. They all had crummy moments, happy moments, sexy moments. Each person in the story, lead or ensemble, was rounded, grounded in true foibles vs. stereotypical traits, and by the end of the show, the audience was on its feet cheering like I have never heard before. It truly was a kaleidoscope of acceptance in message and execution.

I was proud to see it, to be part of the audience, to have its message piece my heart and soul with hope.

I entered the theater lobby wanting to be entertained.

I left wanting to celebrate all that I am and all that YOU are.

We don’t have to be the same to be companions.

And we don’t have to be companions to appreciate who we are.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Kinky Boots at the Pantages

Starline double decker bus in Hollywood

This is for Sophie in Scotland. I told her on Instagram that we don’t have the double decker buses — except for the tours in Hollywood.

Comments box:

11 thoughts on “Kinky Boots Kick Away My Body Image Assumptions

  1. Dawny

    I LOVE that you are YOU, and I also LOVE that there is NO shame in being YOU
    AND I LOVE that you yourself have re-itterated it enough times I FINALLY believe it, that WHAT WORKS for ONE may not work for others, but yet we still ALL have a lot to give/share/learn from each other and not just with weight, gain/loss, body image or food issues, but with LIFE experiences.. and what comes to you as a challenge, and the way you ‘reflect’ upon it, can enlighten me or ‘validate’ something within me etc.

    I am here, and listening, and plan to keep listening, you are great, as are all of us BC’s..

    and maybe those who are not here, or participating, or on furlough, or just a minor Haitias.. lets hope they’ll be back, however, if they choose not to come back, then they are missing out on the wonderful offerings here from you Laurie, and us the BC’s

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Ahh Dawny, there is no better encouragement than to see some thoughts by you pop up on the blog. xoxoxoxox. It is true we have lost some BCs, but as you say, that is their choice and a good lesson for me to learn. I have done the best I can, and so many of you have commented that you see and appreciate that, that it drives home for me, that other people’s reactions are not all about Moi. There isn’t anything more I could have done. Not for good, not for bad. They have their own stuff. I am not queen bee, lord of the universe or grand vizier of compulsive eating answers. It is best for all concerned that if this show, blog, or me, myself and I, triggers someone, or plain just doesn’t interest them, it’s fine that they move on. As you know, I have been a raging people pleaser, so these results are difficult to process. But, I’m doing OK. Wow, people left and I didn’t disintigrate. Now I’m off to ride my bike by the beach. I’ll take time to appreciate literally where I am today, and work on letting go the past.

      Reply
  2. Cheryl

    Funny. There’s never been a question in my mind about your fitting in. You fit in everywhere, imho, because you are nonjudgmental and transparent and just plain like people for who they are. And WE all know that and strive to be that way as well. I strongly suggest that those who left due to the content of your podcast have not reached that point where they can accept others for who they are, and probably can’t accept themselves. Don’t sweat it, kiddo. It’s their loss. You are perfect just the way you are.
    xxxooo

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hugs GF. Thanks for this encouragement, especially your opinion about my fitting in. I’m learning that to fit in, I only need to be myself and see where THAT fits in. Changing myself has never been sustainable. And I also have to look at that from the other BCs’ points of view. If this show and blog is not where THEY fit in, than they are doing the right and brave thing to exit and find a place where they do. You know me, I just want to PLEASE EVERYONE. Not possible. Best I learn it. Learn it again. Learn it again. That is the only way to freedom for me, and to me truly respecting the rights of others to be as they are. And both of those are vital for creating authentic, truly supportive relationships, so an awesome skill to develop. Thanks again for your support and thoughts. Very much appreciated. xoxoxoxox

      Reply
  3. Stéfanie

    Dear Laurie,

    We are not following the same paths, it’s true. I am back in diet mode. I am counting calories. I am weighting myself. I am quantifying. And you are not.

    So….. why I am still listening?

    Because you make me think and you are thought provoking. Because you voice your thoughts so well. Because you are brave and inspire me. Because our feelings are so similar. Because I like to feel connected to your story and others. Because your journey is filled with adventures, joys, obstacles and you being so human makes me feel so much more human and normal too. I listen BECAUSE you are truthfull and authentic.

    You see?

    Your truth is NOT pushing people away. It’s keeping us in. Your intuitive eating journey is NOT a problem to listen to, even for dieters. Your intuitive eating journey is great Food for thought.

    Now, for the last part, about the growth of the podcast, all I have for you is a metaphoric question: would you rather run the small and friendly coffee shop at the corner of your neighborhood, or would you rather own and run 4 ou 5 well renouned, popular Starbucks coffee shops?

    Love xxx

    Reply
    1. Dawny

      Me too!! Exactly what you said!! I too am back in diet mode. I too reflect on the thought provoking thinkings. And I too wish I could’ve put that into words as lovely as you did.

      Reply
  4. Jo

    Kinky Boots can indeed change your life, I still recall it and it’s fabulous message over a year after watching it! Such diversity and love on stage – the moves and grooves was just amazing!

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Jo, glad to see you’re still making your way through the show and blogs. Mark and I STILL talk about how surprised we were by Kinky Boots. On paper, not the show we would have guessed would appeal, but one of our top 10 for sure. Just goes to show, we can’t always assume things from appearances. xoxoxoxox

      Reply

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