Hello there A Guide to Dancing Naked friends! I’d like to take a moment to share with you a poet I met when I was in Washington D.C. working on a show at Folger Theatre. Some of the cast and I were invited to attend La-Ti-Do, a cabaret open mic night for musical theater and spoken word artists. I sung a little song with my castmate Adam and we stayed to watch some of the spoken word artists. When Beth Murch walked up to the mic, she was wearing a sparkly colorful headwrap that towered over her tiny head hiding her dreadlocks, an assortment of necklaces and beads around her neck, and wearing her natural face. I met her briefly in the artist waiting room and honestly didn’t know then that she was going to rock my naked world.
She touched my heart because she spoke hard truths about how people view her and how she herself has battled with her body own image. She begins shooting off like a rocket, debris and after-sparks dropping around her like rain with “This poem is dedicated to the guy on the bus who spat in my hair and called me: FAT.”
Here is Beth Murch, a.k.a Queen B, poetess and spoken word artist:
“Fat” by Beth Murch from “Postcards from Heaven to the Citizens of Hell”
I’ve never been large at any point in my life and really don’t know what it is like to be called “fat”. I know what it’s like to be called “skinny” and that is not a compliment to me at all. It’s usually said with a hint of envy, bitterness, or condescension. None of those things elevate me or lift me up. I only feel judgement. That’s my own personal experience but Beth was dropping down some serious knowledge about how we as a society view her when she says,
“You think my BODY is a product of a lack of restraint, and if I would only stop eating so many cheesepuffs and drinking so much pop I wouldn’t be such a burden to the healthcare system.”
I’ve seen so many documentaries and read articles about over weight people in America and how they are costing taxpayers millions of dollars in the healthcare industry, that they are addicted to food, and are often depicted as “one of those people on the nightly news only shown from the neck down wearing ugly polyester pants…” They are de-humanizing people who are over weight by taking away their faces and their voices, but Beth speaks loud and clear, this brilliant beam of light that burns through the media smoke:
“I don’t need to step out of my FAT suit to know how GORGEOUS I am.”
“My body is so much more than a wonderland: it’s a bouncy castle.”
At this point, people in the audience, including myself, are cheering, shouting, clapping, or snapping until our thumbs hurt. Beth takes us on a walk through her shoes. I felt her rage, her embarrassment, her pride, her reconciliation. I even felt myself grabbing my own flesh in the mirror alongside her and screaming into the mirror. I had to stand up and cheer when she finished. Actually I jumped up and down like a madwoman. I had tears in my eyes. She hit home for me and everyone in the room.
I thank Beth Murch for her poetry, her courage, and her metaphorical sword that cuts us deep at our cores. If you have been inspired by Beth or this poem please share! You can also check out her amazing body of work in 3 ways:
1. WordPress! https://bethmurch.wordpress.com/
3. See her Perform! Beth will next be seen at Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir in Toronto, Canada. So if you’re in the area, check her out!
STILL haven’t danced naked? That’s okay! It’s not an easy task at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll be taking part in a glorious and fun celebration of the body you’ve been given. Have a peek at The Guide to learn more!
Have any questions about this subject or A Guide to Dancing Naked? Ask me!