Name: Miss Frankie Eleanor
Occupation: Buyer by Day, Burlesque Dancer and Sensual Goddess by clock-out. (Miss Frankie is debuting "Butter Pecan Burlesque", a monthly event that showcases Latin and Hispanic performers, on the 9th of March in NYC. Come join us!)
Please describe how YOU see your body in general when you look in the mirror.
I really love my eyes. I have never been a good liar, my eyes are the most honest and revealing thing about me.
The body part I love the least is my stomach. This fat on my stomach to me represents all the pain and emotional abuse I have absorbed over the past 20 years.
My overall opinion of my body is that it is a temple. It holds all my joy, pain, and strength.
My body on a good day, I can slow down time and exude a radiant energy that creates inspiration and grants wishes. On a bad day, it tries it’s hardest to just disappear.
What do you consider beauty to mean? What is beautiful to you?
Beauty to me is strength.
It can be anything from an open heart, an empathic touch, a good listener, a dress that simply flows with the wind when you walk by, or the fact that you smile and light up within. If you radiate positive energy and do good, that’s beauty to me.
What does a healthy body image mean to you and what are your body image goals?
My body image definitely needs constant work. It’s not easy to remind yourself that you are awesome.
I need to stop listening to the voices of my immediate family. They are distant since I do not have much contact with them these days but I still hear that voice in the back of my head with all that pain and hurt.
I have to say Burlesque and Pinup saved my life. Seeing the different body types and seeing how we carry ourselves in these communities is astounding. It really keeps my fire for change burning bright.
Can you talk about a time in your life where you felt body confident? When you didn’t? What shaped your feelings?
I am always complimented on my dimples since they are in an unusual place. And that makes me feel amazing knowing someone looks that much into my details to appreciate such things. The worst comments I’ve received were always more mental insults. Like my mother calling me a liar a lot over the years, or my dad calling me stupid for the majority of my life. Or my sister calling me sensitive and a lesser version of her. She would always remind me in front of my parents that she was the favorite.
The fact that they never protected me from that made me feel that I was not worth protecting or loving. It just bled into my body image of myself. When you feel unworthy, or unprotected by the very people who were built to do so, it has side effects in every other aspect of your being. Especially your body. So these will always be burned into my very fiber. The battle I always deal with is remembering the beauty that all this pain and damage has caused. It made me humble, empathetic, and kind. It’s made me a healer to help others since I was never helped.
Have you had issues or challenges with clothing in regard to body image?
What gets me is every vendor has different sizing. And most mainstream brands do not accommodate the T&A with a side of stomach mold. This affects me occasionally because I sometimes feel like I don’t fit this mold, so then I do not fit into this society.
I love using clothes to celebrate my assets. But I also love them to hide my stomach.
I window shop a great deal. And now with Instagram I always find a new store that is more accommodating to all shapes and sizes.
Does your body image affect how you eat?
It really doesn’t surprisingly. I am more about what is going on inside my body. That is what tells me what I can and cannot eat.
When do you feel best?
I feel best when I get out of a class of Veronica Varlow or Perle Noire. A lot of their work is surrounded by embodying your truth and making an impact to yourself first. Then the world will reap from the benefits.
How has your body image changed over time?
It’s more of a two-step forward, two-step back situation. It’s a constant struggle.
Who do you feel influences your body image most?
Unknowingly, it is the media. But the biggest influencer lately has been myself.
What pressure around body image do you feel?
It’s definitely the social media that gets me good. I always see unnatural shapes like the tiny waist and the big round apple bottom butt. And I think to myself, are you crazy!!! So it always makes me think about getting on that treadmill.
What are your thoughts on media/advertising/social media and how they affect body image?
I’d like the male’s opinion of what a women’s body should look like completely obliterated from the whole system. Anything we are selling, it is really surrounded by the concept of what you need to do to get a mate. WTF is that shit about?
This system has made monsters out of the children and teens. For god’s sake, girls are targeting each other and they are not being cute about it. They think being a Mean Girl is so empowering and desirable.
How do you feel about altering appearance through cosmetic surgery and applications like Photoshop?
I think Photoshop is bullshit to a degree. Hey if I have a zit, you can blur that out. But if you give me a thigh gap and stretch me out so I could look taller and thinner, then I would be an asshole for letting that happen.
Do you have any advice/tips/suggestions for other women who would like to improve their body image?
- Louise Hay and Brene Brown are great authors that I just got into. I wish I had these growing up, and especially in my teenage years.
- No one should be your role model because of their looks. They should be your role model because of how they make you feel about yourself and the world.
- I hate to say it, unsubscribe from the magazines. Stop teaching your children that the way they look is so important to get things. Stop watching reality TV. And stop letting the man’s take on any female image be taken to heart or even heard.