Recently, I gained some weight. Which is totally fine. Totally fine. Who cares? Onward and upward! Bigger and better things! These expressions definitely apply to my pants' size, right?
In order to come to terms with the fact that I was packing a lot more, um, heat, I decided to act counter-intuitively and buy the tightest, sexiest dress I could find, in order to prove to myself and the world that I loved showing off my new body. I also decided to try bikini burlesque bootcamp, whatever that meant.
Really it was my friend Yelena's fault. She got a LivingSocial deal and asked me to come with her. Sitting in front of my computer and eating cold pizza in my pajamas, I felt briefly reckless and uninhibited, so I said yes.
I showed up wearing my sexy dress, which happened to be covered in tiny rabbits. I brought my only heels over 3 inches tall—the ones that I couldn't quite walk in, but almost.
This is me in the rabbit print dress
Yelena was wearing workout clothes, which I suddenly remembered had been recommended in the brochure.
A note about Yelena: she has the kind of body that practically every woman wishes she had. As in, she's slender and leggy, but her boobs just decided to be big and bold for some reason, despite the protestations of science and logic. She also happens to have long, sleek dark hair, the face of a model, and a fiery Russian personality. So, did she step out of a Bond movie? No, just my friend from grad school. The one who I thought it was a good idea to try "bikini burlesque bootcamp" with just when I'd gained 15 pounds and was trying to feel sexy about it. Very smart. That would be me.
The woman running the "camp" was blond and tall and British. She referred to herself in the third person as "Lady Chardonnay." She was wearing a tiny French maid outfit. There were maybe thirty girls there and she started yelling at us almost immediately.
Lady Chardonnay demanded we do all jumping jacks, lunges and various other workout-y things. We hadn't put on our heels yet, but I was alread sweating through the rabbit print dress. Everyone else was in yoga pants. Also, everyone else was skinny. Is everyone in Manhattan skinny? Is that possible? I think it's possible.
I glanced over at Yelena—she looked totally put-together somehow. But at least neither one of us could do even a single pushup.
Twenty minutes in, panting and gasping, I was sure this had been a mistake. I wasn't trying to whip my plumper body into shape, I was trying to learn to like it!
"Run, ladies! Run!" Lady Chardonnay yelled. "Run like you mean it, or GET OUT!"
I ran like I meant it—right into another girl, coming the other direction. "Oh god!" I said, "I'm so sorry!" But there was no time! We had to keep running.
Then, suddenly, it was time to get sexy and dance to "Diamonds Are Forever." Lady Chardonnay taught us the very seductive choreography. It looked a little like stripping. There was some crawling on the floor "like a kitty cat! You're a kitty cat! Let me hear you purr!" And a lot of hip-thrusting and running of the hands over your own body, like you just really love the way your outer thighs feel. It was all coy and absurd and at one point we were all lying on our backs, kicking our legs languorously in the air.
I would have been more humiliated, except that I was too tired and relieved not to be doing pushups anymore. When I stood up again in my six-inch heels, I was ridiculously tall. I concentrated on not falling.
But then, when the music kicked in and all thirty-something of us hurried through the stripper-y motions, something happened. Something slightly magical.
My hip thrusts were thrustier than I'd imagined they'd be. My cat crawl was obscene, but in a good way. So much butt! And my rabbit print dress was putting everyone's workout clothes to shame.
Instead of looking away shamefully, I stared at myself in the mirror. Eyes locked. Damn girl. Shake that booty! Wait, it can't be this easy. This can't really be working.
I felt fabulous. I even thanked Lady Chardonnay after class. I didn't have the right words so I just said something that included the words "fun" and "sex appeal."
This is my butt in the rabbit print dress
My feet were killing me. Yelena and I went out for pizza. We were starving and I ate a lot.
That was really stupid, I thought in the back of my head. The emphasis on working out felt like an emphasis on losing weight. The sexy moves seemed designed for an audience. There was something really corny and vaguely sexist about the whole thing. And I still had no idea what bikinis might have to do with it. Or burlesque for that matter.
Maybe I just needed to increase my sexiness, for next time. Or maybe I'll never go again, actually. Maybe I'll just turn on "Diamonds Are Forever" and dance, now that I know the moves.
But whatever. I'd rocked my rabbit dress. I'd rocked my heavier body. I could now crawl with my butt in the air. Which is a skill I think will come in handy if I ever audition for a music video. Or just for around the apartment.