An uncomfortable topic. (content warning: discussion of genitalia)

A criticism  directed  at  Lukas Dhont's film 'Girl' is that Lara's story is viewed through a cisgender lens, as Dhont himself is Cisgender, and that it has a particular obsession with trans bodies.

Much of  the criticism of  Girl came before Nora Monsecour publicly stated that
a. 'Lara's' story is  closely based on  her own story
b. that she was involved in the casting of Victor Polster to play Lara...

Equally many of those criticising the film, which I will state, for the record that I have not yet seen in full, regardless of their own gender identity are not dancers so are unaware of the  pressures  that the dance world  imposes  with regard to  bodies and the pressures that someone  who is dysphoric  imposes on themselves...

While, as a 41 year old  who has been taking class for only a couple of years I have virtually  no chance of earning a living from being a dance artist, I still have some awareness of the pressures the dance world imposes, as even in adult  recreational ballet - without the pressure of exams or  performances  there is still the  internal  pressure to  achieve  and the temptation to compare your own performance to that of others.

However  this post is not  going to be a critique of Girl,  that I shall save until I have had the opportunity to view  it in full.

The uncomfortable topic  is  body image and the intersection of dance and  gender dysphoria...

Those of who who follow me on social media ( I have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to name  the 3 mainstream sites ) - and  quite a few of you will have got here  via one of those channels) will know i do post pictures and i have my picture on various other sites/accounts  , you'll have noticed  that  some of these pictures aren't  exactly the most flattering.

Over the past  6 or so months I've lost 10 kg in weight (and I was all ready  around 10 -13 kg less than  my weight at it's highest) and thanks to hormones, a another medication (finasteride) and now GnRH analogues i've stopped the masculinising effects and begun the feminising process of medical transition...

So i'm less hairy in places other than my  head and face, more hairy on the  top of my head, see; Hair Today  and I have started to get noticeable breast  development...  which is all great and goes to alleviate my  dysphoria, however it  doesn't address   one particular issue,  one which can be rather noticeable...

in Go Get Your Armour I talk about how  my presentation ballet class is coded to be stereotypically femme, and how i  generally  wear  wrap skirts or  over dresses ...  before December i always wore a wrap skirt  or  shorts over leotard and tights, and i was  convinced  that my  'pre-operative' status  would be apparent  regardless of my  ability to tuck ...

I also found tucking  very uncomfortable, however an effect of starting the GnRH analogue has been to make tucking more comfortable, although i still  worried about security... 

There are innumerable  descriptions of  how to secure a tuck on the internet and elsewhere, but  one thing i have noticed is that they generally  make it impossible to  use the toilet, which is none viable for   taking class - even though on a hot day in the studio it  can near impossible to  keep pace  with  fluid demand...

so i've  come up with a way that works for me ...  it combines aspects of  two f the typical methods

1. taping
2. using  very close fitting  and firm  underwear.

i'm glad to say it  survived  class and pointe class to day  and a number of hours afterwards without  any  fear of  escape ... the only  echappes  today  were in pointe class...

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