Desperately Seeking Standards
Earlier this year I joined a cabaret company made up entirely of plus-sized women. I was told that it was a professional company. The director was late to my audition. Then to the first rehearsal. Then to almost every rehearsal. She got us to gigs late. At our show we were dancing, while she was singing, and she stopped singing and said “Sorry y’all, I burped” INTO THE MICROPHONE.
A few days ago, I became cognizant of the fact that this group was not in any way meeting my standards for professionalism. While the other three women were fine with the situation, I was incredibly embarrassed that she showed up to gigs late; mortified to sit on stage while a supposed professional said “sorry, I burped” into the mic; enraged at having to sit and wait for the “leader” to show up late to every rehearsal. I quit on the basis that I was looking for a different experience than this group could provide, and I was clear that it didn’t make either of us better or worse, just different, which meant that I’m just not a good fit for this group.
But then I started thinking more about it: How did I let this happen? I think that part of it was because I know that the options are more limited for me because I don’t have a traditional dancer’s body (although I think that the whole “dancer’s body” idea is BS).
I think that’s one of the challenges of being fat. Because our options are limited, we’re often asked to lower our standards. In clothing choices, employment, and, sometimes, even dating. I think that there are two main things to do here:
First: Determine your standards. What is important to you? What do you require?
Second: If your current situation doesn’t meet your standards then you have a decision to make. Are you going to lower your standards? Leave the situation? Try to create a better situation?
Maybe I’ll try to create my own cabaret group. Maybe I’ll just focus on my competitive dancing. Maybe I’ll do something else. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve noticed that I’ve never been happy with myself when I’ve lowered my standards, and in this case I definitely feel that I made the right decision. Maybe I have less options because I’m fat, but that doesn’t mean that I have to have less standards — and I can always create more options!