There were several titles that I wanted to call my particular article. After several deletes, I'm satisfied with this title. You see, I try to be positive for the most part, but when I came across this blog, Ugly Costume Goddess, I had to write something about this, uh, negative page.
A couple of days ago, I saw a post from a belly dancer on Facebook, who issued a comment about a posting on the Ugly Costume Goddess (let's call it UCG for short) page. This belly dancer believed that UCG was promoting a forum to make fun of unique belly dancers and their costumes. The photo that caught this belly dancer's attention, was that of belly dancer Lana Guerra from Portland, Oregon. What UCG did with Lana's picture, was put it under "scary costumes", making fun of it, the costume being in bad taste.
This belly dancer believed that whoever was in charge of this UCG page, should be ashamed of what they were doing. Nowadays, creating a page to make fun of others is a form of bullying, and I believe UCG's page comes very close to it. What makes it not so much a form of bullying, is that the creator of this page, belly dancer Amulya makes fun of her own costumes.
Nevertheless, when the belly dancer posted this photo of Lana, with the information about UCG, and her own opinion about the costume, there was an immediate discussion about how a belly dancer should dress and how a costume/style impacts the art. The belly dancer who posted the comment was in favor of Lana's costume, stating that it is her own creation and no one should judge her negatively because of it. Others stated that Lana's creation would have non dancers think negatively about belly dance; belly dancers have worked hard for the art that it is today.
Everyone had their say and at the end of the day, it was a great discussion. I will not agree with what others say, and I'm sure they will never agree with me. Who am I to say what is and is not belly dance? My gosh, we can't even agree on the history. Like I said before, I've seen comments in certain blogs arguing whether or not some move orginated in Iraq!
Just a little description of the photo, it is Lana, face painted like a skeleton, body art, stripe material skirt, with some solids. The belly dance bra is simple, stripes, polka dots in black and white. I saw photos of her and she is a dancer. She is about art, creativity and style. Isn't that what an artist should be? It takes time, after all, to come up with something that has not been seen before, especially when it involves an old art form.
I looked up the UCG blog site, which is run by belly dancer Amulya. The caption at the top reads, "What were they thinking?". The side of the page gives an explanation of the site in general. It appears that it is misleading. It is explained that, "Every now and then we encounter a costume for sale and we think, 'what were they thinking?'". It should read, "hello, I'm the Joan Rivers for the belly dance costumes". No, it is not about costumes for sale, because if that were true, then the photo of Lana and other belly dancers with their costumes, would not fill up her UCG page. It is a page where others can make fun of belly dancers and their creations. This person wrote about Lana's costume, "the doodle lady is back". Why write such mean things?
Curious, I wanted to see what Amulya looked like, so I clicked to her website. I saw a photo of her and well, uh, I wasn't a fan of her costume.
The beautiful thing about Lana's photo, her style, her dance is that others are inspired by her. A person wrote on Lana's Facebook page, "I know you don't really know me, but I just felt the urge to tell you what an inspiration you are.... following you online has made me really want to push myself". Now that is too cool!
Let's keep comments free from put downs. I'm sure we can talk about something we don't like in a more positive way. A happy belly dance community, is a strong one.