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  • Hector Heathwood

Looking and feeling good is socially acceptable.x

Jocey Deegan

This might look like a bit of a rant at first, but bear with me if you would. There is a proven and accepted solution to the problem I'm going to outline.

A lot of my friends and acquaintances here in Ireland, even in the Burlesque Community, tell me they'd feel uneasy having pictures of themselves looking fabulous. Apparently there's a lot of begrudgery and "Who do they think they are?" statements applied when someone dresses up or gets glamorous photographs done. Or, "What would my work think?"

I'm told it's to do with the parochial nature of Irish society. I'm afraid, in my view, it's simply bullying, and it's getting worse within social media. When I hear these things I'm reminded of Britain in the 50's and the social mores that prevailed there at the time.

Nobody, but nobody, has the right to prevent you enjoying yourself in a legal way, and looking spectacular and feeling great about yourself is such a fun thing to do. They don't 'like' it, so what!! They're entitled not to, but if they try to stop you doing it they're completely in the wrong and should be told so!

I made my name in fetish photography, all the while working as a lecturer in various colleges. I'm sure there were many who felt uneasy about my extra-academic pursuits, I have no problem with that, but if they'd ever tried to curtail my endeavours they'd have found themselves either in court or arguing with someone who doesn't threaten easily.

And so, finally on to the solution. You'll be glad to hear it's ever so simple. All you have to do is say "NO, your behaviour is unacceptable and your arguments unsustainable." And that's it, their stance cannot be maintained when challenged. And there exists in Ireland, very recently, a perfect example of this resistance paying off.

When I arrived in Ireland homosexual activities were illegal, but protest and much heroic action by the LGBT community and individuals lead first to decriminalisation and then acceptance. Civil Partnerships followed and finally the nation voted for Marriage Equality by a vast majority. All this from simply saying NO MORE!!

So there it is, if you wanna do it and it's not harming anyone, go right ahead. Thrill to the sight of begrudgers crawling back into the shadows, stride past your boss with whatever colour of hair you choose, enjoy your life however you want. It really is nobody else's business.x

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