International Women’s Day 2020 is on 8 March, and this year it falls on Sunday so this blog is coming out early – but that means we get to celebrate a little longer, right?! I love the theme this year – #EachforEqual – which calls for celebrating collective individualism.
As humans, we are wonderfully unique beings responsible for our own thoughts and actions – but have the power to use our voices in harmony to challenge inequality and make real change within society. This year, let’s pledge to use our individual powers to unite and strive for a better world. Whether that takes the form of thoughts, words or actions for you, every tiny victory brings us one step closer to reaching that goal! Last year, I wrote a blog for International Women’s Day featuring a list of ideas – from registering to vote to supporting women’s projects and businesses – and its still 100% relevant for this year’s #EachForEqual theme, so make sure you have a little read of that too!
My regular daily mantra is ‘a rising tide lifts all boats‘, so I like to use International Women’s Day 2020 to celebrate and draw attention to the ongoing work and achievements of the incredible women and non-binary folk around me doing their bit to collectively uplift and unify the communities I am part of. This year, I’ll be focusing on the burlesque scene…
Perle Noire – Burlesque Performer and Founder of The Noire Pageant
With 5 Miss Exotic World titles to her name, Perle Noire is also the Noire Pageant: the first pageant to exclusively showcase POC burlesque performers. “Burlesque Pageants have been around for decades, but there aren’t many Performers of Color who have been crowned or celebrated”, says Noire, “I believe it’s time for a change.” Alongside the titles of King and Queen, she has also secured a list of incredible prizes including a 13 city international tour! The festival is taking place in Brooklyn, NY next weekend; if you’re over there, you absolutely should go and tell me all about it.
Miss Tosh – International Burlesque Performer and Producer of Beauty of Burlesque
Miss Tosh has been a delight to have in front of my lens and I long to see her show, “Beauty of Burlesque”; a show that celebrates glamour and diversity in the burly community. Running regular philanthropic events throughout the year, this is one of those shows that I just WISH was on my doorstep.
Miss Indigo Blue – Miss Exotic World 2011 and Headmistress of the Academy of Burlesque in Seattle
Quite how Miss Indigo fits it all in, I don’t know, but her work to further the burlesque scene in Seattle and indeed across the States comes with a long list of achievements! She’s been the Co-Director of Education for The Burlesque Hall of Fame since 2008, which also happens to be the same year she founded BurlyCon Burlesque Convention in 2008, where she serves as the Executive Director. She holds a number of awards from Burlesque Hall of Fame, cinching the highest International title for Burlesque performance, “Miss Exotic World” in 2011. And she’s also one of the nicest, most genuine humans I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Lady Wildflower – Burlesque Performer and Producer of Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival
After successfully winning an argument with their local council that burlesque is a ‘legal and legitimate art form’, HBBF has hosted over 180 incredible performers since 2013, including some of the world’s biggest burlesque headliners Kitten DeVille, Jett Adore, and Perle Noire. Winning “Best Event” at the UK Burlesque Awards, this year marks the 8th anniversary of the festival with INGA and Chris Oh! headlining. This will be Lady Wildflower’s first year producing the festival alone – as well as my first year in attendance! Have you got your tickets yet?
Moscato Extatique – ‘The Them Fatale of Burlesque’ and Founding Member of Mod Carousel
Moscato is the first AMAB trans, non-binary human to compete in the traditionally female-only Best Debut category at The Burlesque Hall of Fame – and they absolutely smashed it! It was such a blessing to witness history in the making.
Siomai Moore – Burlesque Performer and Podcast Host
Currently ranked number 4 in the Burlesque Top 50, Siomai Moore is a Chicago-based traveling burlesque performer and producer of The Pastie Tapes – a podcast dedicated to burlesque origin stories, where we can learn a little more behind the scenes from burlesque performers; where they come from, how their name came to be, and their backstage tales! Siomai guides her interviewees with warm and welcoming chat and asks all the right questions to get us some thrilling answers and all the inside information about some of the world’s best performers.
MisSa Blue – Burlesque Performer voted Number 1 in Europe in the Burlesque Top 50
MisSa is a prominent voice in building a community of support to empower and encourage the visibility of performers of colour in general. Her on-going work on raising the awareness of racism/colourism sees her actively engaging in discussions on black queer performance art in all corners of the burlesque world. I’m excited to see “Black Sheep”, her first solo show she’s written and produced.
Christina Manuge – Burlesque Costume Designer “Manuge Et Toi”
Christina is an incredibly skilled costumier and it comes as no surprise that she is currently sat in pole position in the Non-Performing Chart of the Burlesque Top 50! She is also incredibly generous with her knowledge, helping burlesquers who’re looking to up their costuming game via her very reasonably priced Patreon with “Tips on Tap”. Her tutorials are a valuable resource and a treasure trove of ideas and support for DIY burlesquers.
How are you marking this year’s #EachForEqual theme? Let me know in the comments!