Aghast, with a face only a horrified showgirl could make, she sternly replied, “No, no, no. You must never say such a thing. There is no such thing as too big.”
In burlesque, bigger is usually better. Big dresses, big hair, big eyelashes, and bigger personalities. And that drive to be larger-than-life has gradually seeped into the rest of my life. Burlesque teaches me to reach for the highest and fullest expression of myself, which has been critical to my leadership development. My stage persona, Dona, has taught real-life Cat how to be bigger.
We can’t help the world if we minimize ourselves: our worth, our greatness, or our power. Truthfully, I don’t fully know how to restoring this type of spiritual self-worth in others, or how to stop centuries of patterns of minimization. However, I know I can start the journey with simple acts of self-love, self-care, and huge eyelashes. Every time I refuse to minimize myself, I create a new legacy.
One of the greatest limiting core beliefs women have is a fear of being too big. And it’s not just a fear of being fat—we are afraid of becoming too powerful and hurting others. We worry we'll be labeled greedy and self-centered. We are afraid of making ourselves a target to be attacked, or inspiring more jealousy than we think we can manage. We worry that other people can’t handle our full selves. The result is that we minimize our ideas, emotions, body, desires, and intuitions. We reinforce smallness, a smallness that doesn't serve us.
It takes daring courage to change the pattern of playing small. When we make a shift to embrace our power we are disrupting relationships, and the psychic substructure of our culture and our mythology. The thing is though, that we deserve to be the greatest version of ourselves. We deserve to live our lives to the fullest extent possible: to learn, to live, to love, and to be filled with unapologetic joy.