I chose to watch the supplementary video “How to Love your Body in 10 Easy Steps” by Ollie Schminkey because the title caught my attention. However, I was honestly surprised by the performance I watched. Just based off of the title, I was expecting a “body positive” message or a talk on how to learn to love and accept your physical appearance. Although I didn’t watch what I had originally expected I would watch, I am happy I clicked on this link.
In this short poetry recital, Ollie Schminkey (pictured in the featured image) passionately and emotionally addressed the situations that society wrongfully places transgender people in. The first “step” to loving your body that Schminkey noted was to stop eating because “…eating less will make you feel as if you have control” (Schminkey 2004). Even this first point got me to start thinking. I agree that a lot of times people use their body to find control in life. The amount you eat and exercise is something only you can control, and I think that many people today find power in this. However, it is frightening how this desire for control can completely consume one’s life. This relates to Schminkey’s 7th step, to “blame your body for this”, as the more one hates and blames one’s body, the more one will strive for the control over “fixing” one’s body (Schminkey 2004).
Although this short film did relate to body image, the most important information I gained was a little bit more insight on the struggles a transgender person faces as a result of society’s stigmas. For me, the ability to watch someone’s emotions come out on stage as they tell their story is far more powerful than just reading about the topic. For example, listening to Schminkey describe the “easy step” of binding your chest so tight that it is dangerously painful struck more emotion out of me than reading that people do this. Overall, videos and performances are a great way to gain a little insight on someone else’s life, as you can see and feel the emotions come through. Based on the audience’s responses, I was not the only one who was moved by Schminkey’s performance. If you are looking for a powerful depiction of the unfair situations that society places transgender people in, I highly recommend clicking the link below.
Button Poetry. 2014. “Ollie Schminkey- ‘How to Love Your Body in 10 Easy Steps.'” YouTube Website (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On3NXRqq6VE).