Salome after the Dance of the Seven Veils

Photo by Wolfgang Jasper and Vrushali Lele

Photo by Wolfgang Jasper and Vrushali Lele

Salome danced The Dance of the Seven Veils before ordering the head of John the Baptist chopped off and served hot on a silver platter. Heaving bosom and bloody hands, she is the embodiment of the implicit danger of female sexuality throughout art, myth and history. She is the temptress going in for the kill, the seductress ready to devour. She is saucy and voluptuous and sassy and it sure as hell doesn’t look to me like she follows all the rules or does all of the dinner dishes before going to bed. Salome owns her own righteous bad ass self, refusing to hang her head in shame for her desire, but staring instead with a defiant, seductive smile into the lens of viewers throughout time.

Salome doesn’t adhere to dress code or the prim and proper protocol of the day. She sits with her legs spread wide, proud of her plunder. She dances with purpose and abandon, to seduce and to entrance and to please, first and foremost, herself. Salome, be my teacher.

My body has brought with it so much shame, so many questions. For being loose, fat, promiscuous, jiggly, too big, too out there, too much. I want to be done strapping it down, buttoning it up. I want to be done containing, explaining, finding the words to apologize. These are my arms, my breast, my belly, my thighs. This is my history, these are my stories, this is what I have done. This is the knife that, if wielded, will not be against myself. Salome, show me how it's done. 

Valley Haggard1 Comment