THE BODY BECOMES THE OBJECT

"Inevitably, especially in live performance, the body becomes the object of consumption as much as the sound coming out of it. I’m rarely comfortable with the outcome."
—Anohni, The Creative Independent 

I've been looking at the performative body, the object body, the subjective body. Simone de Beauvoir says: "The young girl feels that her body is getting away from her, it is no longer the straightforward expression of her individuality; it becomes foreign to her; and at the same time she becomes for others a thing." I remember feeling like I was becoming for others a thing. And I'm not just talking about being some slam piece. It was before sex. I was an object and knew I was an object starting at about age 10. I started doing talent competitions. We practiced hand gestures. We primped and preened for hours to spend minutes on stage. It's where I first heard socially about blow jobs. They were a good thing. I didn't know much else about them. 


Then around 7th grade a guy told me I had a nice ass. I interpreted that as a romantic gesture and made him my boyfriend. We held hands. I think we even hugged once. I gushed about it in my diary. 

I can't separate who I am from the circumstances that made me that way. I was a girl who wanted to be wanted. Whatever you thought about me, I thought about myself, especially if it was praise. Now, well over a decade later, I still want to be wanted, but it feels more optional, and a little bit gross. Now it's more like: I want the wanting. I'm learning to map my desire separate from my thing-ness, separate from my objecthood. 

I don't think it's possible to perform as something separate from the object of who you are—that sounds impossible—but it seems like there are ways of acknowledging and manipulating perception, image, consumption, etc. ...Idk. We'll see.