Nulling and voiding any good credit we had tried to achieve the previous week for Saturday’s Apocalypse, we stopped by Trash Pony Bar on Sunday for a presentation on BOOBS! Yes, that does say: “Boobs!” B-O-O-B-S! We are moving past PG on GYFO.
The presentation was a lecture by a staple of the burlesque sideshow circuit, Coney Island’s own Mermaid Hawley. To begin Mermaid Hawley took off a shiny golden coat to reveal a layered burlesque outfit. (We’ll explained what we mean by “layered” in a moment.) Then Mermaid Hawley listed every slang and formal expression for boobs. Mermaid Hawley went on to explain her own genetic history, which clearly make her an expert on bosoms. She revealed that the women on her mother’s side were a mix of C cups & smaller and the women on her father’s side were defined as D cups+. At a young age, it was obvious to everyone whose side of the family she took after as she quickly surpassed her mother’s endowments.
Periodically throughout the lecture, Cricket, an anthropologist with multiple degrees, helped Mermaid Hawley take off the many layers of bras she was wearing. (This is what we mean by layered outfit.) In these eyebrow raising moments, Mermaid Hawley talked about each particular bra she revealed. Then once each piece of clothing was fully removed she would go into various stories involving her breast. These stories included ones about her father who, after seeing his daughter being bullied because of her body, helped her to empower her with fashion choices and with tales of his own mother’s ‘chestisms’. She spoke of the myth that bras only go up to D cup size and she discovered that she herself is a G cup. She learned this information from another person who just blurted it out to her on the street one day. She explained that she is very grateful to the individual for telling her the correct size bra to wear.
As Mermaid Hawley gave her lecture artist Angela and sometimes Cricket painted on a multiple pieces of large paper acting out an emotional storyboard for the show. While Angela’s work contained shapes that looked like boobs, the images were turned into something more expressive as each story was told. When the art pieces were finished, they had evolved into layers upon layers of paint –no longer looking how they did when they first began.
What was really interesting about the lecture was not just Mermaid Hawley’s unique way of discussing boobs, but the underlining emotional events that shaped Mermaid Haley’s life. All in all the night was very informative, although we did blush a bit when watching each bra reveal and the impromptu chest painting of both Angela and Mermaid Hawley by Cricket. As a bonus for those attending, Cricket gave DIY interactive craft tips on how to make your own pasties. Mermaid Haley, Angela, and Cricket stayed and talked for a bit after the show about the world of burlesque.