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Three Words: Flirty. Girl. Fitness.

Fitness_pole

The Fitness Pole...not to be confused with the Festivus Pole.

I've never worked in advertising, so I don't know for sure, but I imagine that the period between Christmas and New Year's/the first few weeks of January are to advertising companies what Black Friday is (or was, before the economy went BOOM) to retailers. That's when the heavyweights and execs can take off on vacation and just let the interns handle everything because that period is a no-brainer guaranteed to rake in millions. They know exactly what 90% of the country is doing at that time: laying on the couch, finishing off that third tray of cookies (or maybe, at that point, just eating straight butter), wallowing in self-loathing, and thinking, "THIS year I'm going to do it. I'm going to lose 10...okay, 20...okay, 50 pounds. I just need to find the right product to buy to help me. That's why I've failed at that resolution year after year."

I mean...that's just a guess, mind you. Your experience might have been totally different. Ahem.

Of all of the weight-loss-geared commercials nestled in between ads for the Snuggie and the ShamWow that I saw during my winter vacation, none was more compelling than Flirty Girl Fitness, which I described in my stupor as, "So, you just act like a ho until you're skinny? I CAN DO THAT!" I'm kind of an asshole sometimes.

But it's obviously a little more complex than that. The basic premise is that erotic dance movements are a good workout. And, well, I've seen plenty of strippers in my day and I can confirm this.

Marketing erotic dancing as a workout to the mainstream consumer isn't exactly new. I think it can be traced back to the 2000 movie Dancing at the Blue Iguana, which was a total piece of shit but it inspired actress Sheila Kelley to start instructing classes in erotic dancing. I was watching Oprah a few years back and she had Kelley on to explain her regime. Then they took some suburban hausfraus, got rid of their sweaters with snowman appliques, and got them swinging around on a pole. It was some bizarre shit, but of course Oprah and her minions were all about it and the hausfraus said that they got a good workout with the added benefits of feeling more confident and sexy.

My aforementioned crass comment aside, I'm wondering if this will edge us closer to an acceptance of sex work. I'm not going to naively pretend that the vast majority of women in all of the various facets of the sex industry aren't being exploited, but it is most certainly possible to find it empowering and I hope that whatever glimmer of that possibility that the women on Oprah had can start to find its way into the mainstream. I don't know that it will ever be something that is an acceptable lifelong career aspiration, but it would be very promising to recognize that women in sex work are still human and that the key word there is WORK. They need regulations and taxation and retirement funds. It doesn't have to be this base pursuit, especially when you have your most June Cleaver mom acknowledging that the moves are fun.







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Comments

veronica

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw this commercial. I also couldn't understand how the actors in it could do it all with a straight face!

But hey, at least it WASN'T a Snuggie or Shamwow adverstisement so it did have that going for it!

Darcey

I am a pole dance instructor. I've been teaching for about a year and a half here in Atlanta, and was a student for a year at the studio before I started teaching.

I'm not a tiny girl by any means, at 5'11", my figure would be described more Amazonian than Model-esque, and as I tell all of my students, from 18 to 68, petite to Rubenesque, if I can do it, ANYONE can.

It's a tough workout. It makes you focus on your balance. We push you to improve your muscle tone by hiding traditional workout moves (pushups, pullups, squats) into sexy ones (we call them the snake, the pole-up, hip-dips). PLUS we do it all in 5" heels - and there is no better way to tone your hamstrings and glutes than doing those exercises while focusing on balance and form.

And on top of that, the women in my studio feel empowered. They get to spend 90 minutes a week either bringing their innate sexuality to the forefront, or exploring a completely different side of them that they never realized. Its one of the few gatherings of women I've been to where there isn't any cattiness - everyone is cheering the ladies on and being supportive.

And hey, if it helps them in the bedroom, all the better.

Dana

""So, you just act like a ho until you're skinny?"

HYSTERICAL. OMG.

My mother got my kids damn suggie things for Christmas. For when you're too lazy to cover yourself back up, FTW!

kel

Carmen Electra has a series of erotic exercise videos, which appealed to me for all of a minute. I might investigate it again later in life, like say, when I'm Blanche Devereaux's age.

But have you seen THIS?

http://www.weightwatchers.com/templates/fitnesspopup.aspx?pageid=1128571

It is absolutely my new favorite thing.

Except... I want to hug and squeeze Hungry and I would totally eat pizza with him till I passed out because he's just so damn cute!

amalah

I took a cardio class once that was all stripper moves and such. You did it heels and slithered around on chairs and mirrors to Lady Marmalade and Janet Jackson and it was fun as hell. Also a super good workout, although I was very distracted after our instructor tore off her pull-away pants and revealed fishnets and the hottest ass I've ever seen in real life. My friend (who I made come with me) and I both caught ourselves losing step with the class because we were staring.

Barbara

Okay, but I wish someone would buy me a Snuggie. It would totally hide the holiday and post partum bulge as well as keep me warm now that I'm no longer pregnant.

Dani

Am I the only one who thinks the gal on the right looks a LOT like Jennifer Beals (Bette on The L Word)? http://tinyurl.com/7x2cfc

Allison

Dani, I totally thought that too!




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