She's Muslim, teaches pole dancing and wears 'provocative' clothing. Obviously, she's bringing shame to all of womankind, right? If only society's perception of her passion could stop Aarifa Bhinderwala from pursuing it.
Since the time she's born, a woman is always told two things: dress appropriately and never, ever talk about sex. Unfortunately, most women choose to listen to these diktats. But thankfully, there are some others who do otherwise. And Aarifa is the latter!
Born in a Bohri Muslim family, just like every other girl, she was always asked to cover up. She had the example of her sister, who wears a hijab. The fact that she could pursue pole dancing was never even the question!
But for Aarifa, clothes don't dictate a person's mindset and ideology.
Not every person who is fully covered is conservative & not every one wearing skimpy clothes is broadminded.
Her moment of realisation came on a trip to Perth, Australia, when she went to visit her sister. Around the same time, she was going through pre-menstrual depression and needed an outlet for all her pent-up emotions. In one of those cases of inadvertent accidents, she came across a pole dancing class. What happened next, changed the course of her life!
When we think of pole dancing, we associate it with scantily-clad women, gyrating to lure men. But for Aarifa, pole dancing showed a way for her to connect with her body, identify and enjoy her strength as a woman. She felt empowered, confident and incredibly sexy.
As she questions, when feelings can't be a taboo, why is sexuality?
Once she discovered the joy she got from pole dancing, Aarifa decided to spread it further. And she got massive support from her mother, a teacher herself.
Today, Aarifa teaches the dance form to women of all ages, and all body types.
In the newest video from Blush, she talks about her journey towards feeling good about herself, her body and her sexuality.
Watch the video here:
There's so much to learn from you, Aarifa!
All images courtesy: Culture Machine