“There was this photographer there. He had just come to the event because he had heard about it and wanted to check out this new spot in Miami, 1306. He came up to me after the show and seemed really nice; different than other interactions I’ve had with men after my shows. He had taken a bunch of pictures of my performance and was eager to share them with me. I gave him my card and email, and the next day he sent over the photos. They were great and I was impressed. I thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’  Usually, when I get approached by men after a performance, whether they’re older men, men my age, whatever the case may be, there is this immediate shield that I’ll put on; a layer of protection to their hidden agendas and degrees of insincerity. It may not be in everything they say, but nonetheless it has come to be an interesting interaction.

After that show he told me how empowering my performance had been. He was blown away, and I was refreshed to speak to a man with such a seemingly clear agenda. He went on to tell me he also writes articles, and he wanted to write one about me. The day after he sent the pictures, he posted the article, Lo Artiz at 1306, or something to that extent. I was looking forward to reading this piece; I was excited. As I scrolled down the screen, and read the words, I quickly realized it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about my performance; it wasn’t about any of the things he had said that night. It was the ‘va-va-voom’ of my curves and how I wasn’t wearing a bra. I can’t remember the exact ways he worded things, but it was overall kind of creepy. I remember feeling very upset, disappointed.

He missed the whole point of what I’m about. Why I dress the way I do; why I dress so freely. It took me a very long time to want to feel comfortable in my body, and to accept the body that I have. When I got to that place, I took ownership of that. I could no longer confine myself to the box of what people deem as lady-like or not. I feel beautiful, and I feel confident. For someone to tell me that he got that, and to write that article, it was a shame. Once again it was about the image of the artist, not the actual raw talent of that artist. Which so many female artists have to see. I know this is not the last time it will happen, and although that reality can be discouraging, I find freedom in my music. Giving a voice to women-and men- who may feel voiceless. That freedom will speak louder than any article written about my curves or what I’m wearing. That freedom is the reality I live in.”

Shared by: Lo Artiz

Transcribed by: Julia Michael

Valeria Alvarez