An exclusive interview with our poster girl, Rubyyy Jones to celebrate the return of our theatrical burlesque show.
Five Minutes with Burlexe Muse, Rubyyy Jones.
Name: Rubyyy Jones, with three y’s because I have lots of questions I want answered: why, why, why? and Jones as it’s my mother’s maiden name.
Job description: Performer, Writer, Muse. As a muse, I’ve been in collaboration for the past five years with an artist in Canada who creates incredible charcoal drawings of me from photos I send her or lovers. It’s a documentation of the different relationships I’ve had over the years and my relationship with myself and my sensuality.
Motto: ‘Save Rubyyy Jones.’ My calling is to cultivate and express my inner child and part of that work is for me is to help other people do the same. Save Your Rubyyy Jones!
Shoot details: I had a reallyyy great time, working with a team I love! My makeup artist, Nikki Marriott and my personal assistant and stylist, Miss Cairo. I was especially looking forward to shooting with Magnus as he only shoots with boys in Burlesque and Cabaret.
I was really honoured to be asked to be the muse of Burlexe. One of the things I concentrate on and am known for is body acceptance and I’m very happy to have my body represented this way through Burlexe.
How did you get involved? I was approached by [Creative Director] Howard who saw my burlesque début at the Tournament of Tease. I went along to the show’s first preview. I wrote what I thought may be seen as a long damning review – a long explanation of my thoughts, having been in burlesque five minutes, to someone who didn’t know me. Luckily, he appreciated it and we have been collaborating ever since with performances. I’m very happy that I have my own monologue in the show too, as the rising star stage kitten.
Where did you get the confidence to do this kind of shoot? I’ve definitely been working on my confidence for a long time. I have the little “advantage” of being beautiful though I’m not thin and I never will be. When I say advantage, I mean with the pressure to be this perfect image of a woman – I always felt the brunt of the pressure and imbalance was around my body.
One of the nice things about being in Europe (I’m originally from Canada) is that I feel there’s less pressure on having the “perfect” body. It delighted me when I moved here and saw women of all ages and sizes with such amazing style!
I have a one-woman show called Rubyyy Jones Learns… – where I talk about my self-esteem journey, eating disorders and body acceptance. I feel it’s my duty, my calling to show and share my body. Other people, men and women alike, feel inspired seeing my naked “imperfect” bod, swirling and shimmying across stage. I get that feedback a lot, a lot, a lot at Burlexe – how good they feel to see their body, their wife or partner’s body represented. It also helps me to have courage in those moments when I’m not feeling so strong.
What advice would you give to women who struggle with self-esteem? Your relationship with your body comes down to your relationship with yourself. Your spirit and your connection to it makes all the difference to your body confidence.
Why are women of your size not represented currently in the media? It would be very dangerous for ‘the man’ and for people at the highest level who want us to ‘consume’ to be completely happy with the way we are. A lot less people would be paying for surgery, beauty products, trainers, etc. It pays for them to have us consumed with consuming. Also, they’re nothing more intimidating to the patriarchy than a glowing, gorgeous woman in her power, grounded in herself.
Why should we see Burlexe? To get a much better understanding of burlesque, the women behind it, choosing it and what they really do, want and know. People who simply “know of” burlesque would probably know Dita and her style but it’s a whole wonderful world of performance, of history and innovation beyond Swarovskis, 50’s hair and stereotypical femininity.
I love and appreciate the spectrum of burlesque in Burlexe and the spectrum of all the stories in it, inspired by or lifted straight from real lives and women.
Watch our quick-fire answer to: what is burlesque?
(Images via Magnus Arrevad.