April 22, 2014

Love Your Body Featuring Florinda Bryant

Chicana Heavyweights & Their Allies, a Panza Pictorial of Panza Positive Women

Florinda Bryant is an interdisciplinary artist, director, and educator, last seen in the Rude Mechanicals' - an Austin-based theater company - performance of Fixing King John

She recently performed excerpts of her ritual performance piece "From the porch" at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis as part of their Equilibrium Series co-curated by Bao Phi and The Panza Monologues' own Virginia Grise. Florinda's performance work often engages audiences in explorations around questions of identity, community, and the body. 

Florinda Bryant
Austin, Texas

I am the laugh you were trying to swallow, all big and loud, at the moment you were tryin to be quiet. Yeah that's me.
I come from a long line of praying, shit talkers, divine sinners, survivors.

I believe we are magic, each of us, with the power to change ourselves thus the world.

What do you love most about your body and why?
I love my heart! I haven't always been kind to her, treated her so bad til she was swollen and hard. She still didn't give up on me, still there for me. My ride or die literally. She has had so many reasons to quit and she doesn't, she keeps going, beating and loving. 

One piece of panza positive advice you wish someone would have given you growing up...
When I was younger I wish someone would have talked to me more about the beauty within. How the beauty within can change how you move through the world and THAT is what makes your outside beautiful. Don't just tell me to be confident, explain why.

What Panza Positive advice do you have to share?
Women are like fruit, there are many different kinds. No need to compare yourself to someone else. It's not that you aren't an amazing apple but maybe the woman next to you is an amazing orange. If someone is not appreciating your fruit, let that person go find another fruit to suit their taste. Take care of you and an apple lover will come along. 

What is your favorite quote from The Panza Monologues book?
"...and from that day on, I knew the panza was the most important part of the body, because people lived inside the panza, including me," from "Inside the Panza."

Read more about Florinda Bryant.
Her performance work is published in Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic.
Buy your copy of The Panza Monologues book.

Florinda Bryant & Virginia Grise
read at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN.