Thursday, April 14, 2011

Danah Gutierrez - Blogger, Dancer, Superwoman

Meeting new friends in pole class is one bonus of my bi to tri-weekly routine of travelling to Ortigas for a fun session to stay fit. Aside from my instructors who patiently teach and spot us to perfection, we got our own classmates who are inspirations on their own.

Danah is a girl who’s beautiful, fabulous, confident, and strong inside and out who loves and accepts her plus-size body. I met Danah during my early days in pole class. I was going incognito with my identity as a duck trying to climb one level until Myla introduced me as their makeup artist. Then Danah noticed me. Apparently, she knows my blog too! After chatting, I discovered that Danah’s also kikay sharing her love for makeup and clothes. In class, she comes in her trademark fuchsia lipstick and well-defined eyebrows with big and welcoming smile to brighten our day.

A fun thing I learned about her after adding her in Facebook was that she’s also a blogger. She shares a blog with her twin sister Stacy about fashion and beauty for the plus-sized girl. The mention of “beauty and fashion for the plus-size girl” lit my face up. I’ve always admired plus-sized women who know how to work it and no longer hide from baggy tents of fabric or live in the bubble that fat is ugly. One of my favorite articles was when she posted an OOTD which shows that plus-sized girls could toss the frumpy swimwear in the next beach trip and wear that two-piece swimsuit. In her pictures, she showed pictures of herself wearing a two-piece swimsuit that flatters her in every way and she wore it with confidence that rivaled any skinny cookie-cutter runway supermodel.

Twin sisters Stacy (left) and Danah(right) of Plump

In their blog, twin sisters Danah and Stacy Gutierrez both have healthy and positive views in accepting their curves and how they view life through rose-colored glasses. They show that full-figured girls have the right to be as sexy and confident as skinny girls do. They style and put together clothes really well, highlighting their assets and have the confidence to empower any girl of any size to just be fierce. Their healthy outlook in life has got a lot of people noticing. Looks like the girls got the right people noticing since they’re also brand ambassadors of the famous clothing brand, Forever 21, another feather in their caps. Way to go, girls!

Danah like me loves pole dancing and we both go through withdrawals whenever we miss a session. You could read about her experience in pole class here. She also relates to us that she used to be scared of lifting her feet off the ground during strengthening exercises. But with practice, she got really strong even doing a good full chair spin (a spin I’m still having difficulty with) and a perfect back leg hook. Danah was game enough to show us a few tricks too, with her favorite pole Rogue.

Check out Danah's perfect Dreamgirl:

Smiling amidst pain during the thigh hold.

She gamely answered also a few questions for me to share with you guys, a little Q&A included in our chika breaks.

How long have you been blogging and how did you start?

I've been blogging with my twin sister for almost 2 years now (nov 09). We started with personal posts, hoping we inspire others through our personal experienes, then later on progressed to societal topics and features we felt our readers would like.

Normally, plus-sized girls get picked on during their early years. How did you deal with this growing up?

It was difficult for me, I even got the harsh criticisms from my family, which hurt me a lot. I used to hate my body and torture it with crash diets. Good thing God saved me and really showed me my value and worth (apprently, I'm worth dying for!). He assured me that He is the perfect Creator who never makes mistakes, that everything He does is beautiful. From then on, my journey towards body-acceptance began.

Now you’re a student, budding pole dancer, and a now Forever 21 Brand ambassador. How does it feel representing a very popular brand?

It feels amazing, still unbelievable sometimes. It's such an honor to be working with very talented and artistic people in the fashion industry. I'm just so grateful to God for this opportunity. I remember praying so hard for it! Hehe :)

Stacy and Danah with fellow Forever 21 ambassadors during the launch at SM Makati.

You’re very graceful in your dance moves. Did you have any dance background?

Why thank you! :) yes, I did ballet when I was around 5. Then later on explored other genres like jazz and hip hop.

Why pole dance among the other forms of dance?

Because pole dancing is so empowering! You can do it alone and you really feel stronger (emotionally and physically) every time. I love how it makes you feel so sexy and confident. I also like fluid movements that's why I was more drawn to this type of dance.

What are your favorite spins and tricks in pole dance ? What tricks would you like to learn in the future?

I love doing the fireman cross ankle and the thigh hold!!! :) Oh man, I would like to do the gemini and all the other "professional (borderline contortionist)" tricks. Hehe

Give some encouragement to the girls out there who want to do pole dancing but are scared or shy to try because they think they’re too fat or they don’t have the dancer’s skill.

I'd say let go of your inhibitions and just do it. Do it and don’t be afraid! I personally think it's best if you're willing to embrace your body as you go along with it, not with the pressure to lose weight (as I say all the time, crave fitness, not thinness). Enjoy your body! Have fun with it. There's no such thing as TOO FAT to try pole dancing. It never discriminates. If you let what other people might think of you get in the way of your desires, you'll always be the loser. As with dancing, it's something that can always be learned, so don't worry much about it.

You recently had a boudoir shoot. Tell us about it and how did you feel after?
Well I saw my friend post photos of her boudior shoot. She was so stunning!!! I was intrigued, so I looked them up, The Boudoir Dolls, and I found out that they're a group of 3 women photoraphers who do shoots for women empowerment (besides their bridal shoots). I loved their advocacy, so I emailed them right away. Thank God they answered immediately and we set a date for our own shoot! It was such a great experience. I wanna talk about it some more but I'll need to stop and leave room for our blog feature about them!

Any memorable fan mails from fans?

Oh my! We've received quite a lot now. But one was when this girl (who is now a dear friend) emailed us, telling us how she back-read our posts for 3 hours and cried her eyes out. She then said that finally, she can let her body be what it is and start loving it (no more crash diets). She told us her life has changed since then. It's amazing. It's really more than we imagined... to change someone's life? That's just beyond us.

Suppose you woke up and found out you were suddenly skinny. What would you do?

OMG!!! I would freak out! Seriously. I've been plump and happy for quite some time now so I guess I would be super shocked. My first instinct is to eat (as if I'll regain the weight I lost in a day, hehe), but then as I foresee it, I'd have to accept my body at the end of the day, no matter what my size or shape is. :)

That’s Danah to all of us, the beautiful big girl with a big personality and a big heart.

Photo-op with Danah after pole class. Both our tops are from Forever 21. Horray!

You could find out more about Danah and her twin sister Stacy through their blog:

(Danah's non-pole photos taken from her Facebook page. )


Myla said...

Super like!!!! It's such an honor to have you guys as students. You make me proud talaga (sniff sniff) Love you!!!

Bambi said...

Thank you so much Myla! Huugs!