Arts & Entertainment

Four-Day Body Positivity Festival, Big Thick Energy, Returning To Darlinghurst Theatre

Following a sold-out inaugural festival last year, Darlinghurst Theatre Company is teaming up with Mardi Gras to present its four-day body positivity festival, Big Thick Energy, from March 3-6.

Promising that this year’s festival will be “bigger and juicier than ever”, Demon Derriere has teamed up with some of Sydney’s most voluptuous and wildest performers to deliver a program that expresses self-love, liberation and (as she puts it) “bad-ass energy.

This year’s performers include The Bodzilla, Seann Miley Moore, Radha, Space Horse, Nati Daddy/PapiChulo, Hip Hop Hoe, and Carla from Bankstown. The latter of whom made headlines around the country this week after she came out against Instagram for taking down a photo of her, in which she emulated a nude viral photo posted by American singer Lizzo to celebrate body positivity.

The removal of the photo by the social media platform has resulted in a public outcry that echoes many of Demon Derriere’s own concerns about the treatment of misrepresented bodies in society.

“Growing up in Australia I experienced loads of racism and discrimination and at a young age I assimilated to feel safe,” Demon Derriere said. “On top of that, I grew up always being told or overhearing doctors say I was fat, obese, unhealthy and overweight.”

“In my professional life I was turned down for roles or by casting agents because they already had ‘one brownor voluptuous’ girl on the books. I forever felt this feeling of being underrepresented – a minority and an ‘other’ – and I continually saw producers not make enough of an effort to create inclusive and accessible events. It’s time to change that up!”

Following the success of last year’s festival it was an easy decision for Artistic Director Amylia Harris to bring Big Thick Energy back to the Darlinghurst Theatre.

“The response last year was incredible,” Amylia Harris said. “The energy in the space was so vibrant and welcoming, we simply had to bring it back for 2022!”

Despite last year’s success, Demon Derriere has often been questioned about the need for another festival. “Coming along to ONE event about body positivity isn’t going to change society’s beauty and health perceptions,” she says. “It must be an ongoing conversation to reprogram society’s ways of thinking. The aim is to create a strong community of all bodies and identities in a judgment-free zone. There is such a strong body movement happening right now and we need to continue raising awareness, eliminating negative language and abolishing fatphobia, discrimination and exclusivity.”

Mar 3-6. Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst. Tickets & Info: www.darlinghursttheatre.com

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