Monday, March 5th, 2018 in Women living with HIV
— Madam Storm (@MistressBKnight) March 4, 2018
“I AM HERE!” with this simple and powerful affirmation Madam Storm started our final dress rehearsal in preparation of our International Women’s Day event: ‘The Catwalk of Power Resistance and Hope’ on 7th March.
Madam Storm is an experienced performer, coach and international dominatrix, who has as a mission in life to work with women so that they can unlock their power. We reached out for her support as we were getting closer to the date of our event. The Catwalk of Power is the first time that a collective of women with HIV from Positively UK Women’s Room support group has done something so incredibly public.
On the 7th of March we will be performing a fashion show with a message, to remind the world that HIV affects women in the UK, and that in spite of great hardship, poverty, and intimate partner violence, we experience, women with HIV are beautiful, powerful and agents of change in the response to HIV and we are fierce warriors in combatting stigma.
We invited Madam Storm to our group because most of us have never walked on a catwalk or performed in public and we were obviously very nervous and really needed to super boost our confidence.
Madam Storm worked her magic, starting by making us create simple and empowering affirmations, such as: “I am beautiful” “I am cool” “I am unique” “I am free”. At the beginning of the workshop most of us were walking looking at our feet, seriously intimidated and scared. By the end we were walking tall, swaying our hips, stopping with a hand on our waist and a cheeky smile!
I didn’t know I could learn so much about Power and overcoming Fear just by taking a few steps in a room.
I have been working in support groups for almost 20 years, and have run innumerable sessions on self-confidence and self-esteem, and I had never seen such a palpable change in such a short time, just by saying with our whole being, with our bodies and souls “I am here. We are here.”
Today as I look at the feedback forms from yesterday I can see that all the women in the room, who spanned from women in their 20’s to women in their 70’s, shared my feelings:
“It was engaging, dynamic, and I learnt that I am beautiful, free and confident!”
“I will use the skills learnt here in the workplace, at home, in social gathering and church!”
The Catwalk of Power has been lead, organised and produced by women with HIV with support and solidarity from a group of activists and artists from Act Up Women