As a brand that celebrates body positivity we are routinely blessed with personal stories people share with us. Often, these stories are personal journeys and they fuel our passion for what we do. I often delight in sharing these stories with our friends and fans but also with my daughters as positive examples of strength, power, perseverance and ultimately of celebration. This story could not be a finer example of just that.
During the heat and the hustle of pride celebrations I was speaking with a beautiful young woman, Murphy Attwood, who, in her quest to find the perfect pair of pasties, shared a picture of her grandmother with me. She was proud, and rightfully so, to share the stunning imagery. A beautiful exotic dancer named 'Star' I could not help but take a moment to silently thank her for trailblazing at a time it must have been so difficult to do so.
A few days after Pride, Murphy reached out to me and shared these incredible pictures of Star. She also included a link to the journal of the Archives of Canadian Women's Studies that published her story 'Morning Star'. The journey of learning more about 'Star' unveiled an endless amount of respect for this massively talented and multifaceted woman.
Ellenore "Star" Attwood was a dancer, an author and an actress. She was also an advisor on the Board of Directors for the Iroquoian Institute, "Onkwehonwe neha." which worked to preserve the Iroquoian languages, culture and traditions which as she said "are our heritage and must be kept".
The story she wrote and was published in the Archives 'Morning Star' is a story about a Mohawk girl during the 17th century and her struggles before and after becoming a woman.
Please read the full story here: https://cws.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/cws/article/view/11207
I remain indebted to Murphy for sharing her story and allowing me to share it here to shine a light on a star already so bright. Stories keep our traditions alive and they also set aflame a new generation of trailblazers.
I could not think of a better way to end then to share the dedication of 'Morning Star. These words from Ellenore will remain deep within me:
"This is dedicated to our grandmothers who kept the the fire burning through a long time of darkness. Our grandmothers who passed on our teachings. They shared their life experiences so we would be permitted to grow and become the best human beings we could be.
The fire is the spark, the impetus needed to create life. It is often seen as symbolic of the values and beliefs central to our society. We see the fire in all aspects of our life. Yet there was a time when the women who went before us were encouraged to leave our ways on the path and learn new ways."
Andrea Galley is a global entrepreneur, speaker, storyteller and passionate community activist. She is the founder & SHE-E-O of Appeeling – a body celebration brand selling fun and flirty pasties that are perfect for every body. See more at www.beappeeling.com