Confidence – The Real ‘C’ Word That Women Hate?

Tiff Finney

This isn’t a blog about about why you should join pole dance classes (although clearly you should). It’s an honest account of my worries, thoughts and joys in relation to women and fighting for their place.

So to those who have found their way here, you probably have an idea of who I am and what I represent! I love women with confidence, I love women that don’t have confidence that want to own some and I love women that appreciate other women. I also love men.. a lot…. but for different reasons. I would quite like to write a blog on men actually. Although that would end up just being a picture board of hotties with hearts containing “Tiff 4 Bruno Mars Forever” and “IDST” (if destroyed, still true.. obv).

I LOVE meeting women with confidence and towering self esteem. But they are often jeered for it. Luckily, when women have such robust confidence, they can’t even hear the jeers. How is that a bad thing? You know, as frank as I am trying to be throughout this blog, I am almost worried to write that I am confident incase others think “oh, how up her own arse is this girl”. Which just shows how much society dictates how wrong it is for a woman to be happy with who she is! I mean, I have flaws, loads of the buggers, but I think that everyone should be happy with who they are. Saying that you are confident out loud is akin to saying that you are a massive DICK HEAD. Like, when I say that I am ‘confident’, I have this absolute need to then say, ”but I know I’m no oil painting, I have loads of flaws” so that I am not misunderstood. Why can’t we just be confident and that be a good thing? It’s supposed to be a good thing! We all spend our lives trying to attain it but if we do finally get it into our hands then we are terribly British about it.

The pole world seems to be a different realm to the ‘normal’ world. It’s like there is some new dimension there that breaks the normal societal rules. Over the last few years I have tried to understand why. I think I have got it but its just my own conclusion. Others may disagree. So I’m going to try to explain my thoughts as best I can. Before you do, just understand that my points are generalisations and I know that there are many many exceptions to every rule:

The Normal World (please play the “Tubular Bells” whilst reading this section)-

OK, I’m just going to say it. This is a mans’ world. I mean this in a very general sense. As I said before, it has to be general for me to get this point across. As much as I try to debate with myself, I always come back to this conclusion. We have make-up, fashion, lingerie and lotions to make us beautiful in our society. For a long time I blindly believed that I just loved make up and fancy clothes. I mean, I do. I love that I don’t look like Gollum when I have slathered it all on. And I love a bright colour. But I wear make up, in reality, in order to not offend people with my natural face. We have all of this fancy packaging and new ingredients to lure us in. And it works. Everyone that has seen my make up bag is equally delighted and disturbed. But really, if there were no men (in the primeval sense) , would we really, I mean really, wax our bikini lines, spend a fortune on hair extensions, plastic surgery, fake tan, uncomfortably tight clothing and so on? Would we ‘eck as like!!! We would all be Gollum’d out of our nuts and not give a damn because society would be a very different place. There would be new ways of deciding our hierarchy.

So what has happened- Women (still generally/primevally speaking of course) are fighting for the attention of men. Society has developed new boundary breaking ways to make ourselves more physically beautiful and appealing to men. And it’s still evolving further. I really feel like this turns women against women. Everything about our lives becomes about competing against other women. Think of the Animal Kingdom. Usually the males compete for the top female in order to conceive. Competing can include straight up fighting, displays of physical dominance and downright slyness. That’s pretty much what we do! The male gets to have this world made for his purpose with us ladies fighting to grab the top dog. The lengths we will go to in order to claim our suitor is equally frightening, heart warming and comical. Pretending that we like all the things that they like such as James Bond and Grand Theft Auto. Holding in our bodily gases for approximately one year. Just ‘waking up’ looking like a pin up. I mean we have to get up at 5am to achieve this, then get back in bed next to them before they wake up. Granted, this inevitably stops in large once we have secured said male-we are human after all. Pretending that we don’t mind them not texting us for days. The guy seems to just get to be himself warts and all whilst we seem to feel that we need to have a full time job just in being appealing to them!

It feels like women are in constant competition with each other as a result. I see girls in nightclubs sneering at other girls for what they have chosen to wear in their pursuit to attain a suitable male. I reckon that this sneering is because the girl being sneered at is competition. That poor girl was just trying to be “beautiful”. Saying that, that same poor girl was probably sneering equally at someone else’s attire! Then we have women’s magazines. If you have big boobs, you are strongly advised to wear something resembling a bin bag to cover it up. If you have a nice big bum, you are strongly advised to wear something resembling a bin bag to cover it up. Said bin bags will be wonderfully marketed with embroidered patterns, endless materials and promises of success. I wonder what I would wear if society was different? I honestly have no clue.

Don’t get me wrong- it feels wonderful when I’m all preened, tanned, bodily balded and wearing a latex dress. It just feels that you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Generally speaking, men like to see the boobs, the bum, the hair, the lashes and so on as that is what they have been told is aesthetically pleasing for a long time. Women tend to see this as competition in some form. Before pole dancing, I had a period of about a year when I felt very insecure. I had put on weight, had no prospects and just felt so down. I could be heard saying “oh well that’s clearly airbrushed, she won’t look anything like that in real life”. “well ever likely she looks good with all of the people and money she has spending hours every day on her” and “I bet she won’t look like that when she wakes up”. I think most women are guilty of that at some point right? We feel like anyone attractive to males has to be brought down to our level in some way in an attempt to make them seem less attractive. During the time that I felt insecure, I almost felt like there was no point in competing. I was never going to look like these women so what was the point in trying? Thankfully, this was for a short period when I was younger.

Have a look at this link. Dustin Hoffman played a woman in his film Tootsie. He broke down crying when talking about how it made him realise how hard it is to be a woman:

Societally speaking (absolutely not my view of course), most women lose their looks at some point. They can tend to become over looked and thrown in a lost and found pile and are no longer valuable to sectors in society requiring physical beauty. Women frequently say that they feel that they are invisible. My Nan has said this for years. When they have a point to make, they can be seen as ”bitter hags” which is a quote I heard a lot during Celebrity Big Brother. Linda Nolan was treated like crap. Whenever she tried to make a point, no one would listen and instead took the side of knob head Jim Davidson. I was enraged! If a puppy-eyed and ‘beautiful’ 21 year old had made the same points as Linda, the outcome may well have been different.

So, there is light at the end of the tunnel!! I discovered this new realm with its own rules….

The Other Realm  (please now play “Sisters are doin’ it for themselves” for this section)

This whole thing seems like a contradiction. Getting self esteem and confidence from something intended for the sexual pleasures of men. Yeah, I know I know. You’re absolutely right. I am desperately searching for a conclusion that takes it away from this but I just can’t! The fact is that we do live in the society that we live in. We are embedded within it whether we like it or not. We do feel better with make up on. We do feel good if we think we have achieved being ‘sexy’ and if we are in good shape and so on. What makes this The Other Realm is that you genuinely gain this mega amount of self esteem and confidence that nothing and no one can take away from you. Instead of worrying about the looks of other women, you start to embrace and envelop them. All of them. Before Pole (I should call that BP as it is such a milestone, you know, like with BC Before Christ), I would put back breaking heels on and weather inappropriate clothing just to go to Asda. Now, I wear joggies and trainers everywhere. This is because I get my confidence from pole dancing. I know what I am capable of underneath the joggies so it’s irrelevant what I am wearing.

I have had some people that can be quite negative towards me. For example, after I uploaded an intended funny floor work video, a woman said that “props to you if that’s what you want to do but a word to the wise-it is not sexy or attractive”. I don’t have bad feelings towards her. I just thought that this was such a shame to put another woman down. It just made me want to get her into a pole class to be honest! It was not even intended as a sexy video. It just reminded me of the whole nightclub scenario I talked about before. I don’t see myself as any oil painting and it takes me hours to get ready for a night out, nay, days. But being in the pole world – in this Other Realm – you tend to all support each other. I’m beautiful/sexy/attractive in my own right. But only in the same way that every single person is. Never ever have I wanted to see bum cheeks more than I do now. The pants in my merchandise line were specifically chosen directly due to their lack of bum cheek coverage. I love the unapologetic confidence I have gained directly from slinking around a pole. I love also that other people that immerse themselves in pole get exactly the same outcome too.

Sometimes, I feel like I am “A Feminist That Has Accepted Defeat”. I just googled it and no one else has used it before. I have a quote!! But  as much as I feel like that in our society, I believe that this other realm of pole dance has its own rules, it’s own society. One where we are sexy and confident purely for our own gains. It’s a great place.

There will be a good few of these Other Realms in existence I’m sure that are defying the norm too, which is a lovely thought.

I hope you understand the thoughts I have tried to convey. Again, this is all a generalisation and there are many exceptions to my points. Im just looking from one stand point.

Thank you for humouring me and my thoughts. I’ll keep it light next time, I promise xx


  • Beverley says:

    This is beautiful. Pole has been a safe haven for me for a year now and it feels like a bubble, walking into the studio I don’t feel overweight any more, not painfully shy anymore. And reading this I’m smiling because I now realise I’m not alone in this bubble :) you are an inspiration tiff, so much love for you <3
    Also… Was it the vagina monster video?? Cos that cracked me up :p xx

  • Melanie says:

    Thank you for blogging this. Sharing on my pole studio page! :)

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