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Short Film Review: Self Worship is a Dance Portrayal of Che Che Luna’s Body Liberation
Self-Love and Resistance Through Dance Moves
By Ghia Vitale
Self Worship is a short film that features Che Che Luna, a queer, Mexican American dancer/artist who embraces body confidence and sexual freedom. In this film, they use dance to reclaim their body after experiencing sexual trauma during their childhood. It’s the ultimate testament to their personal journey towards self-love and self-empowerment.
Che Che Luna is one of the reasons why I’m thankful for the internet. This holistic sex educator and pleasure coach came to my attention when they tagged me in an Instagram story once they came out as autosexual. (If you haven’t heard already, I’m autosexual and autoromantic/sexually and romantically attracted to myself.) Since then, they’ve been blessing my Instagram feed with pole dancing, self-love, feminism, and representation for queer POC. I appreciate how they “[guide] people back home to their bodies and sexual freedom” through their work and talent. Their mission is to “help others prioritize their pleasure and unshame their sexualities.” Self Worship supports that mission perfectly.
Self Worship is raw emotion in dance form that’s directed by Asia Brown. This visual memoir tells you Che Che’s personal story through dance and choreography. (By the way, Che Che is also a choreographer.) As a dance film, it’s rich in feminist symbolism and queer liberation. They even use menstrual blood as warrior paint to celebrate the body that society has taught them to hate through marginalization. The way they move their body communicates that they truly feel at home in it. Now that’s what I call body positive!
Che Che Luna uses nudity to symbolize freedom from patriarchy and shame. Like a badass, they stick it to their oppressors by blatantly rebelling against slut-shaming while naked. I appreciate how Che Che’s sex-positive perspective shines through everything they do in this film. I also appreciate anything that frames nudity and sexuality as empowering rather than negative.
Self-love and resistance are powerful themes in Self Worship. Through dance, Che Che conveys their struggles as well as their growth. It’s a very intersectional dance film that highlights how they combine self-celebration, body literacy, and taking up space into a form of resistance. It's also dedicated to members of marginalized communities:
“Self Worship is dedicated to LGBTQIA BIPOC who have influenced and inspired me daily to decolonize my body, mind, and spirit,” said Che Che in their artist statement.
Through this film, they are trying to leverage their privilege as a white-passing, Mexican American femme to uplift marginalized people. Uplifting marginalized people is how they believe we should be moving towards justice. Che Che hopes that watching Self Worship will encourage their audience to challenge their own internalized sexism, homophobia, and whorephobia. If Che Che’s meaningful moves don’t convince you to unpack your internalized bigotry, you’ve got an even bigger problem on your hands.
Che Che also hopes that Self Worship will "become medicine for people who have experienced, or who are still experiencing, oppression and trauma within their bodies.” They also hope to promote “individual and collective healing” through their sex-positive, pleasure-focused art. As someone who’s dealt with a great deal of body shame and trauma, watching this film feels like an empowering breath of fresh air. It’s exactly the kind of medicine survivors like me are looking for, especially during a time when we’re carrying much more anxiety and fear than usual. #coronavirus
I encourage you to check out Self Worship if you’re into feminist short films that are full of sex positivity, healing, and body liberation. (Body liberation includes sexual liberation.) I also encourage you to follow Che Che Luna on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more updates. Having Che Che on your feed is the equivalent of following a burst of sunshine on social media, which is especially refreshing during tough times like these. Thanks for reading!
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