There is truth to the idea that belly dancing is a natural pair for "curvy" women, but this is curvy in men's idea of curvy, not feminist curvy. The traditional .70 waist to hips ratio or hourglass look suits belly dancing well. When a women has hips, a waist and breasts, the movements, shakes and jiggles of belly dancing can be awesome to watch and yes, sexually enticing. The breasts are optional in belly dancing due to focus being on the waist and hips. Most, if not all, heterosexual men could envision a fantasy of a Mediterranean looking woman performing such a dance only for them. It is part of why the dance lasted through the ages. Men are drawn to the curves and markers of fertility on women. Belly dancing costumes stress those curves with skirts that cling to the hips and tops that are usually decorated with jewels or pearls. Stomachs are bare to allow for the undulating waist movements that are involved in "belly" dancing. It is a showcase for the female form.
It is now an empowering hobby for 21st century white women. The recent pictures I have seen of belly dancing studios or classes are full of white women. Even wikipedia's page has such a photo in the contemporary section of the article. It hits all of their buttons White women love education (smart signal), learning about different cultures (outgroup acceptance signal) and showing off their bodies (vanity). The problem with 21st century America is that many of these Western belly dancers do not have hot bodies. They then throw out the statement that belly dancing is designed for curvy women. Like it is better to have some meat on the dancer's bones. That is true, as belly dancing by a stick figure would probably look odd, but belly dancing was not intended to be performed by tubbies. It's a showcase for women who embody that fertile look, not a "sowcase" for fatties. You are delusional if you think this is authentic. This is a trendy dabbling by comfortable middle and upper-middle class women who want to show off. If it is a narcissistic play for validation and a self esteem boost, just stare in the mirror for twenty minutes with a roaring applause soundtrack and affirmations from random voices. Spare us the burden. Enough is enough, knock it off, no one cares.
For photographic evidence, let us compare belly dancing through the decades.
|1896: Little Egypt - Slender|
|Today: "Prenatal Belly Dancing"|
|Today: It takes GUTS to belly dance|
There are some gorgeous women who belly dance today as any Google Image search can find them. Some are true dancers and artists. The vast majority of women rocking the belly dancing classes for their "2 Minute Multicultural Sampling" are not gorgeous. Enjoy the decline.