Interview With PD Filthy Friday Founder Beanie The Jet

You’ve probably wondered what’s up with pole dancers posting raunchy videos with the hashtag #pdfilthyfriday on Instagram. Wonder no more: today PD Filthy Friday’s founder tells all about the hashtag, her plans for the future, about how pole saved her mental health, about being a plus size queen and instructor… and why #notastripper is a bullshit hashtag. So give it up for the queen herself, the Mother of the Haus of Filth, the one and only Beanie The Jet. I am so proud to have met this woman and to call her my friend, and I hope some of her spark will rub off on you, because just hearing her voice messages in her cute Manchester accent gives me life (and she happens to have a great butt). There she is.

What brought you to create Filthy Friday?

Filthy Friday comes from a real personal place, it’s quite magical how it all began. To begin with Filthy Friday was a simple tag I’d use on Instagram to accompany my pretty ‘raunchy’ videos. Looking back now they actually weren’t as full on as I am now, which is always a good thing.

I’d been poling for a little over a year. After a long battle with depression I felt as though I was ready to take it to the next level. I had my pole fundamentals locked down, I was feeling good but still not quite confident enough to post myself dancing the style of movement I know and love today. The main reason being, I was anxious and unsure of how people would respond to me, not just on the internet but in real life too. I mean, as sexy as I was feeling, I knew I didn’t look like the type of woman who people are so used to seeing dance the way I was.

Despite losing a whole bunch of weight, I was still overweight, and I wore a wig after suffering from hair-loss due to a medical condition. Was the internet really ready for someone who looked like me? I wasn’t sure, but I knew I had to at least try, I’d come so far in my pole journey as a beginner and I for sure wanted to turn the heat up a notch.

That’s when I began to use the tag #filthyfriday, I began to post videos of myself dancing the way I wanted, wearing what the hell I felt like wearing. Again, looking back I definitely wear way less now!

The Filthy Friday tag was a way of saying, HERE I AM! In all my curviness, draped in luxurious chocolate skin living my best life. You could say the tag was something I could hide behind, it gave me confidence and it allowed me to be ME, it was my comforter, my safety net.

How Did Filthy Friday Take Off?

Over time the pole community came through and dancers began using the tag with me, EVERY Friday. I’d scroll through and see dancers from all walks of life, all backgrounds!

I mean we were all so physically different, we were literally worlds apart and yet we were connected by our love for pole and all things Filthy. As the time went on I thought it would be a good idea to set up a separate account on Instagram, this way I could repost videos of all the babes dancing to inspire others to get involved. My goal was and is to inspire others to take the leap: I wanted people to see that you don’t have to look a certain way to be considered sexy. Sexy is a whole mood, it’s a feeling.

After a while, I decided that it would be a good idea to organise a showcase. I wanted to somehow bring us all together and give dancers the opportunity to really showcase themselves in a safe and supportive space, with zero pressure to be the best by anybody else’s standards but their own. I really wanted dancers to feel supported and I knew it would be a great way to add more of a social element to the movement away from Instagram.

What’s your favourite thing about Filthy Friday?

My favourite thing about Filthy Friday is seeing people not give a f**k, I love seeing people living good, enjoying life and Filthy Friday is great for that, whether it’s on Instagram or at a showcase. I love that it’s a platform for showing love and support in what some consider to be a taboo industry.

It’s a part of me and represents who I am as a person, supportive, friendly, encouraging. I believe that everyone should get the opportunity to feel like a superstar-sex panther if they want to! Filthy Friday is open to everyone regardless of ability, gender, sexuality, body type, all the things society has led us to believe aren’t ‘normal’. I love that we’re all a bunch of sexy weirdos, looking to get our freak on. There’s no pressure to win anything, performers know they can come along and do what the hell they want and we will love it, we’re here for it.

How long has Filthy Friday been going on and where do you want to take it next?

Our Filthy Friday Instagram has been going for over 3 years now and our showcases began in 2017. I want to continue to build this platform in a way that stays true to what I’d originally set out to do, and that’s to showcase more gorgeous dancers, promote instructors, dance studios and pole-related, independent businesses.

I’ll be organising pole jams, weekenders, workshops and more showcases. I’m currently working on organising pop-up showcases, they’ll be a lot smaller than our two main showcases but will essentially give more people who want to dance or spectate the opportunity to do, also giving people the chance to train with instructors that aren’t local to them.

I am working on our website which we definitely need! Some days we are over-run with messages, so the idea is to streamline the information gathering process. That way people don’t have to wait for me to respond personally.

Filthy Friday is growing, and people have tonnes of questions. I sometimes struggle to reply within a decent amount of time so I’m working on ways for people to get the answers they need quickly. This doesn’t mean I won’t be responding at all: interacting with people as you know is my favourite thing to do, especially because not every message is directly linked with FF events. People reach out about personal issues so I really don’t want to lose the human compassion. Those conversations are my favourite.

Our website will be up and running soon and I’ve already started on our YouTube channel. Again, I want to create a place outside of Instagram that gives viewers more of an idea about Filthy Friday. It’ll be a place people can watch performances from our shows and get a general idea of the vibe of the night. The channel will also feature interviews, lives, pole-related product reviews, tips and advice, everything everyone wants to know about us. We also have a private Facebook group, again a place away from Instagram where we can just shoot the breeze, share pics/vids and get to know one another.

Who Were Your Role Models Growing Up?

I have close relationship with my Mum and Nan, they’re my best friends and we have an unbreakable bond. I’ve always been a real bubbly, outspoken character and I’ve been supported entirely throughout my life regardless of paths chosen.

I guess that’s what has made me resilient, hardworking and never shy. My Mum says I’ve been the life and soul of the party since she can remember, which speaks for a lot today. My Mum and Nan are Queens, they love hard, again that’s definitely a characteristic I’ve picked up from the two of them, I’ve been surrounded by love my whole life.

Growing up I was surrounded by my Mum’s fabulous friends, all of them so different – therefore I’m a lover of people and this is why nothing is taboo to me, I’m open to everything and everyone. Seeing how my Mum interacted and loved her friends was beautiful, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to be like her and create a little hub where everyone is welcome.

Loving is all I know. My Mum calls me her ‘Little Hippy’, a title I’m proud to have earned. It’s like being Knighted by the Queen – in my eyes I HAVE been knighted by a Queen. I’ve always been a supporter of women. My Mum (as you can see, I’m my Mum’s biggest fan) is a survivor of domestic abuse, yet she somehow managed to keep me so protected and soooo happy. This is something I will carry with me my whole life and the reason I am so proud of what Filthy Friday is becoming.

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the messages I receive are from women reaching out, women looking for help. After knowing what my Mum went through I could never see someone hurting and not at least try to help. Oh god, she’s taught me so much. I’ve been raised to be fearless, strong and I’ve been taught to love myself.

Who were you before Filthy Friday?

I’ve always been a sextress! That will never change. I do suffer from low-mood/depression and anxiety. My first bout of depression came with Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), oh wow. It was such a hard time for me, it was upsetting to not be able to look in the mirror anymore, I’d fallen so hard out of love with myself.

There were suicide attempts and self-harm was a normal part of my day, I felt worthless. I didn’t ever think something like this would happen to someone like me and I guess by ignorance alone I thought depression belonged to people who had some huge trauma in their life. I know now that this isn’t true. Depression doesn’t care who you are, how loved you are, how rich you are, how poor you are and it holds no prisoners. I’d truly lost my sparkle.

I haven’t been raised to quit, I was still in there somewhere and the small part me that wanted to survive was screaming at me to do something about it. This is what led me to pole, I found peace in sensual/erotic movement. With each session I could feel myself ‘feeling myself’. I’ve said it in every interview, Sensual Movement saved me. I still suffer with bouts of depression, but over time I’ve taught myself to handle it and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without pole.

I feel like you’re one of the most positive voices in the pole community. What do you think polers need to work on in terms of issues the community faces?

For a damn start people need to stop using the tag #notastripper and studio owners need to stop trying so hard to dissociate from the origin of pole dance. This alienates people, it’s not empowering, and in some way, it’s teaching women to be ashamed of their sexuality and divine femininity. It’s appropriation of the sex workers hustle and these stripper haters are doing our community a massive disservice given the fact that pole started with strippers. If they don’t want to be associated with strippers/sex workers then do something else, pole isn’t for them.

At the minute this is the only issue. In previous interviews I’ve mentioned the lack of opportunities in Europe for dancers of colour. I can’t lie, over the past few months I’ve seen this change for the better. It’s still not equal and we can always do more, but for now studios and events are becoming more diverse and inclusive which is a sign things are heading in the right direction.

Do you have any advice for plus girls who want to pole?

First of all, DON’T YOU DARE QUIT! As a plus dancer moves may be a little trickier to master than they are for our slender sisters but stick with it. Impatience is not your friend, and it won’t do you any favours.

Strength is built over time, not in one day after a 60-minute session. It took me around a good month or so to be able to hold myself up long enough to complete a beginner spin without dying. I’ve seen so many of my plus babes say they’re fed up because they aren’t getting anything, and then I’ll message them to find out they’re only on their second session. So in 120 minutes, you expect to be poppin and droppin’ like a King of Diamonds pro stripper?

I’m impatient by nature, I’m a Scorpio, I’m the kind of gal who wants everything yesterday but pole will forever have my patience because the payoff is amazing and the struggles are so worth it, when in two months’ time when you’re poppin’ and droppin’ like a King of Diamonds pro stripper.

Always ask questions! No student should be scared to ask their teacher anything! Always, always ask questions. Ask if there’s an alternative move to can try or any conditioning that help to transition into the moves a little easier. I always found a way to train outside of class, off the pole. I started jogging with my husband to improve my cardio, I’d legwave to death to strengthen my core, I’d plank and press up in my living room. There’s so much to be done outside of classes that’ll help make things a little less trying once you get back to class.

Stay inspired! I spent a lot of time looking up other plus dancers, back then I only had YouTube as a resource and even then there weren’t many plus polers around, but the ones I did find helped me to figure out which moves worked better for someone with my body type. This also helped me to find my own style, which in turn made pole even more enjoyable than it already was.

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I haven't posted in a little while, it actually feels like forever! I'm sure it's only been a week 😂 Life got a lil stressy, as it does but I've taken my head for a wobble and I'm feeling miles less drained than I had been feeling. It's still there but it's manageable 🙏🏾 I'm just so happy to be back to my boujee-ass-hoey self 😂 This pic is a from yesterdays training sesh, totally inspired by @migos (I'm obsessed with them)! One thing I love about pole is how it allows us to be who we want! I love dressing up and playing around like a kid. Acting like I'm on MTV's 'making the video' CARDI BEANS! 😂😂 Hope you gorgeous babes are having a good week so far, all my love ✖✖✖😈 #filthyfriday #pdfilthyfriday #poledancer #plussizepoledancer #effyourbeautystandards #plussizepoledancer #poledancenation #poledancersofig #selflovejourney #blackgirlspole #melaninpoppin #pdfilthyfriday #pdfilthyfridaycrew #pleasers #pdfilthyflow #beaniethejet #curvygirlspole #poletraining #gffdamiandancestudio #blackpanther #blacklingerie #pluslingerie #thighboots #allblackeverything #boujee #blackgirlspole

A post shared by Beanie The Jet 🚀👽 (@beanie_the_jet) on

There’s no point in dwelling over things when there’s a million moves to try which over time will be added to your pole dance repertoire. I’ve tried most things, which is why my dance style sometimes is a mish-mash of all the exotics, but it works for me.

One of the main things to remember is to never compare yourself to anyone, I’ve been there and it’s self-destructive. We are all made up so differently that what works for someone else may not work for you. It’s important to recognise yourself for who you are and what YOU CAN DO. I train with Little Dee sometimes and even now as an instructor I find myself wishing I could move like her, but I’ll never compare. Our bodies are polar-opposite, she’s trained her own style, her own way and the same for me.

Instead of comparing I’ll ask her a million questions on how to execute one of her moves and we’ll work together to get it. Sometimes I change things up slightly, because again our bodies are so different that what looks amazing Dee might not look so hot on me. So be like Dora and EXPLORE – your movement, you’ll be so impressed with what you come up with. Compare yourself to yourself a month ago and track your progress!

Do you have any tips for plus polers who want to become pole instructors?

I call myself a plus instructor because that’s what I am, but I personally made the choice not to make my classes exclusive to plus babes. It’s something I’d be happy to do and I’m so open to it but in my opinion over in the UK it doesn’t seem to work the way it does in America. I think it’s important to know your end goal: mine was to give ALL bodies confidence.

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HOEGLOW FLOORFLOW ✨💸💁🏻‍♀️💁🏼‍♀️💁🏽‍♀️💁🏾‍♀️💁🏿‍♀️✨💸 Arghhhh … I loved teaching this workshop on Sunday, the girls slaaaaaaaayed! Not gonna lie, I LOVED all the booties in my face! Literal heaven and the best #galentinesday ever! Lap/strip workshops are quite intimate, extremely liberating and they’re the best way to fall in love with yourself over and over again. When will the world see that sex workers have opened up a whole universe of sexy-goodness for us to explore? I can’t say it enough, WITHOUT STRIPPERS THERE WOULD BE NO POLE ❌Leave our clubs alone! Leave our girls alone! 😤🤬 I’ll be running this workshop again in a few weeks, mostly because the vibe in the room is pretty addictive and I want to be surrounded by bad-assery all day, everyday. And partly because I like to get naked with other women 😈 If you’d like to book me at your studio, you can send me a message and hopefully we’ll get the chance to be nakey together 💕🌎🌙 Have a blessed Tuesday loves 💕 #pdfloorwork #feelyoself #effyourbeautystandards #beaniethejet #pdfilthyfriday #filthyfriday #knickertricks #pdfloorflow #floorwork #stripperstyle #pdstrip #sexyatanysize #selfconfidence #sexercise #galentines #therealpolefitness #floorwork #twerk #manchesterpoledance #girlpower #supergirls

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As a plus woman, I’m aware of the issues plus polers face when it comes down to nailing moves and I completely cater to those needs, however it also translates well when teaching non plus polers which is why my classes are open to and work for all body types. Still I’ll ask my students questions, How does that feel? Are you happy with how that looks? Do you have any questions?

I do this because I need to learn too. As I mentioned I cater to all bodies, so I need to make sure all bodies are comfortable with what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. If my students aren’t happy then neither am I. I’ve created a group on Facebook for my students which allows us to discuss class plans and any questions they may not have asked during class. There, they know they can reach out and ask whenever they like.

It’s important to never make anyone feel alienated, don’t hone in on the big girl in front of everyone because she’s struggling, be tactful. Keep your class busy while you take time out to help. There’s so much more I can add to this question, I’m so passionate about what I do and how I do it!

Find Beanie on Instagram here and PD Filthy Friday here and on Facebook – keep an eye out for showcases, they are LIT! And read my thoughts on my first PD Filthy Friday showcase here.

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