This past Wednesday evening, I fulfilled what felt like the most Brandeisian of Brandeis rites of passage: Liquid Latex. This year’s show was titled “Legally Latex” to represent that it was the 18th and now “legal” Annual Liquid Latex show. The event was hosted by the Liquid Latex club and organized by club president Rebecca Kahn ’19. 

For anyone who has no idea what Liquid Latex entails, the premise might initially seem strange. The show was first put on in 2000 by students Alaric Toy ’00 and Sharon Gobuty ’00, and consists of multiple grouped acts in which students participate in movement-based performances wearing only thongs and latex paint. Since its inception, Liquid Latex has been a campus hit and an annual event attended by many. 

However, there is so much more to Liquid Latex than just that. This show is such an empowering and enjoyable way for students to learn to feel comfortable and love their bodies. After all, performers are dancing practically naked across the Levin Ballroom stage in front of over 300 people. Even watching the performers, I felt a surge of happiness, confidence and solidarity with all of these students who were unafraid to reveal themselves in what some may deem a very vulnerable way: nude. 

While strutting across a stage without clothes on in front of your classmates might initially sound like a bad dream, the students seemed to be having the times of their lives — and, consequently, so did I. All of the performers were smiling and sporting original poses. In short, it looked like a lot of fun. Each act had a specific theme brought to fruition by designers, choreographers and, of course, models. Most of the performances this year were dance-based; however, they were less about strict choreography and more about modeling and moving bodies to fun music. 

The acts seemed like combinations of dance routines and fashion shows. The art itself, painted onto the performer’s bodies by other students, was quite intricate and very beautiful. 

The geometric patterns in the first performance — “Not Sorry,” designed by Eliana Cohen ’21 —were stunning and almost abstract with many splashes of bright colors all over the models.

My favorite designs were from “Animal Queendom.” In this routine, models were painted in animal patterns designed by Olivia Joy ’18. The intricate detailing of the zebra painting looked especially precise and chic and was one of my favorites. 

In the acts “Damsels in Undress,” “Song of Ice and Fire,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Spongebob NoPants” and “Iconic Women,” the models were painted to resemble specific characters. In “Damsels in Undress,” models represented Disney princesses, and in “Iconic Women,” many models were painted as iconic pop stars of color such as Beyonce and Rihanna. Some of the routines followed specific narratives. “Guardians of the Galaxy,” choreographed by Haley Director ’20, seemed like a reenactment of the film, albeit one in which Rick and Morty temporarily join the Marvel universe. However, “Dreaming Love,” choreographed by Devora Krischer ’21, was an original story about heroes, princesses and storybook worlds. In each of the routines, every model would rotate and take turns having their own spotlight by walking down the “runway” and posing at the end, greeted by boisterous cheering and support from the audience.

Legally Latex was a great way to promote body positivity. The show was unapologetic yet fun and lighthearted. All of the models performed so enthusiastically making it very enjoyable to watch. The amount of support from the audience as well was great to see on campus. Expect to see me in attendance at Liquid Latex’s show next year; I am very excited for what is to come!

—Editor’s Note:  Justice editor Lizzie Grossman ’18 and Justice writer Anna Stern’18 performed in Liquid Latex.