Irene McCalphin is a Bay Area writer, performance artist and eater of food in public. She blends modern movement and words with neoburlesque to create socially conscious art pieces that add voice to marginalized communities and celebrates the human body. Irene has danced on stages throughout the country with the award winning and internationally traveled troupe Rubenesque Burlesque as Magnoliah Black from 2009 to 2015.
As a solo performer her work (often preformed on mainstream stages) continues to reflect body positivity, visibility and self possession beyond the static sizest and often racist Eurocentric beauty myth. Irene was celebrity model for the first annual Queer Fashion Week in 2015, Curvy Girl Lingerie and has been photoed for Curve magazine in Bertha Pearl’s Size Queen Fashions.
A published author and poet Irene draws attention to the ever evolving intersections of fat, feminism, kink, spirituality and human sexuality. As proud member of Santa Clara County Leather Association since 2013, Associate Producer of Red Hots Burlesque the country’s longest running queer burlesque & cabaret show, contributing co-founder & editor of asovereignembodiment.com and Certified Massage Therapist she accesses several diverse communities with the intent to facilitate radical acceptance and inclusion.
She has facilited and spoken at events such as NOLOSE, Fat Activist Conference: Tools for the Revolution and Fatty Affair. She has spoken at several unversities including Berkley and San Jose State regarding intersecitonlity, fat, feminism and health. As a producer and presenter she consciously centers marginalized groups for spotlight appearances at events such as BayCon, Folsom Fringe and Hubba Hubba Review.
Irene’s most recent published work can be found in “The Politics of Size” co-authored with Juana Tango and edited by Ragen Chastian and her journey documented in interviews in Nia King’s “Queer and Trans Artist of Color”.
Connect to her on social media via facebook, twitter and instagram or follow her at her sorely mismanaged blog misadventuresofanungratefulfatbitch.com. You can also catch her as a feature in the film Fattitude being released in 2016.