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Bonnie Bodacious

Atlanta's Own Brazen Buxom Badass

A little bit wonk and a little bit wild, Shannon has roamed many paths over her fifty years. She’s been a dancer, a survivor, an actress, a traveler, a therapist, a lawyer, a scuba diver, a photographer, a lover of clothing-optional resorts, and the badass burlesque performer Bonnie Bodacious. She was emboldened to say yes to her heart after her mother was diagnosed with early-onset dementia, highlighting the risk in Shannon’s own genetic makeup. Confronted with the reality that life could be shorter than she thought, Shannon stopped living reactively and started saying yes to one adventure after another. From carrying the weight of self-loathing in her twenties to living out loud naked (or nearly naked) without apology in middle age, Shannon now embraces unabashed self-love and celebration. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and dogs.

It was in the mirrors of the burlesque school, in the camaraderie of troupe life, in the forge of the roar of an appreciative audience, and in the silence of an audience enthralled, that I fell in love with my body and myself. - Bonnie bodacious

Since sharing the title of my book, many have asked me what the heck I mean by "an Ecdysiast's Journey" in the subtitle.


Ecdysis is the process by which some members of the animal and insect kingdom shed their skin or molt their exoskeleton in order to grow and become stronger. In the early 20th century the term "ecdysiast" began to be used to describe strip tease artists, it was a  humorous and academic sounding term to describe what many considered low brow entertainment. 

I just LOVE the word ecdysiast and was delighted to discover its roots in zoology. I have done an act with rainbow colored butterfly Isis wings for a few years now, often at benefit shows raising money for transgender friends and fellow performers to undergo transition. I also love to carry the wings with me when I travel so that I can simply enjoy them in beautiful settings whenever possible.


The journey to becoming Bonnie was a whole body and soul transformation, which also involved stripping layers off of myself, both inner and outer. It involved struggle, sometimes pain, but also so much joy as I've felt my wings unfurl and my heart take flight.

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