March 25, 2012

Let's have a talk : body. image. health.

 what do you see? and what is really there? and is there the one and only answer?

Today is supposed to be a day devoted to a dancer feature, but I think there is something more important to be addressed first.

Let's do some serious talking here. Have you seen Single Dad Laughing yet? If you haven't ,  in one of his top 10 posts , he talks about women and their hatred toward themselves. His reasoning is that it is brought by men. Well, maybe.

Or, maybe , not.

In my many years of professional dancing, I have seen, heard and experienced negative view on a body image first hand. I never, EVER seen my body as a beautiful one , and have hard times sometimes accepting it as a truth from my now husband ( although I hear it every day + more) . One of my best friends from school dancing days - gorgeous Tiffany ( Dancing Branflakes) devoted whole series to healthy body image.  She too, like many of us, struggled with it.

Ladies. Now that I am somewhat grown up , I think it's crazy.

It's crazy that we are so affected by the illusion of perfection and that , really, does not exist? The all mighty "supposed to" seems to just rule the universe, does is not? Here are a few examples.

I'll do the ballet world first, because this is where mine root out from. Can I just tell you, how MANY thousands of times I've heard, while pregnant, "well, you are SUPPOSED to be so skinny, because you are a ballet dancer. It's natural".  Sure, it is, when your morning sickness is so severe ALL. NINE. MONTHS , you have the hardest time keeping WATER in. But all and everyone see it as , somehow , a good thing , the "supposed to ".  Yet, only about 50 years ago , not that far , really, ballerinas were of the size that would NOT even qualify for modern skinny. Let me emphasize that again : MODERN. Many may say that it's natural progress - but progress to WHERE?

Anna Pavlova in per prime dancing days. THE ballerina. 

This is the part that I have very hard time understanding. Just 100 years ago, again in ballet , what is called arabesque was mere 45-50 degrees. Now anything less then 90 is not even considered. Is it beautiful - sure is, but WHERE are we going? WHY is our art form TODAY defines beauty by some freaking body malfunctioning ability to bent itself into a pretzel? Does THAT make one be more beautiful then the , say, less flexible person, who radiates energy of love, beauty,  and passion through his/her movement? Please, don't read it as from bitter-jealous side... I do what modern times require, but I do not agree with it.

a regular girl in training . MODERN day.

Or in the modeling world. The picture of the model on the cover of the magazine is anything, but deceiving. Everyone knows about the photoshop, sure. Not not too many know that more then the photoshop, good camera angles, flattering lighting and experienced photographer can make any ugly duckling be THE swan of the day.  They create those unedited pictures that make many women go rapidly on "a-pea-a-day" diet, but in reality are nothing, but an illusion. Illusion that can go just the other way around, remember that, please.

I saw a documentary about "blind eyesight" once. The voice behind the camera said something that made me think : blind people "see" images that are more true and real then what human eye creates. They feel by hand and recreate an image that is true in form. We , on the other hand, recreate the image into reality that is nothing but a mere reflection defined by either a mirror ( that has not been made properly, oh, probably for 60+ years) , a window or a camera - all sources that create illusions , not truth.

All that being said, I do not want to justify cookies, ice-cream and fudge dinners, over sized meals or fast-food eat outs and blame the mirror afterwards. Nor do I want to bring the impression of throwing the towel in and sighing " oh, well, it is what it is" to those that are working hard on healthier bodies. I want to create a balance, and then for us, girls, to love what comes with it.

I want to launch a healthy body month ( or two, or three. or maybe a year all together). I want all of us to unite in this , I think, very worthy cause. I have daughters, and so do many of you too. And if not daughters , then it is sisters, mothers, girlfriends, or even a co-worker.  I want them to see themselves as beautiful and healthy, and I want them to be knowledgeable enough about WHAT healthy exactly is.

To start - we all have something we don't like about ourselves. Let's get it out - acknowledging and accepting is the first step in healing. I struggled with my face for decades. My cheeks have always been THE downfall of "ballet appropriate" by sending a message that the body to follow would be 20 lbs heavier then it actually was.  It took a couple years of Louise Hay's "I love my body, I'm grateful for my beautiful body" daily affirmations to break the vicious cycle. But it's still there. My legs could be a couple inches longer, my waist a little smaller... I could, probably, find 20 more things that could be improved. I am sure, you can relate.

Let's change that. Because, I do not think, that any single one of us would want our daughters , sisters, moms or girlfriends to think anything , but how grand, beautiful and perfect they are.

So, I want to devote some time to healthy eating, healthy thinking, healthy viewing of the world to create more happy, healthy and confident us.

And ... after all, confidence is sexy! Let's do it! Are you with me?!
PS: Please, feel free to share this post on FB,  tweeter,  blog, tumbler, pinterest, or wherever you feel/think/want.  Shout out wherever your can. Reach out to those you care about. Let's fix what's broken - together we can move mountains.

PPS: Is there something you do not like about yourself? What do you struggle with? Or are you one of the lucky healthy body image ones?  Comment below. There is a functioning anonymous option, if that makes you feel more comfortable. Get it out of your system - this is our safe healing space.


  1. I am totally with you! Thanks for the shout out. You know, I think my biggest motivator of getting positive with my body is my future children. I just don't want them to even consider what body shape they have. I want to have the kind of household where we focus on health, character, and charity. Unfortunately, body image is such an overpowering issue that it shadows all that is good in a person. I am trying hard everyday. Oh, and your face has always been something I've admire. Such natural beauty.

    1. YES! This is EXACTLY what I want my children to think! I see every day people do their best and don't think twice , and they are perfectly healthy, happy and successful. I think that self-confidence is such an essential part of success, and it grows roots from childhood...

  2. I totally needed to hear this, this Monday morning! It's very encouraging. I'm really good at pointing out all of my flaws and not so good at pointing out the good. I'm working on my self confidence which is something I find myself fighting every day. The feeling of not being good enough. This post was very encouraging! I'm forwarding it to all my friends. :)

  3. Good Share! Some really valuable information here. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Look forward to reading more of your articles. Voted up!


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