As a dancer, and a dance teacher, I've seen a lot of girls, boys, men, and women wrestle with insecurity and eating disorders. It's never worth it. I wish it were an easier business, honestly. I hate watching that struggle.
In fact, there is an entire industry built upon marketing to dancers trying to maintain their bodies. And, man, can it go overboard.
Don't get me wrong. Dance is a Great tool for fitness. My partner and I even teach two classes involving "dancing for fitness" for adults on the weekends.
So many times, though, I've had moms bringing boys and girls into my starter class, some as young as 3 YEARS OLD, stating that their children "need to lose weight". I've heard moms call daughters names like "lard ass" and "piggy". *blinking* Seriously. Every time this happens, I wonder what impact are we making on our kids. I do make an effort to tactfully speak with the parents I've seen doing this to their children in my studio. If I am to mentor their children, we must work together. It's hard to undo that damage, though. Very hard.
This is Blythe Baird. She was such a kid, damaged by society's expectations and the pressure of trying to look "perfect". When I heard her story, everything crashed down on me, thinking about my students, colleagues, and friends.
This is her poem, "When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny". Have a listen, take the look.
We, as parents, sisters, brothers, and friends HAVE to change the way we deal with weight control and eating disorders, no matter which walk of life we're following. I constantly wonder why more people can't seem to realize that the way we treat each other can destroy lives? We have the power to save each other or we can destroy a life at the ultimate level, even resulting in death. Bullying is huge problem these days - and Not just for kids. Too many adults bully one another and bully their kids. (Yes, there is definitely a difference between discipline and bullying!!)
This is not purely a "dance" problem. How do we stop it? How do we reach a new generation before it gets caught in the same traps that we did?
I'd love to hear your opinions on this - no matter who you are or which path you're walking in life. ^.^ *The only photo I own is the one of my partner and I. The rest are not mine.*