I respond to criticism about my body by internalizing it. I wish I had a more evolved way to deflect the sucker punches to my ego. But since I was a young dancer, I’ve absorbed people’s words and accompanying body language like a sponge as they commented on my thighs, my complexion or whether or not I could ever become a dancer – because of my body. That whole “sticks & stones” concept is false. Words hurt. And the pain of them lingers in my subconscious, no matter how many times I rattle off “I’m rubber, you’re glue!”.
Something that reinforces my negative body image is the loop of negative memories I hold onto. They’re always on standby for any moment that might trigger self-loathing. When that happens, my brain – on auto-pilot – hits “play”; and once that loop gets going, the pause button is hard to access. I am my own worst enemy.
Compounding that is the fact that, as a dancer, I spent my most formative years having my weight and body type scrutinized and criticized. And that bled into my professional dance career.
To me, “body confidence” is… owning my strength, power, & resilience as much as I embrace my vulnerability, softness, sensuality. It’s feeling curious and inspired by my body’s potential, adaptability, and mobility. It’s celebrating its ability to explore the world through my senses, learn new skills, and constantly regenerate through nurturing lifestyle habits. It’s gratitude for my body’s intuitive abilities to facilitate empowerment and healing in others through Pilates and massage therapy.