Disgusting

 

I asked my ballet students to watch themselves in the mirror (a tool I hate, but have to use from time to time) and to tell me what they saw at the end of a jumping exercise.

One beautiful, blonde, 16-year-old girl with a body that many of us can only dream of, put her hand up.

I nodded at her to answer.

“Disgusting,” she grimaced. “We are disgusting.”

I felt a flash back to my life as a young dancer. The never ending self hatred and loathing. The mirror always reflecting back my failure, relentlessly; torturing me. I was haunted. I still am.

After I reassured them that none of them were disgusting, that they were in fact very talented, promising dancers, I asked them to think of constructive criticism. I asked them to give me technical corrections that they could actually improve upon. After a few minutes they came up with the correct answers: rolling knees, pelvises tipped, backs collapsing forward . Then they told me how they could correct those things.

I walked past the dancer disgusted with not only herself, but the whole class, “darling, I can’t correct ‘disgusting’ because it doesn’t exist in any of you.”

I have been bothered by the incident all week. I cannot shake it off. I understand all too well what she meant. I think it to myself every time I see my reflection.

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8 thoughts on “Disgusting

  1. That’s so sad. I love what you said “I can’t correct disgusting because it doesn’t exist in any of you”…Exactly…it doesn’t exist in anyone…included you!

  2. littlevoicetalks says:

    Sad isn’t it in the true sense of the word. Beauty defined by the physical and not the inner self. Where did it all get so mixed up and polluted? xx

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. Why is it that so many people struggle to see their own beauty and that of others?

  4. This is very powerful, and sad, but at the same time beautiful. We all share this self-esteem struggle, but we’re all beautiful in our own ways.

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