I am so over hearing “But you are too skinny to be a belly dancer!”. I think this may sometimes be an attempt at a compliment but other times its followed by “You don’t have a big enough belly! Ha ha”. I don’t understand how people feel its ok to tell someone they are too thin (when they are not!) but not OK to comment on someone being over weight. For the record, my weight falls in the ‘normal’ category and I love my food. Being tall, I look slimmer.
But this type of comment is indicative of a whole range of unhelpful comments that we tell ourselves or misguided friends and family say. Why as women are we always ‘too’ something? How often do we look in the mirror and think we are just right?
How often do we tell our friends this in a sincere way? Why is being ourselves not enough?
Personally, I am trying to make a conscious effort to undo this type of thinking. When I see someone looking great, I tell them. If I see someone looking really great and I am jealous… well, I still tell them they look great and deal with my jealous feelings in my own time. Maybe you can join me spreading a little more self assurance to those around us. I am of the belief that there is not a certain way you must look to be a good bellydancer or person. Over the years, I have seen mesmerizing dancers in all shapes and sizes and ages. To be non PC – fat ones, skinny ones, flat chested, big boobied, tall and short and everything in between.
Recently, I had the joy of talking to renown b-boy and purveyer of Le Parkour, Kamikazi. I asked him about being tall and more heavily built than many of his contemporaries – after all when it comes to some of those amazing tricks he seems to be at the disadvantage. He relayed how it could be difficult but he was up to the challenge and he does not allow someone else’s perception of what was possible colour what he can achieve. Pretty inspiring stuff! Furthermore he told me Venom had been giving him tips on how to further use his height to his advantage. This blew me away. Venom is a man whose personality, energy and skills fill the room in a way his size does not. This is the kind of supportive stuff I would love to see more of. Kamikazi’s advice was to find a way to use what I have to my advantage.
To me, that means I am not ‘too’ anything to be a dancer! And I bet your not either.