One memory from when I was about 12 or 13 was during dancing, I loved dancing, it was fun and I liked a lot of the people there, I started at my Dance School doing Modern Dance, I then asked if I could do Tap Dancing and when I was about 12, I wanted to learn Ballet.
I was self conscious from the second I started.
Because I hadn’t learnt Ballet before, I was put into the Grade 1 class… Firstly, I was the eldest in my class, every other girl there was no older than 8. Instant self-awareness. Secondly, I was awful at Ballet. Ballet didn’t come as easily as Tap or Modern did, but I was determined to do well (though when you’re out-danced by 7 and 8 year olds it isn’t easy). Being the tallest kid (for someone short) and the only girl in the class with boobs wasn’t pleasant and this was only made more obvious during the dancing shows we had to do… Something I always dreaded.
I eventually was put into the Grade 2 class, not because I passed the exams, but because I had surpassed the maximum age for a Grade 1 Ballet pupil… Confidence building stuff right there! I hated that dance school so much, I always think it wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for my ballet teacher telling me, on a regular basis, that I needed to do sit ups because I had a tummy and it wasn’t good for ballet.
In not-so-many words, I was too fat to dance in her class.
So maybe it’s not so surprising that I still think I’m fat and my insulin tummy is far more than just that or that I decide I can’t dance and shy to the back of a room whenever a dancing opportunity appears. Maybe it’s not so surprising that more than 10 years later, at the age of 24, this still affects me.
A lot of people are body-conscious and a lot of people are insulted or called names, directly or indirectly, some people brush it off and ignore what was said, other people (myself included) take it to heart when they know they shouldn’t. I don’t believe that what was said to me was intended to offend or be taken so harshly, but it was. Too many people don’t seem to realise the affect they can have on someone who may already have a fragile mind. Having your best friend (at the time) tell you a few years later that she thinks she’ll stay the same size 10 and I’ll balloon to a 14 or a 16 doesn’t help either.
So, I’m leaving this one for everyone and anyone whom has had something said that has made you feel bad about yourself (personally and physically), NO ONE can make you feel inferior without your consent.
After all, I’m still a size 10-12 (UK), I have a boyfriend who loves me inside and out and I have some wonderful (and not so wonderful) curves. So, who really cares about my insulin tummy but me? I may still be self conscious and very body shy, but next time I’m out you may just see me run to the middle of the dance floor the next time a good song plays.
After all, you’re never too fat to dance.