I heard on the radio this morning about a blogger out of Houston who asked her readers if one of the Oklahoma City NBA cheerleaders was to fat to be a cheerleader. Kelsey Williams is nowhere near fat. She is muscular and toned, and while she might have a little big more flesh than typical cheerleaders, I would not call her chunky. She is healthy. And good for the blogger's boss for firing her.
Since when is healthy equated with being fat? Or being too fat to be an athlete or a cheerleader. The self image of our young women is already a hot topic today. I've seen this first hand although I don't have a daughter of my own.
My friend's daughter is a very talented dancer. She has the ideal body for any young lady (or woman my age). She wears a size 0, is small with a full bust. However, she does not look like most dancers you would see at a dance competition. Most dancers you see are tall, leggy and skinny. When she dances between 2 thin dancers, she looks chunky, although she is far from it. I wish I could say that the judges look strictly at technique and musicality, but they don't. She receives high gold for her solo when all the other solos from our studio (danced by tall, leggy dancers) have received platinums. She has been told by professional ballerinas that she has the ideal body type for a ballerina. Which is why it pains me when she says she needs to go on a diet. She doesn't! She says it is just to tone, but I honestly do not see a scrap of spare flesh on her. As a woman who struggles with weight issues, I can't stand to hear her say this.
I'm happy to see that not all studios out there require their dancers to be thin and leggy. Mom and I made this observation this weekend. You could tell what studios were dancing based on their dancers without looking in the program. Some girls were bigger sized, but they danced just as beautifully as the rail thin dancers with wonderful technique. And I was just happy they were dancing and exercising. As long as you move your body who cares what your body looks like?
I know that a lot of studios strive for the tall, leggy, thin look in their dancers. They have weigh-ins, nutrition counselors and demean girls who are still growing up and maybe have a little baby fat on them. Then they stuff these poor girls who already feel bad about themselves into bra tops and booty shorts and parade them around in competitions. The girls with a little extra weight have muffin tops and are shoved in the back of the routine. These girls are still growing and discovering what their body shape will be. Why are you demeaning them? When they are young (13 and under) if they cannot wear a proper leo under their costume, it is too revealing! Girls this age do not need to be flashing their belly buttons to everyone. It gives these girls the wrong idea about what is acceptable. No wonder young girls are wanting to wear short shorts and heels with little crop tops. No wonder we have perverts out there raping these young girls and then saying, "I couldn't tell what age she was. She looks 25." or "She was just shaking her thing out there and wearing those skin tight clothes. She was asking for it."
Protect your daughters. Stand up to these studios who parade your daughters in little costumes and say no. There are plenty of studios out there (like mine) who do not objectify young ladies with skimpy costumes. Cover those belly buttons!!!!
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