Over the past 14 years my spare time has been filled with Belly Dancing. (And now BellydanceSling as well – dancing with my baby, as pictured doing a back bend during my Oriental fan dancing routine).
I have been lucky enough to meet women of all shapes and sizes through Belly Dance teaching and performing. Most of whom share the same hate and disregard for their bodies.
We, including me, describe our bodies as if they were encapsulated with some horrid disease. “How do I get rid of my jiggly bits?”
“I just hate the way my bum wobbles.”
“I can’t stand my double chin.”
The list goes on.
What I have realised is that a lot of us use our hang-ups as a reason for not having fulfilled our potential.
I’ve taught young mothers, I’ve taught 80-year-old grandmas and professional women of all ages. Most of us with some hatred for a part of our bodies (mine being my face, which is a pretty large and intrinsic part of my body).
But I am going to make a pledge that I will start to enjoy every part of my body whether it wobbles, whether it is firm, whether it moves the way I want it to or not.
I will stop grabbing parts of me, wishing it was gone.
Because I have daughters and women around me and I don’t want them to catch this insidious hatred for ourselves.
We are amazing. My body alone has beaten eating disorders, it has given birth to two beautiful girls and I love to use my body to dance. This is what my body can do. It is not defined by the fat, the muscle or the ‘look’ of it.
And yes I will try get bendier and learn different dance moves but this is to enjoy my body, not to try and make it into something it is not.
Happy International Women’s Day to all my sisters across the world. Let’s celebrate each other’s beauty and success.