Ballerina Starts Instagram Hashtag To Empower Dancers Who Don't Fit The 'BS Aesthetic'

"As I got older, I was convinced that my body was wrong for dance."

The body positivity movement has taken off in the fashion world as more and more models, designers, and brands work to create inclusive and diverse spaces within the industry. Now, one ballet dancer is speaking out about the need for the same efforts within the dance community. 

Colleen Werner, a professional ballerina in New York City, wrote an Instagram post about the lack of body positivity in the dance world and her own experience with body image. 

"I've danced practically all of my life, and from a young age, I was socialized through the dance world to believe that my body had to look a certain way in order to succeed and be a 'real dancer.' As I got older, I was convinced that my body was wrong for dance. I saw photos of dancers in magazines and dancers in performances that all didn't look like me," she wrote. 

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Werner went on to explain that the lack of body diversity caused her to believe that if she wanted to be a ballerina, she would have to work toward a "ballerina body." She developed eating disorders and lost weight, and was rewarded for her "new" body by landing more parts and receiving praise in her dance classes. 

"My body wasn't 'wrong' when I started," she wrote. "There's no wrong way to have a body. I had a body that was completely capable of dancing. I had no reason to change my body other than to fit the BS aesthetic that the dance world has perpetuated. This so-called aesthetic has helped fuel many of my mental health struggles." 

Werner decided to start the hashtag #BopoBallerina in hopes that it'll help to spread body positivity within the dance community and empower dancers of all sizes to feel confident in their own skin. 

"I haven't seen many other dancers in the body positive community, and I think we need to push to make a change in the narrative that is currently held," she wrote. "There is no wrong way to have a dancer's body. It's dangerous to only represent one body type in dance companies, dance brands, and dance ads. Dancers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities, all dancers deserve to love their bodies, and it's time that we start bringing body positivity to the dance community."

(H/T: Yahoo

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