The link between the ballet world and eating disorders is fairly well known— articles about problematic and harmful practices are in abundance. Several clients have told me how ballet directly contributed the onset of their ED (be it due to body image issues, themes of perfectionism, weight/shape bias in the professional sphere, and so on). Suffice to say, for some folks living with an eating disorder, ballet has painful and/or harmful association. This got me thinking: what can we, as folks in the “eating disorder world”, do to facilitate re-claiming ballet?
I used to feel betrayed by my body, like she was constantly trying to undermine every effort I made to change her. I always thought that if my body loved me, and was working for me, then why wouldn't she do what I wanted her to do? Why didn't she look the way I wanted her to look? I was never taught that she was on my side.
In a world where there is so much comparing, judging, and analyzing of what we eat, what we wear, and how much we weigh, I think many of us could take a page out of this woman’s book. Self-acceptance is a gift, and not one easily given or received. No matter where we are with our relationship with food and weight, a little self-love (and some sparkly shoes) could go a long way!
A few years ago, I started to reconsider whether telling my personal story of recovery is productive to the effort to reduce the social stigma and shame that has been problematically linked to eating disorders.
Organizations across Canada worked tremendously hard and achieved incredible awareness and recognition for EDAW!
TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.