I just saw something on the Yahoo! front page that made me so mad!
I watched the video of the Today Show interview and was in frank disbelief. If I had been at that performance, I would not have thought anything about this particular dancer, Jennifer Ringer, other than how beautiful, graceful, strong, and precise she was. I would love to see her perform anything, anywhere.
The critic who said she looked as though she’d “had one sugar plum too many” needs a lesson in women’s bodies.
1. Curves don’t mean fat.
2. All women are NOT built alike.
3. Women who fit the current beauty “stereotypes” are, by far, in the minority.
4. Thin doesn’t necessarily mean perfect.
5. Perfect is an impossibility.
Don’t get me wrong–I completely understand that in different physical professions there are fairly specific body types that are considered “normal”, or even necessary. You can’t be a sprinter if you’re not built for it; you can’t be a construction worker if you don’t have the physical strength and stamina to do it. I could never be a dancer, a srpinter, or a construction worker; my body isn’t made to do any of those things, and no matter what I do, it never will be.
Jennifer Ringer isn’t the typical stick-figure ballerina who has to stuff the front of her bodice to look like a woman; she looks like the beautiful woman she is. This critic chose to use his power to put her down, thus further perpetuating the stereotypes of perfection in the media today. These are exactly the kinds of things that send men and women of all ages and walks of life spiralling down into eating disorders. Jennifer Ringer has suffered through and past anorexia. But she has the strength of character and enough love of herself and her family to let this critic’s comments go shows me that she is not only an amazing performer, but an amazing person as well.
I’m not usually someone who can carry off a phrase like this, but I’m gonna say it anyway:
YOU GO, GIRL!!!! We’re all behind you. 🙂
- Ballerina faulted for ‘too many sugarplums’: I’m not fat (today.msnbc.msn.com)
- NYC ballerina responds to critic’s weight jab (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Howard Kurtz Sides with New York Times Critic Who Insulted Ballet Dancer Over Her Weight (mediaite.com)
- City Ballet Dancer Responds to Times Critic (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Alastair Macaulay Says Ballerina Jenifer Ringer ‘Looked As If She’d Eaten One Sugar Plum Too Many’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Alastair Macaulay Responds To Ballerina Weight Comments, Says Body In Ballet Is Relevant (huffingtonpost.com)
- Critic’s Notebook: Judging The Bodies In Ballet (nytimes.com)
- Eat Puke Dance: Black Swan’s Unhealthy Relationship With Food (crushable.com)
- Ballet’s big fat body issues (salon.com)
- Letter: Health and ‘Ballet Bodies’ (nytimes.com)