I debated whether I would write a post about this, but as the blogger for Aerial Dance, I decided I would share the good, bad, and ugly of my aerial journey. So here goes nothing.
As many of you know, I am teacher who does aerial. No big deal right? Well some parents in my district thought otherwise. The kicker here is I am not friends with parents on social media for this very reason. The day before the Christmas Show, I was pulled aside from my principal and she informed I would need to have a meeting with the superintendent, my principal, and the teacher union rep because of a parent report about social media. That’s how Friday started, but no worries my principal said…… How is a person not suppose to worry!?!?! Was my job on the line?!?!?!?
I was quick to take action as deep in my heart I knew that this “report” was likely something to do with participating in aerial sports. I double checked my privacy settings on Facebook and Instagram. They were both locked down tight. I even went as far as to have a my friend delete me, so I could creep on myself from someone who wasn’t my friend. You cannot see anything. I took a deep breath knowing I had taken the appropriate precautions to protect myself that way. If someone saw something, it was because they were digging through someone I knew. I can’t control that.
11:30 the meeting finally rolled around…… It was the longest morning of teaching in my life. I had no clue what to expect or if I was going to have a job. My body was trembling, I was so scared. I entered my superintendents office with a smile and was greeted with nervous looks. The vibe in the room was kind of like parents talking with their children about sex. I could tell that what they wanted to talk about made them uncomfortable. The meeting began with the superintendent explaining the photo that the parent reported. To my surprise, it was not a pole picture at all. It was a picture of me doing a pull up. Granted I was wearing pole shorts and a sports bra, but you could see a little cheek. It was still pretty normal attire for the studio.
It took all that I had not to laugh out loud. Of all the pictures I had on my social media accounts, the parent reported that picture. Below is a the picture that was reported. I can respect that they felt offended by seeing part of my butt cheeks, but I am blown away that they did not see the picture as a whole. I contemplated posting the picture here, but I am not ashamed of my muscle progress. I did however remove this photo from my social media accounts. I also added a bitmoji to take up some of the cheeky space.
My Take Away From the Meeting
During the meeting, the administrators reminded me of the digital footprint I am leaving in this world. Being that I am only 27, I am well aware of how digital footprints work and what you put out onto the internet is never really gone. They also told me that they could not force me to take the picture down, but it was highly encouraged as it could discredit my abilities as teacher.
This floored me! Working out could discredit my skills and abilities of an educator? How about a bathing suit? Does a doctor, lawyer, police officer, or any woman in any profession lose credibility when she steps foot into a bathing suit? You would never hear them speak to a person who was overweight about their body. I guess being young and active makes me an easy target for people with low self confidence. I by no means am trying to cause an uprising, but double standards for women still make my blood boil. It is a shame that we are in 2018 almost 2019 and people still feel that it is okay to use an excuse of living in a small minded town to avoid change. Small mindedness only continues if you let it.
I am extremely proud of the person that I am because of Aerial Dance. I shared that with my administrators. I have little girls and BOYS in my class who look up to me because I am a strong woman physically and mentally. I am setting an example for them that if you are dedicated to your goals, you will achieve them physically or academically. I am not ashamed of my body or intelligence. I work hard each and every day to make myself a better person for me, my family, and most definitely for my students.
That meeting did not hinder my love of Aerial Dance. It was an opportunity for me to share what a wonderful community of women that I belong to. In the future will I be more cautious of what I post…… Maybe.
My goal in this social media world is to inspire the many women who were like me when I first started my journey. I want to give them the courage to try.
Until Next Time,