“Your body is not your offering.” Such a profound and truthful statement…found in the Aerial Dance bathroom. Prior to my membership at Aerial Dance, this thought had never occurred to me – rather I thought the exact opposite. It felt as though my body was my only offering. And having grown up feeling like my body didn’t look how it “should,” I felt as though I never had enough to offer.
For reference, I grew up in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. This was a time where women such as Paris Hilton, the Olsen twins, and Mischa Barton ruled mainstream media and were celebrated for one thing – their thinness. I remember seeing critiques of other bodies (including women who had just pushed a tiny human out of their wombs) with headlines like “WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?!” Women with beautiful, strong bodies like P!nk were often called manly and not appealing to look at.
This ideology has trickled into quite literally every decision I made as a teenager, and even makes its way into my life now. I felt that since I was always the chubby friend, that I had to go out of my way to make up for it in other ways. This meant that I always had excellent grades, and tried to make myself part of every organization at school. I always felt that if I was fat I had to have as many redeeming qualities as I could.
This is absolute bullsh*t. Sorry, but it’s true. First of all, my body has done (and is continuing to do) incredible things. It survived near death as a literal infant. It has climbed mountains in Arizona, swam in oceans in Florida, survived COVID-19, and now allows me to suspend myself by nothing but fabrics hanging from the ceiling.
Being a student at Aerial Dance has allowed me to see so many unfiltered, unedited bodies in real life and appreciate each and every one of them. Some of the strongest women I know have cellulite, and some of the thinnest women I know have stretch marks. All of the things that I once was indoctrinated to believe are flaws are completely arbitrary and meaningless. I now try to measure my body not by how it looks, or the numbers I see on the scale, but what incredible feats it accomplishes for me. Every. Single. Day.
Come celebrate what your body can do! Try Intro to Pole or Intro to Aerial and start your journey!