For Those Who Suffer a Lack of Body Acceptance – Pilates Can Help!
This is a wonderful post by a great Pilates teacher with a large body! Rachael briefly shares her long and moving journey to body acceptance. First posted by Alicia Ungaro at Pilates.About.com, this honors and celebrates women (and men) who do not possess the classically beautiful body, the kind we’ve all learned, unfortunately, to value most! Ah but here we learn that there is a miracle known as acceptance!
I was blessed with a fit and rather beautiful body – very blessed but after years of teaching exercise I know that my body is not the norm! I’ve learned that there are bodies I may not find beautiful, but they can be very fit, strong and healthy with a glow and energy as beautiful as any physical appearance – a different and perhaps better beauty! Curvy bodies! Curvy beauty.
Read and weep for joy and relief!
What does it mean to have curves in the Pilates industry?
I have been judged most of my life for something so personal and completely my own, my curves. This is both a painful subject and an enlightened one for me. I have worked for the past 15 years in an industry that places huge value on the “perfect” body. Look at any Pilates or fitness magazine, posted articles, websites, (guilty as charged even my own website), and you will find slender, fit bodies. It’s even called the Pilates body. Personally, the Victoria’s Secret model is not what I idealize. In fact, ask me who is the most beautiful woman of all time and my answer is always Marilyn Monroe, hands down. So then, why would I judge myself so harshly, and not love my own curves?
This part of my life all formed, literally, right around puberty. I was your run of the mill average kid, loved to ride horses and run around in the country with my friends. Then one day my bust started increasing, my hips expanded, and then the butt… oh the butt.
I’m certain many songs have been written about me and my kind of woman. I will never forget the first time I was made aware that something so personal to me, my body, was of interest to someone else.
One painful analyzing of my physique came when I heard my mom and my aunt screaming at each other about my body. My mom was a beautiful, slender, tall ballerina. My aunt had curves like me, beautiful ones at that. The heated conversation started because of one comment from an adult male. He expressed at a recent camp out we had taken that if I kept eating like I was, I would look like a football player. I was so embarrassed. We had spent all day swimming and running around like wild animals, but it was not ok. I will never forget sitting outside that night wondering why my body was so important to someone who didn’t live in it? My body was my own, shouldn’t it be my concern? Funny thought for a 12 years old. As an adult I understand my aunt’s worries were not actually about me. Curves had not been allowed for her either by social standards….
For more go to http://pilates.about.com/od/gettingstarted/fl/The-Bodies-of-Pilates.htm.