Monday, February 27, 2012

The trials of loving oneself

I'm still very proud of my post about finally accepting and loving myself. Most of the time I can keep that attitude up. Then, days like today happen, and it crumbles all around me.

I take a belly dance class, which has been fun and exercise and socialization all in one, even if I'm usually the youngest in the class by about 30 years.  ;)  I majored in theater and dance in college, so picking up the movements wasn't too difficult. I get complimented by my teacher and classmates constantly on my grace and grasp of the moves. I feel good about it.

I've done two performances with my class so far, where I was one of five and in a full-coverage costume (when your teacher is in her 70s, there are no sequined bras, thank goodness!). It was an awesome time.

We have another performance coming up in March and my teacher asked me to do a solo, mainly because I had been talking about a song I'd been wanting to choreograph to. Awesome! A solo. Good times.

March is fast approaching so I decided to get serious about choreographing it instead of just having a few ideas in my head. I set up my webcam (after wrestling to get the mic working for about an hour) so I could video myself doing some improv dance to the song, and remember later what worked and what didn't.

So I worked on it. I replayed the video. And I nearly cried. I looked so fat and awkward and ridiculous. I could barely stand to watch. It's one thing to look at yourself in a mirror and be okay with what you see. It's a completely different experience to watch yourself in 360 degrees as others see you. It was horrible. It made me want to quit belly dance on the spot.

Every cool move I'd imagined in my head looked awful when I actually did it. It was a disaster. I know it was just improv, but I feel completely incapable of looking even remotely graceful. I was absolutely disgusted.

I know it will pass. I know I'll feel better when wearing a costume that covers my arms, and I've had some time and distance from this experience. But I won't forget how I looked. I can't come to terms with how godawful it was. Why has everyone been lying to me? Why did they let me look like that? I feel completely betrayed.

These are the days when loving your body is fucking HARD.

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