Misty Copeland’s Powerful Message
This Wonder Woman overcame low self-esteem by finding her passion. Under Armour is the latest brand in female empowerment, their latest spokesperson being Misty Copeland. But who is Misty Copeland? You’ve probably never heard her name, unless you’re a dancer. Born in Kansas City, Missouri Misty made history in 2007, being the third African American American female soloist and first in 2 decades to dance at the American Ballet Theatre. She took her first ballet class at the age of 13 and was en pointe within three months.
Recently she became in involved with Under Armour, showing off her graceful movements. As she dances you hear the voice of a young girl reading a rejection letter, “You have the wrong body for ballet and at 13 you are too old to be considered,” the voiceover says.
The ad is meant to illustrate the challenges faced by the dancer and how she was able to overcome them through perseverance. The video earned more than 3.2 million online views. It also received more than 60,000 Facebook interactions and almost 700 tweets. Copeland struggled a lot with body weight. She remembered when the artistic staff asked to see her in their office. She was nervous and sweating as she entered the office, only to hear them say, “Your body has changed. The lines you’re creating don’t look the way they used to. We’d like to see you lengthen.”
In other words, they were politely telling her to lose weight. “When I reached my apartment, I started crying uncontrollably. I knew that since I was 5’2′ and 108 pounds, most people would consider me super thin.” She said, “But in my own little world, I was devastated to learn I was ‘fat.’ I had always been proud of my body-its strength and grace enabled me to pursue my passions. But now it had become the enemy.”
After that one meeting she became shamed of her body. She started wearing t-shirts and shorts over her leotards and talked less and less to other ballerinas. Her concern stemmed less towards her love of dance, and instead to her new hatred of her body.
Then she met Olu, a brilliant trainer who taught her she should love her body for what it is and remind her of the passion she held for dance. “I’d always believed that what mattered was how I looked, how well I embodied certain standards of perfection.” She said, “But now I started to understand that my body’s natural evolution into womanhood had validity, too. Dancing had always made me happy, and I wanted that back.”
It took some time, but she was able to regain her confidence and has since then won many awards and teamed up with lots of companies to further her career.
Are you a dancer? Ever had to deal with body confidence issues? Let us know in the comments below!