The "Skinny Mirror"

Sep 23, 2021

So there's a "skinny mirror" at my studio.

Confession: I avoid looking at the other mirrors. ...I like the way I feel when I see myself in the "skinny mirror.” This is not something I am proud of, nor is it something I really say out loud to anyone, but it is true. If it is true for me, I bet it is true for some of you as well. Dancer, let’s shine a light on this darkness. Let’s say the words out loud that are kept quiet and only spoken in our own minds. Let’s get open and get the conversation around body image going.

As a certified holistic coach, I am trained not to focus on a negative topic with my client (“I want to be less shy.”) Instead, I ask my client, “what is the opposite of being shy for you?” and then we start from there. So my question to you, Dancer, is…“what is the opposite of fixating on the ‘skinny mirror’ in order to feel good about yourself?”

Let’s untangle this for a bit. The opposite of “fixated” is relaxed, balanced, peaceful, coolheaded, tranquil. Well that’s something to work toward. What if, instead of a fixating on our bodies and how they look in the mirror, we could adopt a more relaxed and tranquil approach to our reflections? They are, after all, not a reflection of our worth or our true beauty. How would your mood change in class if - rather than fixating on your reflection - you merely glance at it occasionally, with a balanced, peaceful approach. Inner dialogue might be, “And there I am, in arabesque,” with no judgement on your body’s size.

Next, what is the opposite of needing a thin body in order to feel good about yourself? This is going to be different for each Dancer. For me, the answer is, I feel good about myself because I am worthy of love just as I am. A disconnect between the mirror and my sense of worth is the opposite of relying on the reflection in order to feel good about myself. (This article is not addressing another elephant in the room: the fact that what we see in the mirror can be a distortion of the truth. This is another topic for another day.) Dancer, how would your work in the studio change if you were to embrace your worthiness as separate from how you look? How would your thinking change? How would your movement change?

Today, can we loose our fixation on how we look in the mirror...And focus on how we feel in our bodies?

Changes in our sense of worth and our relationship with our reflection in the mirror take time. This article is not one of those “5 tips to immediately be better” articles. This is meant to start the dialogue - to bring some light into a dark space - to connect with each other on a topic that so many dancers struggle and can relate.

I see you, Dancer. And you are worthy of love at every size.



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