If I said that my body image issues started here (imagine a picture of me, three years old in pink tights and a black Leotard, long pigtails and barrettes) would I be exaggerating? Probably not. Studies indicate that girls as young as three show signs of body image issues. Dance class at this age brought me a lot of joy but I recall as I got older dance became a rocky trail. I was told when I was going on pointe that it would probably be best to “watch my weight.” My super skinny friend in school told me she wasn’t chosen for a dance company because her “thighs were too big.” Mine were twice as big as hers.
There’s another picture of me around this same age that I have. It’s me in a little dress standing next to my tricycle. My ankles are adorned in those thin white socks with the lace around the edge and my thighs are robustly smushed together. I once looked at that picture and said, “See, even at my lowest weight, I didn’t have a thigh gap.” I thought I was being clever.
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