I am watching a documentary about ballerinas.
It’s a hard life. A nineteen-year-old with dramatic cheekbones flits across the screen, all swift, clean lines and blade thin limbs. She practices all day long, every day, to be here, preparing to dance the lead in Swan Lake. She doesn’t smile, even afterwards, in an interview with the filmmaker. She is intensely disciplined and she looks so fragile, so cold, that I want someone to wrap her in a quilt.
Like so many little girls, before we learn to be more original and that our necks aren’t nearly long enough, I wanted to be a ballerina.
“But why?” Bear asks me, when I tell him.
I don’t know. I think it had something to do with the outfits. I think it had something to do with the fact that dolls are often ballerina dolls, and people always give you ballet themed things as a little girl. As a little girl, I liked lots of things– especially trains, whales, and ballet. So at least I kept it diverse. And I knew, I always knew, that I was the worst in my ballet class. Utterly unflexible, bigger than everyone else, with perpetually snarled hair and stick-out underwear.
(these girls would probably have refused to talk to me in class. Or be seen with me after. source)
But I choose the ballet documentary because there is still something there. Look how incredibly slender and graceful they are! I want, watching them, to immediately stop eating. To never eat carbs again. For a moment, it seems more important to be that slender than to be anything else. This is the human body pared down to its essentials. Every movement is a work of art, vivid, exposed, exact. They are so beautiful. Everything they wear looks good, even tutus.