Body-positive advice courtesy of Misty Copeland.
American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland is a breakout star in the dance world, yet, her influence extends far beyond ballet. Her positive attitude makes her a role model for all girls (and let’s be honest, grown women) around the world. Copeland stays in tip-top shape the healthy way, so keep reading to steal her inspiring advice.
The star dancer battled a binge-eating disorder before learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But Copeland eventually found an appreciation for her body. The star dancer told Self, “my curves [are] an integral part of who I am as a dancer, not something I need to lose to become one.” Copeland has paved the way for both women of different body types and women of color. She became American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal dancer. Copeland is an example of how all bodies are gorgeous, so don’t be afraid to embrace your strength and your booty.
The principal dancer mainly eats a healthy diet of vegetables and fish. She skips red meat and poultry, but occasionally eats sweets because, well, she’s human. Copeland has a progressive outlook on food: “I started thinking about food not as solace, but as the fuel that gave me the energy and strength I needed to dance—and to live.” If you look at your food as fuel, you’ll also encourage yourself to fill your plate with quinoa and salmon instead of burgers and fries.
Many professional ballet dancers begin dancing at the mere age of 3 or 4. It might surprise you that this star ballerina didn’t start dancing until the late (by ballet standards) age of 13. While the odds were against her, Copeland still achieved her dreams. So it’s never too late to try something you’re passionate about. Whether it’s ballet, soccer, writing, or something else, now is always the best time to do something new. There are even adult ballet classes! So it’s never too late to fulfill your childhood dream of becoming a ballerina.
Copeland ignores reviews of her performances. She tells Women’s Health that “reviews can consume you. It makes you think these things are true that these people are saying…you’re not going to make everyone happy.” So only focus on making yourself proud. Haters be damned.