Sunday, March 6, 2016

Don't Sit in Judgment of my Athlete Just Because She Doesn't Kick a Ball

I'm here to talk about being a dance mom.  It's a world I never pictured myself being in, but one I'm in nonetheless.  It's a world I didn't understand nor had I been a part of prior to experiencing it with Ella.  I had some learning to do and maybe some others do too.   

From the moment I posted these pictures on my Facebook page, I felt judged.  People commented about her barely there outfit and I'll admit it stung a little bit.

I get it, she's standing there in bootie shorts and a sports bra, but guess what so do Olympic swimmers, Olympic gymnasts,  and Olympic Volleyball players just to name a few.

When you look at my daughter, if you don't see an athlete then you're not getting it.

If you look at my 10 year old in a sports bra and booty shorts and make it sexual, well then I'm sorry but that's on YOU.

My daughter trains for her dances 16 to 20 hours a week.  Would it make you feel better if when she was there she was kicking around a ball?

Is it the make up that bothers you?  I get it.  She's 10, but that's just it, she's 10.  She doesn't wear make up in her every day life.  She understand it's part of a costume and it's part of being a performer.  It's so the judges can see those sassy faces she's making and she doesn't get drowned out by the lights.  It's not so she can parade around pretending to be 25 years old.

I spend a LOT of time with Ella teaching her about beauty from within and esteem.  I teach her that her self worth isn't based on how she looks, what she wears or the like.  Beauty is about kindness, compassion and being her unique self.

So if you think I'm putting my daughter in dance and sending her all the wrong messages by dressing her up in makeup and curling her hair, then you don't know about our family at the core.

Sure Ella looks at herself in makeup and feels pretty.  I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but she also goes to school some days where I question if she's even brushed her hair.

I'm proud my daughter is a dancer.  I don't care about the costumes, because they're just that costumes.

So while my daughter is beautiful and the costumes and the make up make it seem as though that's what we're emphasizing, well quite frankly that's an assumed adult reaction.  It not how my 10 year old feels-- AT ALL!

This girl walked off the stage of her first dance competition and felt proud about the countless hours she put in and knowing it paid off.  She felt empowered by the feeling she got on stage.  She felt strong in her sparkling costume.

I'm not worried about sending my daughter the wrong message because I know I'm doing what's right for her.  I know the intimate conversations we have.  I know the bond we share.  I know that I tell her beauty comes from within.  I know she knows the difference between performing on stage and every day life.  I know that she can look at a situation and evaluate it for its worth.  I know, above all, you can strip her of all the hair, makeup and costumes and she'd still be beautiful because she radiates from the inside.

 So don't sit in judgment of my athlete just because she doesn't kick a ball.


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