Egyptian-style bellydance artist and Pilates instructor Rachael Borek discusses her thoughts about body shape and our society's obsession with it in this short commentary
It might seem weird that I'm saying this, when my whole job is about moving bodies, understanding bodies, and using my own body to create art. But I'm saying it anyway.
The shape of my body does not matter. The shape of your body does not matter. And the amount and distribution of each of our body fat most especially does not matter.
It matters that your body is strong enough to support you in living the life you want to live, to the best of its ability - and that will shape how your body looks, to some extent. It matters that your posture and alignment bring you comfort and freedom of movement, and protect you from injury, and yes this will also affect the outward shape of your body.
But the outward shape itself? It's a distraction from the things that really matter.
As a dancer, it's a distraction from technique, expression, musicality, stagecraft...
And as a human being living life, it's a huge distraction from actually living and enjoying life. And also a distraction from all the incredible things the people around us (women especially) are doing, if the first thing we see when we look at them is how well their body shape matches, or doesn't, some ideal beauty standard.
So next time you find yourself thinking about someone else's body shape, see if you can change that thought. Think about who they are, or might be, as a person - their skills, their passions, their friendships... Practice the skill of seeing everyone, yourself included, as a fully rounded beautiful human being, not just a body.
About Today's Guest Author
Rachael Borek is an Egyptian style bellydance performer and teacher in Manchester, UK.
She has been studying, performing and teaching Egyptian dance since 2008, having trained with many top instructors from Egypt and the UK. Her mission as a teacher is to make bellydance classes an accessible and uplifting experience for everyone, including those who feel they are not natural dancers.
Rachael offers Egyptian dance courses and one-to-one lessons both in Manchester UK and online.
You can follow her work on
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