A ballet teacher, whom I respected and actually wanted to please (as opposed to most others who I didn’t think understood that I was really in it for the love of dance) once took me aside after class and told me that I was good enough to be in the more advanced parts for that year’s Nutcracker. However, she wanted me to know that the only reason I wasn’t being cast in them was because she couldn’t (or wouldn’t?) put me in a tutu. As though that would help me understand?? This is probably the one time the message was stated without any beating around the bush whatsoever: lose some weight, and then, literally, you’ll be good enough; talent shmalent, I can’t have you on stage looking like that.
It wasn’t an accidental comment, it wasn’t ignorance, and it wasn’t a joke that I didn’t happen to find funny. It wasn’t an indication of someone’s implicit opinion of my body, like when you watch another girl look from your face to your legs as you walk by. It was right there, clear as day, and yet she seemed to honestly think it wouldn’t affect me, or that it was an acceptable thing to tell a teenage girl.
For god’s sake, make a bigger tutu. You’re not running American Ballet Theater. (Even if you were, it wouldn’t be okay).