05 4 / 2014
Words cannot adequately express how excited we are to kick off the inaugural Body Love Conference in Tucson Arizona TODAY.
Therefore, we are going to say it with gifs:
Suffice it to say, we’re excited about today. Can’t wait to see you there!
01 4 / 2014
We are so excited to feature our first guest post here on the Body Love Conference blog — and it is from the one, the only, Amanda Trusty. If for some reason you were trapped in a nuclear fallout shelter for the last few months, go check out her incredible tap routine to Katy Perry’s “Roar,” and then go watch the follow-up video she just released this past Friday. Powerful, beautiful, revolutionary stuff.
And now, without further ado — Amanda’s story of Lani, and how we can start the body love revolution for all future generations of women:
This past Friday, it was like pulling teeth to get my nine-year old student, Lani, to focus in her tap dance lesson. She kept kneeling down and acting like she was tired. So I finally asked her, “Girlfriend, what is happening here? Am I boring you?”
She said nonchalantly, “Well, I kind of had a rough day.”
I asked her why.
She said, “Well, there are some girls at school who have been making fun of my big belly and my big butt. And then today, one of them pushed me out of the way when I was looking at the chicks in science class.”
I was speechless. Yes. Me.
The “Roar” girl, the eating disorder awareness blogger, the body love activist, speechless.
This is all I fight for – to love ourselves and forget the naysayers – and I didn’t know what to tell her.
Because at age nine, I don’t think she’s allowed to say “fuck you, I’m sexy” quite yet.
So I spit out the first two things that popped into my head, essentially to avoid bursting into tears.
“Lani, I’m gonna tell you what’s up. First of all, you’re really tall for your age. I wouldn’t call your butt big. But you do have a butt. And compared to everyone else who isn’t growing as fast as you, having a butt at all is something that not every nine-year-old is used to. So in four years, when everyone has a butt, you can all sit down at lunch and talk about it together. But until then, it seems you’re the only one lucky enough to have a butt.”
She giggled and nodded that she liked that thought.
Then I said, “Second of all, look at my butt.” I turned around and smacked it. (I know Lani’s mother, and I knew this would be acceptable.) “I have a pretty sizeable butt. You know why?”
Her eyes opened wide and she whispered, “Why?”
“Because I’m a tap dancer!” I exclaimed. “Look at what I can do with this big butt.”
I leaned over and gave her rolling paddles faster than I’ve ever demonstrated to her before.
“If you love tap dancing as much as I do, you’re gonna have to be okay with having a strong butt that might stick out farther than everyone else’s. Is that gonna be okay with you? Cuz if it’s not, we better stop tapping together three days a week.”
She smiled and nodded. “I’m okay with having a tap dance butt.”
I said, “Okay. Good. Now let’s make some noise.”
You guys, it’s starting when they’re nine. NINE. Lani is half-Hawaiian, and she is naturally thicker than the other girls in dance class. She’s also a fierce tapper, a hilarious child, and a beautiful young girl with a contagious smile. She’s got some charisma that one.
So how do we keep Lani’s contagious energy alive if we can’t protect her 24/7? How in the world do we keep the other nine-year-olds at school from dampening that bright light that Lani exudes?
It starts with us.
31 3 / 2014