Whenever we watched the video “Dying to be Thin”, that wasn’t the first time i have seen that documentary. I myself am a former dancer and right before the season would start they would make us watch the film so we would know that starving ourselves to be the ideal look to get a good part in a dance, was not worth losing your life over!
But the thing that isn’t shown in the film or talked about at all even, is that not every ballerina resorts to starving themselves and gaining an eating disorder. At my dance studio the big fad for losing weight was to smoke because smoking kills your appetite so you aren’t hungry enough to eat. And many of the dancers i danced with did this. I think the beautiful dancers i danced with did this because our dance company had such strict rules on starving yourself that if they suspected any girl(or guy) for refusing to eat, they would suspend them for a certain period of time. But they studio had nothing against smoking and would even allow the dancers to take smoke breaks! I know that instructors knew what they were doing because how else were the tiniest of girls still losing weight and not starving themselves?
I know that the documentary wasn’t about smoking but it was about anorexia and the things women will do to get ahead and be that ideal beauty, but smoking for the benefit of it killing your appetite so you don’t have to eat is essentially the same idea. I never succame to the fad of smoking so i could still be skinny without being suspended for not eating, but unfortunately a lot of the young woman did. It’s a sad fact that they are taking time off their lives just so they can have the parts that they already deserve to have. The dance world is a cruel world where you have to be willing to do extreme things to make it.