A través de su cuenta de Instagram comenzó a publicar fotos de sus ‘rollitos’ mientras bailaba para mandar un poderoso mensaje: no importa el aspecto ni el grosor de las personas, en el ballet (así como en cualquier otra profesión), lo principal es el talento, el trabajo duro y la pasión.

El artículo continúa abajo

En una de las imágenes que compartió la joven de 20 años cuenta que creció siendo bailarina y que siempre veía en las revistas mujeres con cuerpos delgados, muy diferentes al de ella.

Presionada por lo que constantemente veía, empezó a perder peso alimentándose de manera inadecuada. Muchos veían cambios ‘positivos’ en su exterior, pero ella no era feliz y en ese momento se dio cuenta de que las personas solo se dejan llevar por estereotipos.

“Mi cuerpo no estaba ‘mal’ cuando empecé. No hay manera incorrecta de tener un cuerpo. El mío era capaz de bailar y no había ninguna otra razón para cambiarlo que no fuera adaptarse a la estética de las bailarinas”, escribió en esta imagen:

The dance world is FAR from body positive, and I want to help change that. • I’ve danced practically all of my life, and from a young age, I was socialized through the dance world to believe that my body had to look a certain way in order to succeed and be a “real dancer.” As I got older, I was convinced that my body was wrong for dance. I saw photos of dancers in magazines and dancers in performances that all didn’t look like me. • I started to buy into the ideal of the “ballerina body.” I lost weight by disordered means, and I started to get more attention and praise in my dance classes and more featured parts. My body wasn’t “wrong” when I started. There’s no wrong way to have a body. I had a body that was completely capable of dancing. I had no reason to change my body other than to fit the BS aesthetic that the dance world has perpetuated. This so-called aesthetic has helped fuel many of my mental health struggles. • Yesterday during a live chat, one of my followers told me that her 10 year old niece wants to be a dancer but is on the chubbier side, so she’s heard some discouraging comments. She said that she’s shown her niece my account and that she loves it. It makes me so sad that a 10 year old girl is already getting negative feedback on her body. 10 YEARS OLD!!! I’m so glad that my account has been able to help this little girl, and I wish that I would have seen a community like this when I was an aspiring little dancer. • I haven’t seen many other dancers in the body positive community, and I think we need to push to make a change in the narrative that is currently held. There is no wrong way to have a dancers body. It’s dangerous to only represent one body type in dance companies, dance brands, and dance ads. Dancers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities, all dancers deserve to love their bodies, and it’s time that we start bringing body positivity to the dance community. I’ve decided to start the tag #BopoBallerina to inspire body positivity in the dance world – who’s with me? 🤗 Please tag any bopo dancers you know – I don’t know of many and I’d LOVE to connect with more! • #MyFlawsAreFierce (Photo by @paul_dubois_photography)

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A partir de esa publicación, Werner comenzó una campaña en redes con el #BopoBalle para difundir su mensaje y generar un cambio en la sociedad.

“Es peligroso que solo se represente un tipo de cuerpo en las compañías y marcas de danza. Hay bailarines de todas las formas, tamaños, edades y etnias, todos merecen sentirse bellos en sus cuerpos y es hora de que comencemos a entregar estos mensajes positivos”.

Actualmente, esa publicación tiene más de 1.000 ‘me gusta’, al igual que otras fotos compartidas en su cuenta de Instagram. Estas son algunas:

If there’s anything I’ve learned recently, it’s the importance of never backing down. • As I’ve gotten more vulnerable and shared more of my story and message as a dancer in the body positive community, I’ve received a lot of responses and feedback – some great, some horrible, and some in between. I’m not going to lie and say that hearing the negative responses hasn’t been difficult. It’s very easy to listen to what others say, and it definitely made me question what I’ve been doing. However, it’s also made me realize that this is what I NEED to be doing. • I have spent too long trying to find who I am and my voice to just to crawl back into being silent. I have worked too hard to overcome struggles to let hateful people keep me from making a difference. I have come too far to just stop now. • It’s easy to keep pushing when we are surrounded by love, support, and positive comments. It’s not so easy to keep pushing when we are trying to change the minds of people who don’t see on the same wavelength that we do, people who don’t agree with what we are doing. • However, these experiences are important learning experiences because not everyone in life is going to love us, and changing the world doesn’t occur by just hearing positive comments. Changing the world changes by having the difficult, challenging conversations that make people think. Sometimes it takes calmly trying to discuss an issue with someone, even when their rude comments make you want to yell at them. Sometimes it takes making the difficult choice to not engage a troll. • I’m determined to make a difference in this world, and I’m not going to let anyone or anything stop me from continuing to speak my truth. #MyFlawsAreFierce #BopoBallerina (Photo by @alexi_pix)

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Over the past few days, I’ve realized how easy it is to get stuck in the “bopo bubble.” Because my social media is largely based in the body positive community, and I try to carry the same message into my day-to-day life, it’s very easy to forget that a huge portion of the world isn’t nearly as inclusive and kind as the bopo community. • When I saw that the article Yahoo wrote about me and my comments on the lack of body positivity in the dance world, I expected to get a primarily positive response because I had received such kind comments and messages when I made the original post. I received a good amount of positive responses. However, I also received some extremely negative, hurtful comments. I think what saddens me even more than the fact that these were directed at me is the fact that this is what the younger generation is seeing. This is what the little ballerinas I teach have to be surrounded by. This is what other aspiring dancers have to see – and it’s just not right. • We all need to realize how much power our words have. You can’t take back something once it’s been said. Many of the statements that people make are completely ignorant and false. No human is perfect, so before you start jumping to judge others and their imperfections, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on who you are as a person, especially because many times when we make negative comments about other people, we project our own insecurities onto them. • This just shows us that while the bopo community is doing incredible things, there’s still SO much work to be done. We need to keep spreading our messages so that one day there doesn’t need to be a “bopo bubble” and we can have a body positive world. • #MyFlawsAreFierce #BopoBallerina (Photo by @alexi_pix)

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Since some new people have found my account recently, I thought it would be a good time for a reintroduction! • – My name is Colleen, but you can call me either Colleen or Leenah! Leenah is a shortened form of a nickname my mom gave me, Colleenabeena. – I’m 20, and I live in NY. – I’m in my 2nd year of my undergrad degree, and I’m studying psychology. I plan on going to grad school for Mental Health Counseling and becoming a therapist who specializes in eating disorders! – I’m a dancer! Contemporary, ballet, and jazz are my favorites, but I’ve trained in most styles. I’m in a contemporary dance company and also teach dance. – I have an amazing boyfriend, and we’ve been together for a little over a year. – I’ve struggled a lot with my mental health over the past few years. Generalized anxiety disorder made things very difficult to handle, and food/my body definitely felt like an enemy. However, through DBT therapy I’ve been able to embrace the power and value of being honest, vulnerable, and authentic, and I’m in a much healthier place now! – I’m gluten intolerant, and I’ve been gluten free for almost 2 years now. – I have a Yorkie named Tidbit, and this weekend I’m going to be adopting another Yorkie – Tidbit’s dad, Zen! I’m probably the most dog obsessed person you’ll ever meet. – I still sleep with my baby blanket, and I hate the taste of mint so I use kids toothpaste. 😂 – I’m a huge advocate of sharing the message that all bodies are welcome, all bodies are beautiful, and all bodies deserve love. Diversity of all kinds is what makes this world so beautiful and special. – I’m a Contributing Editor for @selflovebeauty! – In the words of Buddy the Elf, “I love smiling! Smiling’s my favorite!” 🤗 – I created the hashtag #MyFlawsAreFierce a few months ago to help spread the message that our flaws shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. Our flaws make us the unique, incredible people we are! Tag your photos embracing your flaws to it if you’d to be featured ✨ I’m also starting a clothing brand with the same name with @soworthsaving! • What’s a fun fact about you? Comment below so I can get to know you more! (Photography by @paul_dubois_photography 😍)

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So glad that I spent my afternoon having quality time with my boyfriend instead of worrying about school and whatever else like I typically do on a Monday night 😌 It’s so easy to get caught up in the hectic mess of life and forget to enjoy each moment as it comes. Being mindful is so important for happiness and for leading an effective life. I’m really working on trying to embrace every moment for what it is – good, bad, or somewhere in between. There’s something valuable to be gained from each moment of our existence, and when we choose to anchor ourselves to the present moment, life is so much more enjoyable. 🙌🏻 What’s something you did mindfully today? ✨ • (Photography by @steve_sanchez_photography)

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