We don’t eat; We’re dancers

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I was working at the reception/box office of a tiny venue that doubled as a dance school. Since I worked alone, I was not allowed a break, so I kept a tiny container of almonds to eat throughout the day. Everyday, there would be a customer, student or parent to tell me a sarcastic “bon appetit” or yell at me because, by eating, I “gave the wrong example to the dancers”.

Once, I told a student’s dad that I didn’t have to follow a diet because I wasn’t a dancer myself. His answer: “yeah, it shows” (I do not have a dancer’s body, but I am far from being fat or even remotely chubby). One day, I have to leave early, and my manager (male, former dancer) replaces me at the desk. He brought his lunch: italian sausages, mashed potatoes, 2 or 3 kinds of salad, and a soft drink. The next day, I ask him if he was given a hard time about his lunch. “No, why do you ask?” I guess I’m not allowed to eat because #MFIF

Sophie, Montreal, Canada

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8 Responses to “We don’t eat; We’re dancers”

  1. Merely Academic Says:

    This is appalling. And you’re absolutely right: men’s eating habits and bodies are not policed the way women’s are.

  2. rillion Says:

    I admire your ability to avoid telling people to go fuck themselves, because that would be my automatic reaction to what you describe.

  3. jesurgislac Says:

    Eating food sets a bad example to the dancers… if you’re female.

    Hey, if you get that kind of crap for eating almonds, bring in a big box of awesomely tempting cakes: leave them on the counter with a note inviting people to “help themselves”. See how many of the non-dancers resist…

  4. popesuburban Says:

    I’d have called at least that one dad fat himself, because fair’s fair, but I understand the fear of losing your job, so I can’t blame you for that. People can seriously go fuck themselves, though; even if you were overweight, what does it matter to anyone and why would it make it okay for people to be cruel to you?

  5. bright24 Says:

    I cannot believe they have a go at you for eating NUTS. I eat nuts as a healthy alternative to biscuits!

    Jeez, I hate the food police. People constantly comment on how much I eat. I have seconds. Sometimes I have thirds! My main concern is enjoying my food, NOT whether I comply with that nineteenth century ‘ladies eat like birds’ shit. It’s the snarky ‘ooh, on a diet are we?’ jokes that make my blood boil.

    • shoutingwoman Says:

      Its even worse when you’re pregnant – I’m so fed up of people making comments about what I eat and giving me ‘advice’.

      Personally, I think if you get that kind of reaction to just eating nuts, I’d start eating a 3 course dinner or something. If they’re gonna be rude to you anyway, might as well eat something substantial. 🙂

  6. mcsqueeky Says:

    Holy
    shit.

    This is so awful. I’m so disgusted right now. And ALMONDS. A small package of ALMONDS! It’s not like you’re eating lard. And even if you were, that should be of no concern to anyone.
    And I agree with popesuburban — even if you were overweight, it’s not anyone’s business. But the fact that that man told you that “it shows” is outrageous. I guess they think you should be anorexic. People are so obsessed with what women eat.

  7. xchx Says:

    What’s also amazes/disgusts me about this is that the parents think that you’re giving a bad idea to their children… by eating. What the hell kind of world are we living in that EATING = bad role model.

    Humans actually do need food to dance, or run or do gymnastics or anything else that involves tons of strength and exercise. Regardless, when you’re done performing/competing, an eating disorder has a good chance of haunting you for the rest of your life. Unfortunately this is exactly what these parents are asking for in their children if they can’t even watch someone SNACK ON NUTS in peace!

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