07 July 2011

In which the Melancholy Swan encounters a snotty teenage cygnet

Tuesday evening the Melancholy Swan arrived at the Academy as usual for the adult class. Generally the adolescent cygnets ignore me, either chatting in a bevy of their peers or the siren call of their smartphones. But this time, I was noticed, and a blonde of perhaps 14 or 15 years old looked me up and down. The contempt in her gaze was palpable "OMG. Are you kidding me?" as she turns away and starts whispering to her friends. I kept walking and when I turned back to look at her, one of her friends poked her that I was looking, giving the impression that I had been under discussion.

I've been heavy for most of my adult life and as I've gotten older I decided to stop worrying about the skinny girls at the gym or in yoga class (and I was taking yoga in Sherman Oaks, CA with lots of beautiful people) and focus on my work. I stopped wearing sleeved shirts when it was 95 degrees in the studio and discovered that cute guys at the gym actually encourage big girls working out.  But the biggest realization came when it dawned on me that no one was looking at me. They were focused on what they were doing, not on me.

The same thing happened when I started ballet. I was nervous and did end up being the largest one in the class, but nobody cared but me. Only one person was passing judgement on how I looked. Me. And I can be quite the mean girl to myself. So imagine my surprise when a bitchy teenager gave the snotty eye to a 40 year old woman! It's like having a kitten hiss at you. They're so cute when they try to be tough!

If I had been younger, I would have been hurt and humiliated. Now I'm just a bit confused why she would even bother. Besides, the little bitch wasn't that pretty anyway.


  1. Ha! The last line made me laugh.

    You're stronger than I am! I know all you say is true (about people not caring really) but I'm still so self-conscious. The worst part is I think that self-consciousness at this level is sortof egomanically self-centered. But that might just be me loving more reasons to beat myself up!

    Anyway, I'm glad you kept walking and ignored her. She probably is probably transferring her own insecurity!

  2. I just want to high five this post! : )

  3. Ha... hahaha. Love this post, especially the last sentence. Oh, and the line about the hissing kitten. ;)

    Ah, the cygnets. Most cygnets I run across truly are wonderful little creatures. But you do get the occasional "I'm-a-prettier-princess-than-you" cygnet, to which one wants to respond, "Honey, I'm the Queen Mother, so don't even try..." Seriously, if they have nothing better to do than to compare bodies with someone old enough to be their mother... well, yeah. Screw 'em.

    I agree that this is a simple case of transferred insecurities. I've seen that with a few cygnets. They focus on some weird outward thing, whether it's size or how many turns one can do or the height of one's extension. They don't get that you can be the twiggiest girl doing septuple pirouettes with your foot over your head, but if you are dancing without feeling it's nothing more than a circus trick. I'd rather teach a big person who gives me her all than some little snot-nosed kid who thinks she's above it all. Give me a break!

    Too bad we can't transfer some of our life experiences to them!

  4. Seriously, the one-two punch of hissing kitten/LittleBitchNotPretty is a TKO of hilarious.
    Friend told me about a dance class he took at a high school for performing arts, back when he was a dumb but hot young thang. Teacher walks in, he's looking her up and down, thinking, "Please. What does she think she can teach me with thighs like that?" And then he totally Got Schooled.

  5. I feel the same way about kids with mohawks and Doc Martins. They're adorable! And they think they're so tough!

    My friend's daughter has a baby Siamese kitten and she hissed at me today! It was a tiny little "heh" and her fur was standing up and everything!

  6. Bwahahahaaaa!