Out of 235 written responses to my research, 28% of participants mentioned a desire for a different body in regards to their self-esteem and body image. 64% were professional aerialists and 36% were recreational aerialists.
My Untangled workshops have also revealed that this tends to be common transitioning from hobbyist to pro. The sudden need to look leaner, stronger, smaller.
We all have unique and beautiful bodies with their own story, and by trying to mould them into a certain aesthetic can bring us away from our authentic selves.
I used to see my body as a work in progress. Something that wasn’t ready or worthy yet. I thought it was my duty, part of the job as a aerialist to fit myself into the ‘ideal aerialist body’ box. But moving my body when I felt that way about it felt physically restricting, regardless of what it looked like.
@circuspsychology ‘s most recent research found 36% of circus artist participants reported engaging in disordered eating behaviour. 1 in 3! This is devastating and yet unfortunately not surprising to me.
Support for circus artists in this area is essential and needs to be brought to the awareness of leaders in the industry to assure this support is available for its students and employees.
Here are my thoughts on small things we can do which I think could have a big impact:
– Monitoring the language around body and food that we are using in aerial spaces
– Promoting rest days as a necessity to aerial practice, no matter the level, to try to lessen the guilt of rest that aerialists experience
– Promoting broadening identity, so identity is not solely aerial. To give ourselves breaks and find different creative outlets
– Talk more about this topic so people feel less alone in their experiences
What do you think would be helpful? 🧡