In honor of Women’s history month, I will be picking a woman crush every day from International Women’s Day. In this spirit of inclusiveness (the very goal of these 31 days), I will be showcasing and celebrating women of all faiths, identities, sizes, races, and just walks of life. But let me not get in the way.
The March 9 Woman to watch is: Misty Copeland
3 Reasons for Slaying:
1. She’s completely redefined beauty standards.
Copeland shows young girls that you can be strong and beautiful at the same time. She’s got tanks as arms and her calves are actually unreal.
2. She’s changed the face of ballet.
By partnering with Under Armour, Copeland is proving that ballet is as much a sport as football. The sheer strength and patience with the task doesn’t come easy. Even more, Misty was originally dubbed a horrible candidate for ballet. She started later than everyone else in training, and she was afraid to speak out in public.
She now dances as the first Black female signature ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre.
She was the only Black woman in the company for 10 years, according to her interview with Fusion. But, she defied the odds and her mantra in her life is a testament to melding her adversities to achievements: “Be vulnerable…just enough to accept and be able to weed out qualities and words from others that you want to adapt for yourself.”
The dancer became en pointe, a process spanning years and years of practice, in nearly 90 days.
3. She’s a product of the American Dream.
Copeland originally grew up in a motel with her five other siblings. According to ABC, she lived on food stamps and faced custody battles when she was only 15. But, she found a way to keep dancing despite major financial and familial challenges. She now dances as the first Black female signature ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre.
Misty, never stop pirouetting and keep inspiring us with your unwavering drive to break boundaries.