by Xylophone de Guzman, edited by Culture Toronto
oh Jill Andrew ... you co-founded the Body Confidence Canada Awards yet the bodies of ballet dancers made you uncomfortable riding the ttc? Don't "you want images that depict YOU on the move?"
Firstly, you, a co-founder of a movement should understand what it's like to strive for your dreams and finally get there. Achievement is exactly what these individuals represent. I don't know a more difficult craft than the art of ballet, and the artists who symbolize exactly that. Doesn't hard work and dedication reflect you? Aren't you driven and passionate?
Ballet dancers attain their body as a result of countless hours put into their craft, the repetition of a single motion, and the extra hours of effort in the gym so they can be dancers. They are walking symbols of hard work and dedication for everyone.
This isn't a Victoria's Secret ad, these aren't "models" pretending to be ballet dancers. these aren't individuals who are narcissists who pose in front of a camera to get insta-famous.
You had the audacity to say the following that “[your] experience as a radicalized woman, as a fat woman, [of being] called an f-ing fat black b—- on the TTC,” as if this would help your case when your personal suffering doesn't matter in regards to the greater symbol these artists offer.
This isn't about race so why even mention skin colour? And black artists were something that inspire you, the most sought after ballerina right now is Misty Copeland who fought through so much discrimination to get to where she is. Look into her story and you tell me if her body makes you uncomfortable. This isn't about your size... what does your size have to do with the size of someone in an advertisement? There are second city ads on the trains, do you take offence to comedians because they make people laugh and you don't?
AND, body confidence? That's what you mighty cause? I have personal friends that are ballet dancers and how dare you, of all people, misunderstand THEIR struggle with body confidence. Ballet artists are constantly told on a daily basis that their bodies will never be good enough, but they have to push through because it's their confidence that have got them to the level to be able to pose for an ad with the national ballet. You were called fat on the ttc... aww boo fucking hoo.. was that out of hate? from a stranger? You wouldn't stand a minute in a ballerinas body. Imagine you went up to someone you looked up to and you told them you were passionate about something your body lets you do and they professionally critique your body in front of you.
Sounds like you need to get your shit in order if you want to be proud of the fact you started the BCCA, and a defender of body image across the board, for the skinny people too. Your hypocrisy is baffling.
I look at these images with awe because I'm proud to say the TTC and Toronto supports artists like these.
How do you feel about these new TTC ads?