The world’s obsession with body size is something no one is alien to. Be it modelling clothes or even selling a deodorant or for that matter a bike, a lithe lady dressed provocatively seems to do the job for almost everyone selling anything. It’s come to a point where the second we see a woman who is slightly bigger in size than the accepted one, we tend to turn our faces away.
This is exactly what Arika Armstrong has vowed to change with her ‘Pretty Big Movement’ dancers. Yes, bigger women (whatever that term even means, honestly!) can dance and super gracefully at that. Dance is a form of expression of what the performer innately feels and it is no rocket science that people of every size feel emotions the same way. The ‘plus-size’ label in itself is as offending as a label gets, because who even decides what’s the right size to be.
The inspiration behind this dance group came when Armstrong was unable to find herself any representatives in spite of having starred in two of Beyonce’s videos. All of this due to her size. It’s beyond me to process how anybody could overlook the awesome talent each of the dancers in this group possess.
Pretty Big Movement has also made it to America’s Got Talent and is a group of beautiful, gorgeous dancers who believe in their talent and they could very well be the next big thing.
On each of their YouTube videos there are of course a few haters who question why they did not put in all this motivation and effort into being ‘fit’. What such comments bring out is how deeply engrained size ideals are in our systems. We equate being fit and being healthy as being of a certain size that’s pleasing to our eyes which are conditioned to appreciating only certain body types.
Arika talks about how she was repeatedly pointed out for her body size by even her family members. Wherever she went to join dance groups, people would look at her with a gaze that questioned her presence in the circuit. The hurt and pain she felt when bullied for her size is more than evident in her voice.
She did not let any of this bring her down though, and here she is dancing her way through stereotypes and into people’s hearts with Pretty Big Movement. Let’s hear a round of applause for this gorgeous lady and her troupe please.