Dreams part 2

Just last week I put up a post on dreams, centered on the Disney/Pixar movie Up and the main character, Carl, fulfilling the life long dream he’d had with his late wife. Yesterday I saw this advert for Under Armour, which has quickly gone viral internationally.

Misty Copeland is an American ballerina and a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre, one of the three leading classical ballet companies in the US. She is also the first African American soloist at the company. Her whole story is quite incredible, with custody battles, eating disorders and adversity because of her ethnicity. And Misty didn’t actually start ballet dancing until she was 13, when most beginners commence their training aged 5. Despite this she kept going, kept training, and eventually joined ABT in 2000, working her way up to soloist in 2007.

The advert has the narration of her rejection letters playing in the background…

Dear Candidate. Thank you for your application to our ballet academy. Unfortunately you have not been accepted.

‘You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length, and bust. You have the wrong body for ballet and, at 13, you are too old to be considered.’

According to the ballet academies she had applied to, just about everything about her was wrong to them…her body, her feet, her bust, her age….and so on. Some would have given up. Many wouldn’t even have attempted to apply. With all that was going on in the rest of her life, it would have been easy to understand why she would settle for an easier life, a straightforward career.

Misty had a dream, a passion she wanted to fulfill. And she worked and worked and worked at it, she focused, she didn’t give up on her dreams.

No matter what life threw at her, Misty knew what she wanted to do, and she worked at it relentlessly with a passion. The ad campaign is titled I Will What I Want. I’m inspired.

How hard are you willing to work at achieving your dreams?

Try

Self image. Confidence. Fitting in. Society seems to demand a lot of us these days, whether it’s to do with our jobs, our cars, our houses. And even more personally, we have to wear the right clothes in the right way, have our hair and makeup on before leave the house, and make sure that we’re not over or underweight. Isn’t that what the entire advertising and marketing industry is geared towards? We must have the latest phone/dress/music/movie or risk not “fitting in”. “What do you mean you haven’t seen/heard/eaten/worn….etc?!*” (*delete as applicable)

Now I am a 40 year old father of three, who does to a limited extent pay attention to how he looks. I don’t tend to feel the pressure to wear/read/listen to the “latest thing”. I have lost a fair amount of weight recently, but this was a conscious decision rather than a question of style…I don’t think I’ll ever suit skinny jeans. But I do have two daughters who are approaching their teenage years…who are already aware of their bodies and clothes, don’t want to stand out from the crowd, and like “shopping”. But I’m pleased to say that somehow we’ve instilled confidence in them that they can be who they want to be, without conforming to the rigours and style that their peer group follow. 

Try

This track by Colbie Caillat is simply called Try, and the accompanying video is a doozie…it’s already doing the rounds on social media, and I can understand why.

You don’t have to try so hard

You don’t have to give it all away

You just have to get up

You don’t have to change a single thing

Be Real

My girls are forever watching Glee, and listening to Pink!, Kelly Clarkson, and more recently musicals (Mrs K and I are both musicians with an appreciation of musical theatre…), so they don’t have dreadful role models. And something that their teachers have always said (that could be said of us) is that they are individuals. They’re no great leaders at school, but at the same time they’re not followers. They do their own thing, and they’re happy to do so. Which I am delighted about as their daddy.

Be comfortable in your own skin. Be real. Choose your friends wisely. Remember, it’s all about what’s happening on the inside that counts. And if anyone tells you otherwise…they’re probably not worth listening to.

Thanks to LosWhit for this one…who probably says it much more succinctly than I.