British audiences are probably familiar with the name Darcey Bussell. She is a former principle ballerina at the Royal Ballet in London and was a judge on the British version of ‘Dancing with the stars’, called ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ which also features judges Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman from the US version.
She is also a model, and children’s books author, and clearly a body image warrior for young women. Having a career which literally depends on her physical appearance she is well used the pressures both from the dance industry, and of course television.
Darcey has two daughters, Phoebe 12, and Zoe 9, who she says are the very people who keep her accountable when it comes to her own body image.
The 44 year old celeb spoke to Hello! Magazine in the UK about how being a mother has changed her perception of herself over time, and why it is more important than ever to be a good role model.
Darcey says she wants to encourage her daughters to be interested in health and fitness, rather than just their physical appearance. Although she has retired from dancing officially, her fitness routine consists of swimming and zumba classes each week, and walking the dogs. But she ain’t afraid to acknowledge that her body has changed over time.
“I’m not shy, but I think now I’m a mother I’m very conscious of my age. I like to have my arms covered. I think being a dancer makes you more self-conscious. I’m not as toned as I used to be.”
“I know where my place is now. I’m not trying to be a professional dancer any more. My time has been and yes, I’m fortunate enough to wear the clothes I do, that’s brilliant. But I’m in my mid-forties and don’t want to overdo it.”
Her “place” as she calls it is to ensure she passes on the right message to her young daughters, and to do that, Darcey says she is a nazi about watching what she says in front of them.
“It means I can never whinge in front of them. If I don’t say things like, ‘Ooh, I can’t do up my skirt, my waist is going,’ or, ‘I’ve got to keep my tummy in,’ they won’t worry about those things. It’s an instinct with any girl to want to look good, and my eldest loves fashion and clothes, but I just tell them, ‘You’ve got to be healthy, you’ve got to have a proper breakfast.’ I’m a bit of a sergeant major on that one,” she told Hello! magazine.
We wish there were more honest, confident women like Darcey who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable, but recognize the important of the messages they give to the women and girls in their lives. Good on her for using her position of influence to spread positivity, and allow her daughters to grow up in an environment where they put emphasis on the important things in life, rather than the superficial.
We give Darcey three huge 9’s for this act of inspiration for mothers and women everywhere!