The world has only begun to see glimpses of Misty Copeland, but the peeks that we’ve gotten have us wanting more.

The classical ballet dancer is part of the prestigous American Ballet Theatre and has been most recently featured on Prince’s “Coming to America” tour. Audiences around the world have caught the ballerina opening for the legend alongside newcomers Janelle Monae and Esperanza Spalding.

As a brown girl in a world of Natalie Portman-esque Black Swans, Misty’s race certainly sets her apart from the majority of dancers in the professional ballet world. But that is not the reason why she’s being talked about so much. At 5’2 and 103 pounds Misty has been labeled “the curvy ballerina.”

In an interview with BlackVoices, Misty spoke about the role body image can play in her extremely body conscious field.

“I wouldn’t say that ballet is a natural art form because most people are working against what their bodies are supposed to be doing. Few people have naturally flexible bodies and can do certain things. We still end up with major problems at the end of our careers. It’s beautiful and I think that my body has adapted very easily to this form of dance. I don’t think my body would’ve been any less curvy, because it’s genetic.”

While Misty started dancing professionally at 13, she was considered a late entry to the dancing world.  But with her body and having other successful black women around her helped to keep things in perspective. However, Misty raises an interesting point about the enduring difficulties for sisters with dark skin trying to enter the game.

“I’ve seen so many talented black women who come in with the perfect physique and still not get into this company or another one. I think it’s probably about timing as well but it definitely may have been because they were too dark. I think I was lucky to get in when I did and maybe they felt that position was filled.”

We love that Misty maintains her grace and keeps a level of candor as well. She’s a gorgeous woman to watch, but beyond a pretty face, she is a voice and force to be reckoned with as well.

What do you think, about Misty Copeland’s comments? Tell us what you think Clutchettes!

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • Laura Horton

    I wasn’t aware Misty was black until they said it. She is absolutely beautiful but of such mixed race and ethnicity that I called looks ‘exotic’.
    I have to agree that there is most definitely a bias against darker skinned black women in America. I’m sure darker black women have been passed over by the ballet company who were very talented.
    In America today, the light skinned black woman with more European (classic Caucasian) features are preferred. Beyonce, Misty, Hallie Berry, or exotic as Iman. Some black women feel the need to put themselves through surgery to look ‘less black’. Janet Jackson was a beautiful woman without plastic surgery. Did she feel she needed to look less African-American to sell albums? If so, that is sad. Her talent should be what she is judged on, not what she looks like. Michael went waaay overboard trying to look less black.
    Every race needs to be judged against that races standard of beauty. There are ugly and beautiful whites, and I assume that is true of blacks and Asians (tho I have no standard to judge by within each race but I can tell when someone of another race is Quasimodo or Shrek ugly.
    Honest question – Do a large percentage of blacks consider the light-skinned women more beautiful than a classically beautiful African American woman?