Beyond the pale

One of the reasons I love ballet:
Ballet loves the pale.

Went to an acupuncturist, was lying there on the table, needles stuck in my face, looking like the dog who gets a little too curious about the porcupine, when the acupuncturist demands,
“Why you so pale?! Your husband not feed you?”
To which I reply,
“Ok, Thing #1! I am a modern, grown-up, independent kinda lady! Which, ok fine now that you bring it up, sure, that does mean that I can barely feed myself and yes, you’re right, my husband should probably take me out for dinner. For both of our sakes. Maybe you could write a prescription? For my fave restaurant?
And Thing #2: Uh, why don’t You tell Me why I’m so pale? You’re the one wearing the lab coat! Isn’t that, like, your job? Can’t you just look at my tongue and know? Here, I’ll stick it out: mmmmmlllllhhhhuh!”


In a blonde, tanned world, it’s always comforted me to look through books of ballet history and see page after page of pale dark-haired girls.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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7 Responses to Beyond the pale

  1. odile says:

    Yep, as a person of “color” (Native American on Mom’s side,) my skintone is unusually light. And then there’s that black hair to account for. Exactly opposite of what current society thinks is the epitome of beauty.

    I was in a production of Swan Lake a couple of years ago; it was to run in late July. After the audition the artistic director cautioned us against getting suntans that summer, he didn’t want any bronzed dancers in the corps. Since I do tan very easily, I spent the summer swaddled in long pants and long sleeves and slathered in sunblock. Avoided the beach, turned down several invitatitons to go sailing, and spent as much time during daylight hours as possible indoors. That and the long grueling rehearsal hours made it a non-summer for me.

    Never mind all that. We “palefaces”are beautiful at the ballet!

  2. Jen says:

    Hooray for pale brunettes!

  3. o'fla says:

    Many years ago, whilst living in Greece, I went with my family to see a performance of Britain’s Royal Ballet dancing Swan Lake at the Herod Atticus theatre at the foot of the Acropolis.
    The swans were all sunburned, with very visible lines where their bathing suits had been.
    It did look a bit odd, but knowing the longing for warmth and sunshine, I could totally understand their motives for NOT avoiding the beach during their short stay in Greece.

    (of course, nowadays, it has come to be known that both a lot of exposure to sunlight and smoking cause the skin to look much older quicker… but that is a different story! ;) )

  4. Rachel says:

    I have not yet begun adult ballet (first class on Thursday!) and am reading through your blog for moral support. The pale aspect of ballet is definitely a bonus! I am a very pale, freckly red head, which isn’t conventionally “beautiful” these days (but I would not change my hair colour for the world!).

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