(Picture: Instagram/Luna Montana)Luna Montana is an 18-year-old ballerina from Los Angeles, California, who has been documenting her dance journey on YouTube.
The teenager has made several videos, one of them entitled I Hate my Body to talk about body dysmorphia and the way it affects her life.
She has gained a large following as she vlogs about the behind the scenes aspects of the dance industry, including auditions she’s missed out on, things that she is required to eat.
Her honesty about meeting the physical demands of the industry and how it has had an impact on her self perception and insecurities has also won a lot of praise.
In her latest video, Luna talks about how she deals with body dysmorphia as a ballet dancer, which she says all ballerinas have a variation of.
Luna posted the heartfelt video revealing how she began dancing as a three-year-old and developed body dysmorphia – a mental health condition where you become highly concerned with the way you look or a certain aspect of your appearance.
She told her 120,000 followers that though she isn’t a licensed therapist, she wants people to reach out to her so they don’t feel alone in their body image issues.
Luna has been a dancer since the age of three (Picture: Instagram/Luna Montana)‘Ballet is a very, very body-based art form,’ she explained. ‘As you know, the stereotypical ballerina has to be quite thin. I can say that it’s almost a fact that every single ballet dancer has some sort of body dysmorphia – that’s just my experience, and my friends, and what I know about the ballet industry.’
‘To be honest, I don’t have it as bad as many people do. I have never had an eating disorder, never struggled with anorexia, bulimia, any of that, which I am very, very thankful [for].
‘In this day and age it’s crazy the pressures we put on ourselves in what we should look like. Every day we’re scrolling through Instagram. We wake up and start our day scrolling through Instagram and seeing all these face-tuned photo-shopped pictures that we think we’re supposed to look like.’
She has opened up about her body dysmorphia on YouTube (Picture: Instagram/Luna Montana)Luna explained that though she fits the conventional idea of skinny, in the ballet industry, the standards are completely different,
‘In dance, the norm is stick-thin, amazing feet, hyper-extended legs, no crazy waist, no big hips, [being] very narrow, skinny arms, long arms, long neck – there’s so many things to think about.
‘It’s not even “fat” or “skinny”, it’s “are my legs shaped the right way?”
‘It could literally be your pinky finger that doesn’t work right, and you beat yourself up about it. It’s a crazy, crazy art form.’
She also added that you don’t need to be a ballerina to be able to empathise with the body standards that are imposed on people, just looking at Instagram can give you self esteem issues.
(Picture: Instagram/Luna Montana)
(Picture: Instagram/Luna Montana)Luna revealed that her method to not obsess over what other bodies look like is to block them from her social media.
‘Listen to me right now. You’re going to go on and unfollow every single page that makes you feel bad about yourself. If you somehow don’t want to, then mute their posts, mute their stories.
‘I know it’s hard and I know you want to see it but at the end of the day if it’s making you feel bad about yourself it’s not worth it,’ she said.
(Picture: Instagram/Luna Montana)‘You have to realise that this the only body you were given to live. Why would I starve it or be mean to it in any way? This is the only place that I was given to live. This is our one chance at life and I’m wasting so much energy feeling bad about the weight on our thighs. That’s crazy.’
Here is the video Luna has shared on her personal battles:
MORE: Woman’s tweet shows how different a UK size 12 looks in different shops
MORE: Famous women are openly talking about their body dysmorphia, but no one is listening
MORE: Plastic surgery report reveals the latest trends in body enhancement