Ballet Dancer / Actress Sarah Hay: “I was always ‘the fat girl’ or ‘the heavy girl”

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Star of Flesh and Bone show Sarah Hay is a professional ballet dancer who was criticized a lot during her career for not having the typical dancer figure because of her DD cup breasts:

I had a lot of controversy about my figure – a figure so curvy, it doesn’t fit the typical mold for a dancer. One teacher even pulled her offstage during a production, handed her a sports bra and said, “Your breasts are distracting me.”

On refusing to get a breast reduction:

“I like my body. I don’t want to have to change it for anything — even if that means I have to take a step down as a dancer. I don’t think I’m ever going to sacrifice my figure for anyone else to accept me… I was always ‘the fat girl’ or ‘the heavy girl.”

… says Sarah, who is a size 0 on bottom and a DD on top.

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See more of her inside!

 

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26 thoughts on “Ballet Dancer / Actress Sarah Hay: “I was always ‘the fat girl’ or ‘the heavy girl””

  1. is anyone else tied of women only being asked about their bodies in interviews… i haven’t read the rest of it but ‘i hope they talk about her accomplishments… i know that these are issues all women are facing regarding their bodies, and we have to put a stop to it… she’s a smart and talented women who happens to have big breast… i mean how come that is such an issue… it’s so freaking sad

    • Yeah that is what this site is for and those are the articles which get
      posted. In addition to that, the model / actress doesn’t get to pick
      the questions which get asked of her. If she said she wasn’t going to
      answer beauty related questions, she would probably get criticized for that by other viewers of the site!

    • i agree but I think it depends on what your profession and accomplishments are… no one’s asking Sheryl Sandberg about her body image, as far as I’m aware. Women in the entertainment biz get asked because it’s somewhat relevant to their job (though perhaps it shouldn’t be).

        • I agree, totally. But there are so many “actresses” out there like Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, etc who are only hired for their looks… its stupid but it does matter sadly 🙁

          • totally stupid… :)… not that I hate Jessica Alba, I do like her… but my god the woman can’t act! haha

    • As someone who grew up dancing and attending the ballet somewhat regularly, I’ve witnessed the prized figure as lean, strong, thin, and pretty much flat chested.

    • i find this odd becuase while I’m not a dancer I went to high school with plenty, and plenty of girls who did it in college or went to college for it……and wait for it……at least 60% had big o’l ones. maybe its becuase im in boston though

      • what kind of dance? Ballet is the worst for body discrimination. My cousin couldn’t even continue with it because she was too “hippy” ie big and wide on the bottom, except she’s not even big and wide just normal female shape, in ballet if you’re not a twig you don’t make it, just look at all the professional companies. They all look like they barely eat, even some of the men (though some are also hot :p)

      • Dancing professionally is different from dancing in college though. I think the point is, that you can be talented and it will get you through ballet school and maybe into a company but if your shape isn’t right, it will likely work against you despite the talent.

    • dancers are under just as much pressure to be teeny (esp in the chest), it;s just not as publicized because dancers produce art whereas models sell clothes/produce profit. sure, modeling can be an art, but for the most part it’s to sell stuff. american culture has twisted ideas of art compared to european and south asian cultures.

      • Good point. And where modeling isn’t just to sell stuff, it’s not the model himself or herself that’s the artist– it’s the photographer, in my opinion.

  2. Dancing and gymnastics are similar in that regard, which is a shame because there’s not much you can do about breast size. With most “problem” areas there are exercises you can do to firm, tone etc if necessary for a given sport or endeavor.

    She looks great though the gold dress is absolutely terrible.

  3. I don’t know much about ballet, but i’ve always had the impression they prefer certain body type and or/frame&weight cos it’s needed for some moves to be easier/better or possible to be performed, for your body to learn to yield to them, and for your partner to be able to hold you, catch you, etc…i think that everything depends on the context, so in this particular context to me it doesn’t seem like a ridiculous body-shaming, i think those teachers choose particular types of figures cos they know how the body works in ballet&what is required to perfect the moves&become a riveting dancer. If i’m not mistaken there are some types of sports where certain body types&genetic strength or endurance predisposition are also preferred more or generally chosen cos it’s an advantage and sign of true potential.

  4. A specific body type its NOT necessary to dance anything. I’m a professional dancer (not in ballet but still) and know many ballerinas and dancers of all styles and ALL body types who are amazing. Also, the size of dancers has shrinked (just like models have) in the past century, just google pictures of dancers in the past. I’m tired of that stereotype being perpetrated (perpetuated? english not my first language) by dancers and choreographers who are obsessed with fitting in with fashions and catering to what audiences “want to see” when they should be concerned about dancer’s health, diversity and well, not being a–holes.
    It also bothers me a little when pretty, tall and thin dancers complain about “being different” because they are curvier or have ONE trait that is not in the norm because unless you want to get in the Bolshoi or something being pretty, tall and thin means already being privileged to dance.

    • And no, it’s not the same to dance and do sports, because even though there’s an art to sports, in dance there should be MORE that just technical virtuosity (but still you can achieve technical virtuosity to dance with any body type).

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