Misty Copeland for Under Armour

Truer words have never been spoken. During a press junket for her new children’s book, Firebird, Copeland spoke about issues dealing with body shaming, especially when it comes to black women.

“As a dancer, when you’re put in front of the spotlight and an audience, it is a subjective art form. Not everyone is going to like you,” she said during the interview. “But it’s hard when you’re being judged for things you can’t control, like the color of your skin, like the type of body that you have.”

The newly crowned Under Armor spokeswoman said that black women can be graceful dancers, even if their bodies are different.

“Everyone has different body types. It’s really, I think, ignorant to just kind of categorize someone and say all African-Americans have this body, therefore you can’t do this,” she explained. “It’s not true. You look at track runners, you look at models, you look at swimmers that are African-American, and they don’t have that body that they’re saying only exists for African-American women.”

Copeland added that it’s important to remember skin color doesn’t dictate talent.

“You can be any color, you can morph your body into what it’s capable of becoming, and it can be beautiful still and fit into that realm of what classical ballet should be,” she said.

Check out the full interview below:

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  • Chelsea

    She’s completely right. I’ve always been tall and thin so I hate that whole black women are curvy, curves are better rhetoric. It’s body shaming. It’s possible to uplift one segment without putting down others.

    • I have noticed that women in general do this; uplift one segment to put down another. I think it’s shameful. I understand wanting to spotlight certain things, but I don’t think we have to do it in such a way to where others are put down. I’m still mastering that myself.

    • I’m tall and thin with little to no butt, so the whole ‘typical’ black woman’s curvy body does not fit me and I’m sure others as well.

    • vintage3000

      Exactly. Yes a lot of Black women are curvy, but not all of us and that’s ok, we don’t all have to be considered “thick” to be attractive. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so happy for Lupita’s success. Often Black women who are considered beautiful have to be voluptuous bombshells with t&a for days or at least be half naked all the time, she is petite and elegant.

    • Anthony

      @vintage3000, Lupita is not thick, but in my humble opinion, she is sitting on something pretty special!

      A woman does not have to have ridiculous proportions to be attractive.

  • Anthony

    Misty is right, of course. It is a shame she has to say what should be common sense to everyone.

  • Anonin

    Glad someone finally said it. Not all black women are just curves just like not all black men are muscles.

    • Anthony

      Nor are black men all hung like horses either.

    • EmilyS

      … and being overweight does not equal curves, either. That’s annoying too.