Bodily Stereotypes | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Bodily Stereotypes

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Dear Reader,

Reader dance critic Laura Molzahn recently included in an otherwise positive critique, "This woman is a wonder with the kind of big legs and chubby arms we don't usually see in dancers," and last week in the Reader referred to one established choreographer's "love handles." In a Reader review last spring, another critic wrote about a female dancer who displayed "unusual strength for a woman." Not only do such comments seem unnecessary, serving as backhanded compliments to their subjects, but in praising the "aberration," reinforce some implied stereotype of the norm. Choreographers make choices related to issues such as gender roles and body types, but cannot single-handedly alter an audience's tolerance for diverse representation--it must be a community effort.

C. Reid

N. Ashland

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