Are you a black woman not getting the ballet opportunities and promotion that you want because you have trouble achieving elite classical ballet line? Or don’t have a triple pirouette, entrechat six, or impressive allegro, adagio, or musicality? Or aren’t much more than at a medium level of soloist accomplishment in your professional company?
No problem. Just lift up your shirt.
It works as well as accomplishment in the white man’s world of ballet. It gets you their attention. In fact, it gets everybody’s attention. And then years later, you can write a(nother) memoir in which you cry about what you had to do in order to "get your due." You had to lift up your shirt for the white man and wag your tits, you’ll say. A white man told you to lie on the floor in your underpanties and then said that you would be a bigger star if you would lift up your shirt for him to take a picture of your tits; so that’s what you did. In your next memoir, you can cry about how hard it was back in the old days for a black woman to rise to the top of ballet when she didn’t have the top talent. She had to lift up her shirt and wag her tits at the white man. This is for all the little brown girls. The message to those little brown girls: Learn to lift up your shirts in order to get your due.
Clearly, Misty’s ego and PR machine are on steroids. The muscly pictures and promos - as the New York Times said “bulging muscles” – sure make it clear that Misty thinks that she’s the cat's pajamas of the ballet world. Or is her message that it doesn’t matter what she can or cannot do in the way of classical dancing, because she’s black and muscly and is going to muscle her way to get whatever she wants in the ballet world just like Under Armour’s other athlete spokespersons do in their athletic fields?
The one difference, though, as she conveniently fails to disclose, is that in ballet there are no stop watches, no timed races, no goal lines, no panels of independent judges assigning you a score based on merit of performance, no playing field where the competition has an equal opportunity. In ballet, it’s all about the taste of one white man who runs your company. So if you are a dancer who is having trouble matching and surpassing the artistic quality of her fellow dancers, all you have to do is convince that one white man who runs the company to suspend the use of objective artistic criteria so you can rise to the top. Lift up your shirt.
In connection with her latest promo with Under Armour, Misty associates herself with text designed to associate her bulging muscles and bulging breasts with being black and therefore implying the argument that if the white man who runs ballet rejects her for her bulging, muscly physique, then he must be rejecting her for her race. She continues her fraudulent media campaign with mixed messages by associating herself with the fake text of a fake rejection letter she never received that was designed to incite and provoke the public’s outrage and make it think that Misty has been victimized by the white man’s world but will rise above it all – we now know, by lifting up her shirt.
All of this follows Misty’s methods employed in her recent book in which she cried that she had been the victim of overt racism in ballet, specifically at ABT – without citing any evidence of it – and then subsequently backed down from her message when asked in an ABC News interview if she had ever experienced overt racism.
All of this follows Misty’s initial claim that she was the first black female soloist in the history of ABT, followed by admission that she was the second black female soloist, followed by clarification that she was the third black female soloist. And while she is hell-bent on making herself into a role model that has “opened doors” for black girls everywhere, she refuses to recognize and thank the black female soloists at ABT who opened the doors for her. She cannot even bring herself to utter their names, because it might take some of the spotlight off of her.
People might wonder - If the other black female soloists who preceded Misty at ABT never embarked on a big media campaign in which they blared how special they were, why is Misty doing it? Is she really so special or is she just an example of special treatment?
The people who know ballet know the answer to that question.