Photo courtesy of Naked
Misty Copeland continues to break barriers as a cultural icon. The first black woman to become a principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s history has used her fierce voice as much as her pointe shoes to inspire us all. She recently released her latest book, Ballerina Body, following the success of her first book in 2014, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.
What She Learned from Mom
Her new book’s narrative moves with an ease that challenges women to dream, practice self-care, and remove self-doubt. It’s a powerful emotional practice she learned from home, growing up in Kansas City, Missouri. “I learned so much from my mother. She was a single mom of 6 children and struggled financially to stay afloat. She had this inner strength to never give up and that resilience has benefited me as a dancer. From injuries to different obstacles of being “the only,” it helped to have this strong inner strength from within,” she explains.
Her Struggles with Body Image
Copeland hopes that Ballerina Body helps women create their own best versions of themselves. The 35-year-old dancer is open about her own struggles with wellness and body image when she was growing up. “I share a lot of journaling and intimate thoughts that I was experiencing when I was younger,” she shares. “We all have those battles with ourselves. That was really the inspiration of the book. I didn’t want to craft a message that was, ‘Eat what I eat, and do what I do, and you’ll look like me.’ This is my version of a ballerina’s body. It’s not the ideal. I’m not a white woman who is flat chested and has no muscle. I am my healthiest self and that’s what I want people to get from it too.”
Her Favorite Foods
The pro ballerina also shared that the section she enjoyed crafting the most was sharing her recipes. “I love being in the kitchen and cooking. Food and nutrition is such an important part of my life. It’s more than half the battle when it comes to being healthy. A lot of people think that it’s all about working out, but what we put into our bodies is just as important or more important.”
Her favorite go-to recipes? Copeland loves cooking fish and greens. Her favorites being asparagus and kale. “I’m a big savory person,” she revealed. Copeland is also a big snacker (who knew?!). “I enjoy snacking and I love products that are clear about their ingredients. I love Naked’s new nutrition bars. The Green Machine is one of my favorites. It’s clean and includes all of the ingredients I would actually eat—no mystery in the packing. Just nuts, fruits, and veggies.”
What does she love to do on her off time? “If I can get away, I love the beach and running. Anywhere warm!” She is still on the grind and the rest of 2018 is pretty packed. “I’m on the road in two weeks in Asia with the American Ballet Theatre. The big season opens in the spring at the Met, but I’m also building partnerships with brands that mean something to me and stand for things that I live by.”
Thankfully, she’s leading by example.