Why Amber Riley's Mirror Ball is a Win for All Women

Last night was the finale of Dancing with the Stars. I'll admit, I don't watch the show on a regular basis. But, this season, I had more of an interest because of one dancer-- Amber Riley.

I 'know' Amber from her role on Glee. (The girl can sing!) I love her Glee character because she's very outgoing and confident. Riley said once, "I never wanted to play a character that hated herself. I wanted people to know that those aren't the only roles for people like me, normal girls."

I didn't know until DWTS that Amber is like that in real life.

The thing about Amber is that she doesn't apologize for her size. She doesn't obsess about losing weight. She doesn't demean herself in any way. She is confident in who she is.

“I don’t think it should be an anomaly for a person my size to be able to dance or have confidence,” Amber adds. “Everybody should have confidence. … We deserve it.”

This is what we need. We need role models who don't act like they're good despite their body shape, that somehow, an achievement is tempered by body size. Amber understands this. Though she is a fabulous dancer, she got some negative feedback about her role on the show--
 “There were a couple [comments], like, ‘She danced well — for her size,’” Amber says. “I don’t want people to think that! I just want to dance well.”

Our daughters need, we need, to see women of all sizes doing things well. We need to be trying new things, learning, performing, putting ourselves out there, being examples of beautiful, magnificent women.

Riley said of her experience, "Putting yourself in an uncomfortable position and allowing yourself to strive for greatness makes you a better person, and I feel like I am a better person because of this show. I have made myself happier doing this and I have gotten an immense boost in confidence. I am so grateful for Dancing With the Stars!"

It is essential that we love ourselves for the wonderful beings we are. Our size does not define us. Our bodies are amazing and capable. We must shun the media and the images they throw at us. We have to embrace the beauty that is inherent within.

Amber worked hard. She had many of the struggles that other dancer have--sore muscles, a knee injury and exhaustion. She didn't let these stop her or even slow her down. Amber recently tweeted-

"I proved that I can do whatever I put my mind to, and opposition doesn't make a situation impossible. I am stronger and confident!"
(photo credit- abc.com)
Opposition doesn't make a situation impossible. If only we all could remember that. Amber marched, or danced, forward and grabbed the victory--for herself and for all women.


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