The pressure to be Virtually Perfect

The impact of social media and the beauty industry on young people through the medium of dance

IN PREVIOUS generations the influence of the beauty industry on young women was limited to exposure to supermodels, advertisements, and celebrities. Today young people are constantly exposed to a stream of 'perfection' through digital and social media.

The constant need to conform to unrealistic expectations of beauty and appearance is shaping young people’s lives in a way that those guiding them have no experience of. Often teenagers ‘mask’ themselves in an effort to try to fit in, and/or to be accepted. Phone camera apps that widen the eyes and plump the lips, highlight the cheekbones, and smooth the skin tone are becoming the new normal. How will ‘perfect beauty’ at the swipe of a finger affect the development of today’s young people?

These issues have inspired a new show, Virtually Perfect, which will be performed by Youth Ballet West in the Town Hall Theatre on Saturday May 11 at 8pm. It is directed by YBW artistic director/choreographer Judith Sibley.

"Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and exposure to on-line bullying will be a key element of this work," said Judith. "Through dance we will explore this new phenomenon that our young people are dealing with on a day to day basis."

Tickets are €18/14 from the Town Hall (091 - 569777, www.tht.ie ).

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