“Mirrow mirror on the wall
Are you happy with your body, at all?”
The psychology department raised this question through their Dance Drama “Reclaiming the Body”, performed on the 27th of August, 2014, as a part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Directed by Shwetha Gopal, this dance drama explored eating disorders through the story of a teenage girl Tara, who slips into the clutches of anorexia. Taunted by friends, neighbours, and even her mother, she starts doubting herself and the way she looks, and embarks on an unrealistic journey to lose weight and become ‘perfect’. Despite all her efforts to exercise and reduce food intake, she is mocked by a hypocritical society, till she reaches a breaking point, when she realizes that no matter what she does, she will never be “good enough” in their eyes.
A musical number choreographed by Mugdh Setia depicting her feelings and all the good inside her helps Tara realize that acceptance must come from within, and that she does not have to conform to society’s arbitrary and unrealistic standards of beauty. The dance drama ends with an affirmation by Tara that she chooses to free herself from the chains of societal pressure , and can finally embrace the girl staring back at her in the mirror.
This is not just Tara’s story. It is the story of every girl who has ever been dissatisfied with her reflection in the mirror. It is the story of every girl who bases her self-worth on her appearance and what she is told it SHOULD be. It is shocking how many people are uncomfortable in their own bodies, and how far they will go to change it. We, as the educated section of this society should make it our responsibility to play an active role in eliminating the self-doubt that plagues so many of us and planting the seeds of a more confident, sensitive generation of women.
Reported by Abhilasha Mansata and Divyanshi Pandey
Photographs by Harshita