A little girl sits, hands clasped around a small square box, enwrapped in wonder as the small windup ballerina twirls in circles to the melodic tinkling tune. She dreams of a magical world tinted pink where everyone is flawlessly graceful and romance flavours the very air. For some little girls this fantasy world is where it starts and ends, for others, they decide to make it their reality. And this reality comes with a sharp jolt. A realisation that creating the illusion of natural elegance is an artistry that comes at a high price. Behind the perfectly pointed ballet shoes lays bleeding toes and bandaged limb's. And behind the impossibly slender pirouetting bodies, lays years and years of high pressure, crippling expectations and in many cases, starvation.
'Dance is a highly competitive, high-pressure and physically demanding profession. In classical ballet, there is popularly believed to be an ideal ''Balanchine'' body type for women, with the jobs going to tall, slender women with long necks, long legs and short torsos. The problem of eating disorders has created a minor industry of nutritionists and therapists specializing in dancers' emotional and physical problems. Despite increasingly sophisticated methods, however, eating disorders in ballet remain extremely difficult to treat.'
The average incidence of eating disorders in the white middle-class population is 1 in 100. In classical ballet, it is one in five.
And when a little girl finds her self suddenly on this path, more often than not, it is one she must walk for the rest of her life.
Through this series, my aim is to brake this destructive depiction of the perfect ballerina and show that beauty and elegance comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and is not limited to just one 'look' but many. Whether you are tall or short, large or tiny, simply dressed or covered in tattoo's and piercing's, there is no one classification of beauty.