Physique is a short film that promises to address eating disorders among young dancers, and the damage it causes.

Jennifer James’ directorial debut, the short film Physique, addresses the difficult topic of eating disorders in the world of young dancers. James also stars as Bella in the film, and drew from her own experiences when writing, directing and performing in the project.

She says: “The moment I realised something was wrong was when I fainted during a performance at Edinburgh Fringe. My want to prove myself capable of doing it, regardless of how bad my health had declined, I never wanted to admit a problem because that was how I coped. But it was a wake-up call that my weight had become more of a priority than what I truly loved – dance. This film will not be explicit, but I want people to follow the journey of why she feels the need to do what she does, instead of just thinking she doesn’t eat because she wants to be slim. Eating disorders are so much more than that, and in my experience, I was often told ‘just to eat a sandwich and get over it.’ I want to bring light to the other side of the problem through Bella’s eye – what she sees, how she feels, her struggles – but still bring awareness that she is spiralling into eating disordered behaviours triggered by these things.”

Sadly, eating disorders can still be somewhat taboo, especially in the high-pressure world of dance, where girls can put themselves under immense pressure at a young age. Adds producer Adam Survay, “it’s important these days to put a spotlight on mental health that young dancers experience and suffer, it’s not all rays of sunshine for these artists, they’re constantly being reminded of their body image as they dance in front of a mirror, it shouldn’t matter what size you are so long as you can express yourself.”

Do check out the trailer below and consider supporting the film by sharing it.

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