Did you see a group of young women wearing ‘FAT’ signs over the weekend? That was a body positivity flash mob taking place.
The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts troupe from Waiheke Island performed a dance routine on Queen Street on Saturday, attracting a crowd of passers-by.
The performance was about dispelling stigma around negative body perceptions, while, dancing to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back.
Dancer Alice Karetai took part in the flash mob and said it was important to get people thinking and talking about body image issues.
Ms Karetai said the crew is trying to deal with the “trauma that comes with body image [which] so many women deal with today”.
The performance centres on a group of young women, each wearing a sign around their neck that says ‘fat’. One by one they interact with other, before a ‘perfect’ girl joins them.
It is revealed that the ‘perfect’ girl also thinks she is fat. And then the music starts.
Members of the Kaleidoscope team dancing on Auckland’s Queen Street. Photo: Hannah Martin
Director and choreographer Kathy Ogletree said the public display was about starting a conversation.
“Body image is one of the biggest issues young people face.
“It’s about people realising, ‘that’s exactly what I’ve been going through, I’m not the only one. I’m not crazy’.”
She said the format of the event captures interest, and helps people start what could be an otherwise uncomfortable conversation.
“We put so much pressure on our young, and we’re starting to see the cracks now.”
Twelve-year-old Liam was skateboarding through Aotea Square when he saw girls wearing ‘fat’ signs.
“Those signs are really mean, they shouldn’t be wearing them.”
When the creative outfit explained what they were doing and why, Liam was surprised to hear that this was how many women felt about themselves.
“It’s not fair,” he said.
The flash mob is part of a larger show, Precipice, which is being performed at the SkyCity Theatre this weekend.
Focusing on a range of issues that affect young people, including sexuality, suicide, mental health and bullying, Ms Ogletree said it was all part of “putting light on all of this crap that young people have to go through”.