Monday, April 2, 2012

The Black Swan Complex Devours More Young Women

Didn't Black Swan teach us anything about a woman's quest for perfection gone awry? My answer was "Absolutely not!" after viewing this preview for Dance Moms: Miami.

Good news psychologists! You'll be employed forever. The saddest part of this video is that we consider this to be entertainment. Watching young women compete and force their bodies into extreme physical shape is a source of amusement. The mothers are also scary and reminiscent of Nina's mother in Black Swan.

Nina diets and practices obsessively to achieve "perfection." She sacrifices her body and ultimately her life for her craft. I wrote a paper last year arguing that the final scene in Black Swan demonstrates Nina's rebellion against the constraints of the society in which she lives. Her final words are "I was perfect" signifying that to preserve a perfect performance, she must die at the end. It is only in death that she can finally be perfect. She rebels against the world that makes her "imperfect" by taking her own life and making sure that her last dance was "perfect." While this is a work of fiction, it's a frightening reality on Dance Moms. When I hear people discuss the show, I hear them say, "It's awful. I can't believe those parents." Then, why are we watching? Will you be watching for the premiere tomorrow?

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