Myface: Generic term for all social networking sites. Derived from a mixture of Myspace and Facebook. Usually used in a derogatory fashion. (1)
(CNN) — “Instagram is the most detrimental social networking app for young people’s mental health, followed closely by Snapchat, according to a new report by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. Their study, #StatusofMind, surveyed almost 1,500 young people aged 14 to 24 on how certain social media platforms impact health and well-being issues such as anxiety, depression, self-identity and body image.” (2)
This performance was inspired by the concept of “Visual Diet”. An idea coined by Marine Tanguy of MTArt Agency, Rankin and MC Saatchi Advertising agency. Visual Diet: the visual content a person willingly or unwillingly consumes per day. Young people spend a lot of time on social media consuming millions of images which ultimately contribute to the development of their minds. Studies have shown that this can impact the mental health of young people between 14 and 24, with a study by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK reporting increased issues such as anxiety, depression and body image issues. The report showed that these mental health issues disproportionately affect young women and girls. What if we encouraged and empowered young women to consume alternative imagery to that which makes them feel bad about themselves?
On January 24 2019, Adelaide Damoah staged a performance called #MYFACE in which she removed Instagram style makeup to reveal a skin condition called melasma which is indirectly related to a chronic illness called endometriosis. Damoah’s melasma presents as a distinct pattern of dark pigmentation on her cheeks and in the middle of her face. She then covered her face with white paint and proceeded to work around a black canvas printing her face onto it. After this, Damoah wrote everything she was feeling in the moment onto the work. Since then, Damoah has performed #MYFACE at Rise Festival in London, Cannes Lions festival in France in front of 2000 people from some of the worlds biggest brands and at the British High Commission in Lagos. This performance speaks to the global issues around colourism and skin bleaching among African and Caribbean communities.
Of the performance, Damoah states, “I hope that this performance will encourage and empower the viewer- especially young women and girls- to embrace their flaws as part of their humanity and to understand that what you see on social media is oftentimes not real. Filters, makeup and only posting the very best photos mean that we get a skewed representation of the life of someone else, be that a celebrity, a friend or just someone you admire. There is nothing wrong with you just as you are. Consume visuals that make you think and that contribute something useful or positive to your Visual Diet.”
- Urban Dictionary https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=myface
- CNN https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/19/health/instagram-worst-social-network-app-young-p eople-mental-health/index.html
Images by Cameron Prins