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Christina Aguilera 'Beautiful (2022 Version)' by Fiona Jane Burgess

Promonews - 25th Oct 2022

In a 20th anniversary celebration of Christina Aguilera's classic ballad Beautiful, Fiona Jane Burgess delves into what is plaguing the youth of today in a series of striking tableaux that focus on the threat of social media and 'influencer' culture on the wellbeing of the impressionable young.

The video starts with a series of children blankly staring at their phones, their eyes lit up by their phone screens. Burgess brings each character’s insecurity to life as the camera pans from different perspectives. Young girls stare at themselves in the mirror, covered in cosmetic surgery incision lines, not convinced by the song’s powerful lyrics. 

But ultimately, as with Aguilera's classic song, this is ultimagely a message of hope. The video ends with a powerful shot of kids playing hopscotch and climbing trees. It is a reminder that should be instilled in every child; it’s okay to just be a kid.


FIONA JANE BURGESS:

“This film is a love letter to young people in 2022. It’s an acknowledgement of the fact that social media has totally transformed our relationship with our bodies, and in turn, our mental health.

"Young people are constantly fed images of unrealistic beauty standards, and with more images and influencers than ever circulating online, it’s virtually impossible to control what information young people consume. This in turn has created an online world which can be as positive as it is volatile. This film explores the tension between progression versus regression in terms of beauty standards and how our cultural relationship to it has evolved in the last twenty years, specifically in relation to the impact it’s having on children and young people.

My hope is that this film opens up a conversation around... images and messages children are consuming.

"Research suggests that time spent on social networking sites is associated with body image issues and disordered eating in teens. According to emergency room trends, there’s been a 50% increase in reported self-injury among teenagers since 2009.

"According to a paper published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, more than half of girls and one-third of boys ages 6 to 8 are unhappy with their body weight. And more than 80 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being “fat.” This is heartbreaking. This needs to change. And this film aims to be part of that change.

"This film is an act of resilience. A celebration of courage and self love. A love letter, a signal for change in the way we perceive beauty. My hope is that this film opens up a conversation around the potential harm associated with what images and messages children are consuming, if it’s not spoken about and discussed.

"I think a lot of children and young people feel suffocated by the online world but don’t know if they’re alone in feeling this way, so for me this film is about acknowledging that they aren’t alone, that it’s normal to have insecurities and to try to have a balanced view of social media and not let it dictate the way we think of ourselves.” 

 

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Promonews - 25th Oct 2022

Tags

  • Director's notes
  • Pop
  • Mental health
  • Children

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Fiona Jane Burgess
Producer
Blair Smith
Production Company
Executive Producer
Elizabeth Doonan
Production Manager
Chanel Parkinson
1st AD
Robert Diment

Camera

Director of Photography
Andreas Bjørseth
Focus Puller
Ola Austad
Steadicam
Josh Brooks

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Seth Crosby

Art

Production designer
Max Bellhouse

Casting

Casting director
Hannah Ashby Ward

Editorial

Editor
Jo Lewandowska
Editing company
Okay Studio

Grading

Colourist
Julien Alary
Colour grade company

Misc

Film Laboratory

Misc

Casting
Film Scanning

Promonews - 25th Oct 2022

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