Edinburgh Preview: Baby Face at Summerhall (Demonstration Room)

Baby Face - courtesy of Daniel Hughes
Baby Face - courtesy of Daniel Hughes

Hey Baby! Welcome to a world of knee socks, bunches, lollypops, bubble-gum and models adopting the childlike expressions of six-year-old girls. In this brave and outlandish performance, Katy Dye questions if innocence is truly as sexy as we’re told. Baby Face – winner of The Autopsy Award 2018 – explores the infantilisation of adult women; it is a daring look into the paradox of living in a society that continues to infantilise women.

We live in a world where we are frequently exposed to images of women who are made to look like little girls – paradoxical considering that paedophilia is explicitly condemned, yet the sexualisation of children and women as childlike is so apparent.

In Baby Face the audience enter a strange world, where a grown woman shape shifts from adult, to teenager, to toddler, to baby. This is a world where cutesy tunes trill, bubblegum pops and your ‘Heart Belongs to Daddy’. Here, the performer dances awkwardly in a schoolgirl fetish outfit, hardly being able to stretch her foot through a three year olds pink leggings.

The audience suck on lollypops as they listen to an interview where Calvin Klein describes the desirability of Kate Moss’s ‘child woman’ quality. As the babyish world the performer has created caves in around her, she also navigates the uncomfortable line between wanting to be cared for and being infantilised. In a cloud of talcum powder, strange mixed messages hang in the air. Baby Face is an exposure of our contradictory society when it comes to women’s bodies and how they are treated.

Katy Dye comments, “Baby Face is a playful and irreverent take on the infantilisation of women. Paedophilia is not ok yet fetishised images of women as pre-pubescent are. As an adult who has physical childlike attributes, I was interested in becoming the infantilised images I have seen throughout my life, to find out the physical and emotional impact of this. The show blends  comedy and visually striking performance to ask difficult questions about the moral conscience of society.”

Baby Face is at Summerhall (Demonstration Room).

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