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Digital Direction (MA)

Xinyi Chen

A black and white image featuring a solitary anime idol girl standing gracefully.

This project is a thought-provoking exploration and critique of the unrealistic beauty standards imposed on East Asian women through media representations, with a specific focus on anime virtual idols. These standards, characterised by features like pale skin, big eyes, and an impossibly thin body shape, are marketed as an idealised illusion, reinforcing a limited and narrow definition of beauty. Through my work, I aim to challenge and subvert these representations by creating my own virtual idol, but with a discerning and critical perspective.

The project commences by embracing the stereotypical portrayal of a virtual idol, a representation that has already proven commercially successful. However, as the journey unfolds, my virtual idol undergoes a transformative evolution, gradually developing a genuine and organic personality. This intentional deviation from the norm serves as a profound metaphor for the expectations placed on women's bodies and beauty, highlighting how my virtual idol either conforms to or challenges those expectations.