YOUNG people are challenging the un-realistic expectations put on them through social media with a new show.

I Weigh has been created by young people from Tyne Valley Youth Theatre and theatre company Mortal Fools in response to the online ‘@i_weigh’ movement.

The show is a "fun and poignant journey through what it is like living in a world that places value on the superficial, distorts self-image and asks questions about the expectations that are placed on us every day".

It explores several questions such as: what can you really tell about someone from their Instagram feed?

I Weigh will tour at the Arts Centre Washington in Sunderland before heading off to five other theatre venues including The Witham, in Barnard Castle, and Gosforth Civic Theatre. The show takes the form of a train journey with thematic stops and audience engagement.

The I Weigh movement was started by actress and activist Jameela Jamil, who was inspired by the unrealistic expectations placed on people both online and in the media.

She wanted to speak out to promote self-love and self-acceptance following her own experience of press articles stating she had gained weight following a healthy lifestyle.

The online movement on Instagram gets individuals to consider their “worth” in more than what they weigh and encourages sharing what makes you, you.

The movement has global traction on social media and beyond with Jameela recently being invited to The Ellen show to talk about it.

Over three months, the group went from creating their own I Weigh profiles, to writing and producing a show with Mortal Fools, exploring growing up as a young person, societal expectations, mental health, emotional resilience, relationships and self-perfections.

Director Helen Ferguson said “I Weigh makes real people visible, beyond the media’s fake representation of people in the world, and I wanted to make a show that helped young people share their experiences and make their lives visible too – so that people in the audience would understand, think about how they support and treat others, and make a change to support themselves and other people in their life.”

She added: “All of the material in the show comes from the real life personal experiences of the cast, they all have a story to tell and we aim for the audience to relate to what they see. Using real life experiences, humour and poignancy is when really good theatre can have an impact.”

“For young people making theatre together enables them to explore themselves, their lives, their worries, their joys and gives them a safe but also risk-taking place to do that. Theatre is a sociable art form – we work in a room with other human beings creating something collectively, which is enjoyable and empowering. Young people from our company have said that taking part in our theatre projects has had a huge impact on their wider lives.

“Live event theatre is powerful because everyone is in that room, on that night, experiences something together that hopefully makes them think and feel something important. And the ultimate goal is the audience leave the theatre and make a change in their life. That’s my hope for the audience going to see I Weigh”

Cast member, Ben, 17, said: “Before I started Mortal Fools youth theatre I had no self-esteem and doubted myself a lot, however after taking part I was able to build my confidence. Being around people helped me feel comfortable in my own skin.”

“I still get stressed and lack confidence at times, however Mortal Fools is my outlet for stress relief, providing a place to take my mind off school and other anxieties; I don’t know what I’d do without it. It’s so important to have youth theatre as I want to give other young people a chance to fit in, and to release their full potential.”

The show will be performed at The Witham, on Saturday, April 27, from 7.30pm. Entry is £5 for adults and £3 for those under 16. To book visit