Pyjama Girls Interview

A new fashion craze is sweeping the nation- but you won’t see it on the pages of any style magazines. Girls all over the country, but particularly in Dublin, are stepping out wearing their pyjamas and they have invoked an angry response from much of the public. Callers on shows such as Liveline have called the trend “disgraceful” and “dirty”, and think that the young girls going to the shops in pyjamas are a symbol for a desperate society.

But what about the girls behind the trend? Why do they choose sleepwear as outerwear, and why is it such a big deal? A new documentary released in cinemas, Pyjama Girls, tries to show us the side of these girls we don’t know about. The film, directed by Maya Derrington, follows the lives of 15 year olds Lauren and Tara as they live their lives in Ballyfermot and the Basin Street flats off James’s Street, and deal with drugs, violence and being judged by the public. Looking at the subject matter, along with the girl’s strong accents being subtitled, one may fear that the film may be judging the girls too.

However, one of the stars of the film, Shauna Malone from Ballyfermot, feels that all the pyjama girls were portrayed in a good light. “The film is all about our everyday lives and what we do day to day,” says 16 year old Shauna.

The documentary follows Lauren, Tara and their friends over a year, after being approached at home by filmmakers. “The girls were in the flats on James’s Street, and the people making the film came up and asked would they like to be in the film,” explains Shauna. “We were filmed for about a year. We really enjoyed it and it brought all of us closer together.”

The documentary’s focus is on Lauren Dempsey, who has had to deal with a lot at such a young age. Living with a drug-addicted mother, she sees the flats she lives in as a home so she walks around the blocks in her pyjamas. This then extends to going to the shops in her sleepwear.

However, Shauna doesn’t really understand the fascination with the trend. “It’s not like we wear our pyjamas all the time,” she says. “I’d go down the shops in them but I’d never go into town wearing them. Scenes in the film show us wearing normal clothes as well.”

Shauna hasn’t been bitten by the acting bug, but hopes to attend college in the future to become an equestrian doctor. So contrary to popular belief, the ‘pyjama girls’ are far from a lost generation.

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