Hall 1101-351

Amani Nassar

Dr. Hall

English 1101

December 10, 2018

Imperfectly Perfect 

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What one may see as beautiful, another would see as hideous, what one sees as hideous another would see as beautiful. There are many personifications of beauty, there’s raw beauty and then there’s editorial beauty one of which is more accepted in the media than the other. The imperfections we try to hide day after day, are the elements that makes us who we truly are as an individual. We tend to try to conform to the beauty standards the media portrays to us when we should in fact stray away from those standards, creating a world with no beauty standards because no two people are the same.

In magazines we always see these flawless men and women who seem almost unreal. They have perfect skin, straight dark hair, amazing bodies, and out of the ordinary eye colors. Artist, Marilyn Minster, is just one of the few people who go beyond the typical beauty standards. Her goal is take what we see as ugly or nasty and turn it into a beautiful work of art. During an interview with Vogue magazine, Minster said “I’m not interested in making another pretty girl, but I am interested in women with character to their faces.” The pretty faces may  make the money but the girls with imperfections make others feel just as beautiful. Sure the exterior of a person could be worthwhile, you get a couple of great pictures and you make people buy your products that probably do not work, but what else does this person really have to offer to the world? There’s no realness to these people, the images we see of them are not the of the models or celebrities in their truest form. Flaws are what make us all humans, and those are the parts of people we should love more. I want to be able to see the regular, average human being that’s under all the makeup and hair extensions, the person who gets huge pimples just like the rest of us, the individual who is just as much as a person as I am. Marilyn Minster’s work portrays just this honest person.

While walking around the Brooklyn Museum in early 2017, I happen to come across Minster’s works. There were several pieces from photographs to videos within her “Pretty/Dirty” collection of art. There was one piece in particular that caught my attention immediately called “Blue Poles.” The raw, unedited detail of this image was something so beautiful to me. The smeared makeup, prompt pimple, and piled on freckles were so noticeable and enhanced, unlike anything I’ve seen before. Minster was able to capture the beauty within the imperfections almost all of us have. It’s unbelievable to think that those are the imperfections that we try to hide everyday that should not be hidden, they make us even more human than what we already are.

We live in such a world where everyone wants to look perfect, but there is truly no one who is perfect or could even come close to being perfect. We all have flaws on the outside and even on the inside of us, but perception can create that perfect person. I think it’s beautiful to show models in their natural state, but the photographer of that model may see her being beautiful with longer her, some makeup and even some photoshop; it all comes down to perception. It is because of American culture that we constantly feel like we have to live to a standard of perfection, when all we should really do is love ourselves the way we are. It makes me question if we’re really in control of our bodies if people are so easily influenced to be someone who they’re not. We need to see more images like Minster’s to show us the reality behind the beauty we see in the media to showcase the true art behind the made up faces.

We are all works of art, our bodies are our own piece of creativity and uniqueness without having to do much to them. Having in mind that we are all works of art may better help us perceive and appreciate the looks of others without being judgemental and instead admire their flaws. Art can be looked at differently from one person to the next, kind of like how our appearance and personality are viewed by the different people we meet. There is no wrong view of art but their can be a wrong interpretation of a person. The way someone looks on the outside does not always replicate how they are in the inside. It’s nice to wear makeup and dress up really fancy, the way the media stars do, but this should not be the only version of people’s beauty we glorify.

The beauty industry has been changing over time though. We have celebrities like Alicia Keys who has stopped wearing makeup completely. We are seeing more plus sized models being introduced like Ashley Graham. There’s models like Winnie Harlow who has skin discoloration called vitiligo and there’s even models like Martha Hunt who has scoliosis. These are the women who stand out in a crowd of models for being different and taking these differences as an opportunity to show other young women that they are still beautiful no matter what’s wrong or what seems to be wrong with their bodies.

We have to continue pushing the boundaries the beauty industry as well as the media sets for us. There should be no need to live to a standard of perfection when we can all be perfect in our own special way with our flaws. No two people are the same, and with that in mind, no two people should be judged for appearing to be different. We should all be proud of our imperfections and applaud others for their own imperfections because there is nothing wrong with being imperfect. American culture is not picture perfect so we should not have to be picture perfect either.


Regensdorf, Laura. “Artist Marilyn Minter Talks Beauty Norms, the Return of the Full Bush, and Her New Retrospective.” Vogue, Vogue, 26 May 2017, www.vogue.com/article/marilyn-minter-pretty-dirty-retrospective-brooklyn-museum-body-hair-beauty-norms-feminism.