MASKED AVENGER

The perception of beauty.

Judging a book by its cover. An altered perception.

A white lie if you must… A mask.

That’s what immediately [and unfortunately] comes to mind as soon as I think of perception. The way in which we judge, both on a personal level, and as a society as a whole, has a lot to do with the face value of things, especially as long as we live in said society that champions rapid consumption based on aesthetically pleasing and ‘popular’ visual stimuli. That’s the thing about ‘popular’ culture, its visually pleasing imagery is easier to take, easier to consume and easier for us to project our fantasies and dreams on to. But why shy away from the truth? The most essential thing, the thing that makes us human, the thing that truly unifies us is that (quelle horreur!) we are all flawed.

The fact is quite obvious, yet not accepted, that really and truly, we are all imperfect. We wear a mask to fit in yet it covers our magic, our golden flecks of truth, the shining gems of honesty. There is this homogenized view of ‘beauty’ that permeates our society and is something that occurs on a regular basis. There are the banal- the airbrushed social media accounts; facetuned and edited within an inch of their life so that fiction and reality become a whole new genre, never ever showing the honest reality of their owners. The we get a step ahead of this with the addictions and cruxes to vices that only serve to further dilute our truth, blacking out the things that are so honest yet we wish to depart from, again and again. Then there is the simple straying away from a path of honesty, whether that be in a career or a relationship or all of the above. These are just some implications of altering how we really want to be perceived, which some times can be a good thing, until we hide behind things that cover up who we really are while the harsh realities of life, and things we often have to deal with, sit dormant in us and we are unable to show or embrace this as we strive for perfection. We often wrap ourselves in sparkling lies in an effort to whiteout the truths that may lie beneath- the beautiful truths that actually shine brighter than any white lie about yourself ever could. A phantom in your own opera.

The perception of beauty in this society is something that is so skewed it forces many of us, myself certainly included, to alter, to shape shift and to mask our flaws, to cover our imperfections and to pretend to be people we are not. Jazzed up bios and heavily weighted wording about who we want to be- glittery gold sentences mask our honest admissions of ‘sometimes I don’t know who I want to be!’ But having flaws- this is what it means to be alive! It plays on our emotions to project out to the world something that is essentially a false and altered reality, a blurry, painterly version of yourself- another mask. Tell me I am not alone in scrolling through a sea of ‘happy’ instagram influencers and not feeling totally isolated? I perceive their altered reality as actually reality…We make assumptions based on appearances which in turn effects the interactions we have with the people and places around us.

The ways you perceive others has to be multidimensional. It simply can’t be done in this day and age to judge people on first encounters, first photos, first “swipe right”. Who we truly are is something that trickles down between layers of consciousness and connectivity. We all wear some sort of a mask…You hide behind something that is essentially you…you are halfway there even if you feel that your edges must be rounded, surfaces must be polished in order to create something that you feel confident to post, project or perceive. We must simply embrace the flaws, the cracks and the creases and have fun trying to uncover who we really are and how we really want to be perceived.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Daniel Nadel
MAKE-UP: Isabella Schimid
HAIR: Budi Juspandi
MODEL/ ARTIST: Amy Finlayson

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