Come take a walk on the wild side
Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain
You like your girls insane.
–"Born to Die," Lana Del Rey.
Crazy, seductive, ambitious, and self-confident: that's how we believe we should be to conquer a man. The euphoria of the accelerated world, the ephemeral pace of a rising digital age, and the finitude of affective bonds have made women believe in and opt for a plastic stereotype that seeks perfection. In his work Liquid Love, the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman defined this fragility with which human ties are woven today. The author analyzes the society and the changes that our human condition has suffered; now we're ruled by an enormous fear of establishing lasting relationships and a reluctance to form true connections.
In this complicated and unfortunate reality in which finding love becomes more and more difficult, women have made an effort to disguise all our insecurities with glamor and to cover all our defects with makeup and hairspray. But who are we when no one else is around? How do we see ourselves when we feel a little apathetic and less glamorous while going out at night? Do we give ourselves the time to think about our own desires and dreams, about the loneliness and imperfection that's reflected in our hand mirror?
Imperfect and beautiful: that's how we see ourselves and how we're illustrated by the artist Sally Nixon. This illustrator from Arkansas developed a series that portrays the irregular side of the female silhouette, that embarrassing defect, those anomalies in our hair or skin, and the lost battle of our body against gravity.
Stockings over the abdomen to reduce the bloating in our belly, white cotton panties that cover more than we would like, dark lenses to cover dark circles that only concealer can erase, and a lot of junk food wrappings lying on the floor. Thus begins this series of illustrations that reflects the most neglected, but authentic side of everyday femininity.
It's not a matter of pretending or becoming a lie, but daring to exhibit each of our defects and showing the best version of ourselves, which we hope someone will fall in love with. Sitting with unshaven legs and a ridiculous book or being in front of a television program without any intellectual cultivation, we like to spend some afternoons being just ourselves without anyone there to judge us.
Only in the company of a good friend, the one who, like us, is tired of tight jeans and fake eyelashes, can we behave as we are. When we're together, we can eat until bursting, even belching. In front of the window we sit together imagining ourselves in a grand dress, hand in hand with the one who sees us perfect as we are. Through these images, Nixon tells a small but important part of the story of a woman who knows herself imperfect —as is any human being— and accepts herself as such.
With a little more apathetic and less glowing look than we usually put on while going out at night, a slight grimace and a pair of old socks we wear on a Sunday afternoon, unbathed, with unbrushed hair, or lounging in our pajamas, we indulge ourselves, just thinking about what we desire, what dream and hate.
Not counting the calories of our food, and with impudence, we choose to make life easier by staying at home and just enjoying a little privacy. For even in our worst moments, even when no one sees us, we still are beautifully imperfect.