PESARO, ITALIA - 30 settembre 2011: Jacqueline, 66, participates at Miss Over, a beauty pageant for women over 30, 40, 50 and 60 years old in Pesaro, Italy.
TORRE DEL LAGO, ITALY - JULY 31, 2011: She Wulva, 29, participates at the Miss Drag Queen Italy the contest, the only contest and festival for Drag Queens in Italy, in Torre del Lago. Torre del Lago is well known for being an important gay and gay-friendly summer resort of national and international appeal. It is considered the gay mecca of Italy. A drag queen is usually a man who dresses, and usually acts, like a caricature woman often for the purpose of entertaining. Generally, drag queens dress in a female gender role, often exaggerating certain characteristics (such as make-up and eyelashes) for comic, dramatic or satirical effect.
TERRASINI, ITALY - 17 AUGUST, 2011: Giusy, 15, participates at Mediterranea, a local Sicilian beauty pageant for girls between 16 and 24 years old organized by Tele Occidente, a local TV channel, in Terrasini, Italy.
RICCIONE, ITALY - 24 AUGUST, 2011: Luisa, 50, participates at Miss Chirurgia Estetica (Miss Plastic Surgery), a plastic surgery beauty pageant at the Beach Cafe in Riccione, Italy.
TORRE DEL LAGO (LU), ITALY - 27 AUGUST, 2011: Monik, 25, participates at Miss Trans, a beauty pageant for transsexuals in Torre del Lago, Italy. Torre del Lago is well known for being an important gay and gay-friendly summer resort of national and international appeal. It is considered the gay mecca of Italy.
The Eyes #1
Photos and text by Gianni Cipriano
The greatest perfection is imperfection.
To Aristotle “perfect” meant “complete”, nothing to add or subtract. To Empedocles perfection depends on incompleteness, since the latter possesses a poten- tial for development and improvement. Here lies the paradox formulated by Italian Renaissance philoso- pher Giulio Cesare Vanini. The paradox of perfec- tion is that imperfection is perfect.
I travelled around Italy in search of imperfect beau- ties in six different non-conventional beauty pageants and assigned each of them a symbolic colour:
Miss Chubby, pink; Miss Trans, purple; Miss Mediterranean, yellow;
Miss Plastic Surgery, fuchsia;
Miss Drag Queen, orange;
Miss Has-Been, blue.
Six imperfect beauties (due to their weight, clothes, excess of silicone, or age) if compared to the typology of beauty imposed by mass media and the consume- rist society we live in. In Italy, in particular, beauty has become a political tool during the Berlusconi era. Since the 1980’s, his media empire has introduced a culture of luxury and sex to shape his electorate. Italy became in the mean time a country where half- naked beautiful women are plucked from TV studios and elevated into powerful positions. This culture has generated an unprecedented wave of castings and beauty pageants for girls and women of all ages all over Italy.
In response to the aesthetic and political state of my country, I worked on “Perfect”, a series of 36 photo- graphs focusing on how the beauty dictated by our politicized consumerist society is emulated by the masses, and on the link between imperfection and perfection.