Perfectly Imperfect Beauty Queens

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Photographer Gianni Cipriano visited six different unconventional beauty pageants throughout Italy, which inspired his series Perfect. None of the contestants have an ideal, model-type figure, some are quite older than others, a few weren’t born as women, and several have clearly gone under the knife in search of eternal youth or enhanced features. Whatever the case may be, Cipriano has heightened their perfectly imperfect beauty by embracing each curve, fold, and droop. He photographed the women in their garish gowns, in front of colorful curtains. The results are somewhat cartoonish, but there’s a deeper meaning for Cipriano.

“In Italy, in particular, beauty has become a political tool during the Berlusconi era. Since the ’80s, 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 … Beauty dictated by our politicized consumerist society is emulated by the masses.”

Take a closer look in our gallery.

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano

Image credit: Gianni Cipriano