Review - '(Im)perfect' by Gwyneth Lliu (Filament 2014)


We drop by Filament 2014, the graduation showcase by students of the NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Information and Communications and pen our thoughts down on some of the films.

With beauty advertisements plastered all over shopping malls, bus stops and social media platforms these days, it can be difficult to ignore the current beauty trends and societal pressures to look a certain way when it is all around us constantly.

After all, who does not want to look perfect?

Tackling the subject of physical beauty, (Im)perfect is a documentary short on Singaporean youth’s perceptions and perspectives on physical appearances, trends as well as engaging in surgical methods to beautify oneself.

With the increasing convenience of plastic surgery and non-invasive methods of beautifying oneself, as well as the rising standard of beauty from one’s size to one’s height, I thought that this documentary is extremely relevant to the youths of today and is something worth talking about.

The documentary was done with multiple interviews being conducted and weaved together neatly to be able to give a good gauge of opinions and perspectives by youths and industry professionals. The questions asked were common yet able to draw upon interesting answers, and that made the documentary more interesting and engaging to watch.

One thing I really liked about the documentary is that there was a good mix of both genders and everyone was willing to share about their insecurities on their physical appearances (particularly with their faces).

Even though media outlets usually focus on the ladies and their need to up keep a certain image that causes unnecessary pressure and stress, men do face similar pressures as well, and I am glad that this documentary managed to show that.

However, I think it would have been more compelling and impactful if the age range of interviewees was extended to the tweens and teens since they are usually the ones that are still forming their own identity and place in society.

All in all, it was an interesting watch and left me with some questions to think about even though the stand taken by the documentary right at the end was rather cliché and expected right from the start.
(Im)perfect advocates for individuality and acceptance of one’s physical appearance.

But there is a question that stayed in my mind: If plastic surgery will help me feel better about myself and more confident, is it still frowned upon? 

Is it a fault then or is that justifiable?

Review by Dawn Teo

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