Tehreem Masroor Saleem comments on standards of imperfection
In the twenty-first century, we have seen many adaptations in the beauty industry. A journey from defining beauty standards to defying them, from fairness campaigns to body positivity, and from scolding people on what they look like to accepting them as who they are. But is it enough? Have we achieved a positive image of the body? Have we shown the survivors enough support? The answer is far from yes.
Tehreem courageously talks about her very own struggle surviving in society, commenting on the set precise standards of perfection and beauty. Tall, White, Fair, Thin – a never-ending panorama that has to be decided by people looking at you. Tehreem depicts how society projects insecurities onto people for the so-called ‘imperfection’ and then calls them out again and again leaving the victims deeply wounded.
“ the world
so much pain
and here you are
making gold out of it
there is nothing purer than that ”
– Rupi Kaur
Tehreem’s work is perfect imagery of imperfection. She has shown power in bold colours and expressive language. Her work is a story of so many, yet told by so few. The artworks collectively form a journal of a person rooted in trauma as a result of the ugly stains of patriarchy but, you also see how the same person has bonded with their trauma so well that it fuels her power.
Tehreem is showing a film playing on loop, embracing her past and present, the reality and her imagination, the thick and thin, and then, the unconscious and conscious. Playing with these loops, Tehreem continues to discover more about the body, eventually making it a part of her personality. This is a woman who feels worthy of herself.
Written by Muhammad Awab Nouman
Image: Anomalous or Irregular? (diptych), Tehreem Masroor Saleem, mix media on saunders waterford, all copyrights retained by the artist 2022.