Public image has always ruled the world. For a long time, it was reserved only for the powerful and the wealthy, but times have changed. With the rise of social media, we’ve become accustomed to the idea of curating the image we project to the world. Everyone’s a brand now. And while the constant availability of criticism, praise and competition may be motivating, its constant torrent is undeniably exhausting. It’s especially true for creatives.
Any work we do is inseparable from our image, our persona if you will. How much of our actual personality goes into that? Oh, a lady never tells. Alexander the Great may have been short and average-looking, but that’s not the charismatic leader we know. Freddie Mercury may have struggled with his sexuality and expressing his feelings, but what we remember is the most passionate performer. Marylin Monroe may have been a lost soul, but that’s not the legacy she left behind.
Storytelling is the central part of a public image, and a compelling story will always win over an uninspired recollection. You’re allowed to have fun. After all, where would we be without imagination? Confined to the real world and our fleeting imperfect human lives. And you’re definitely allowed to keep some things only for yourself. The private you needs to thrive too. She makes sure you don’t find yourself drunkenly shaving half of your head and/or beating an employee of yours with a cell phone. She keeps you grounded.
The bigger the public persona gets, the more you need to protect and nurture your soul. Imagination can be an infinite source of inspiration and consolation, but you can’t live there. Nothing lives there.
Can you separate yourself from the image? Does your Sasha Fierce ever take off her six-inch heels and sleep? Does your Lana ever slip out of her red party dress and just let Lizzie rest?
Photography: Ilya Blinov
MUAH: Lika Glazkova
Style: Yana Pospelova