Former fashion editor at a Quebec magazine, Sophie Montminy explores, in her first novel, the cult of appearances, the pressure for perfection, and the wildlife that inhabits the universe of social media. Under the guise of lightness of it, imperfect raises deep questions.
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Since ending her story, Sophie Montminy has worn the word “imperfect” on her right forearm. This provisional title, which was finally imposed, marks the end of the personal therapy that writing this story meant for her, which lasted six years. Why this indelible mark? To remind him that, like Anna, the main character in her novel, her desire to be perfect once made him lose his way.
“It is difficult for me to get out of these shackles, he comments, even now, after all these reflections. »
After the burnout and depression she ignored, the one who is now a web consultant and host of the podcast series. iron women admits to having developed an addiction to social media.
At first it was a passion, it became an addiction. It totally scared me and became a way of surviving. It felt good all the time until it hurt.
Like his character, he fell into that “rabbit hole” that social networks can be. Driven to live one’s life in the eyes of others. This is how, in this story, which he initially intended to focus on the obsession with images, that of social networks took a great place.
We meet Anna, a young editor who works for gisele, a fictional Montreal fashion magazine. Of course there is the side glamor : trips to New York, meetings with models, photo shoots, launch events.
Finding herself backstage at a Katy Perry show to cover her perfume launch, Sophie Montminy experienced it. But there is no doubt for the author to propose a Quebec version of The Devil Wears Prada.
Yes, you have access to that, but it’s 5% of the job. The rest is chaos. The chaos of pressure, of termhard work, ‘it doesn’t sell this time, you have to change everything next time’.
From his time in the magazine Wink, from which she resigned in 2016, Sophie Montminy has a bitter memory. “Seeing my gang fall, seeing a lot of people get burned, disillusioned people saying, ‘I can’t take it anymore.’ It is an unhealthy universe. It is behind the scenes of this environment, at least the one she knew six years ago, that she wanted to bring to her readers by leaving rosewater in the closet to expose the vulnerability of her characters…and, at times, the dark side of her.
Prepared its first draft in the midst of a wave of denunciations, the movement #climate it shook him deeply to the point of leaving his mark on the plot. “I softened it because at first it was a huge anger for me. Watching all these people fall apart and saying to myself, ‘This is all just a front. Behind, we know nothing. my book is a behind the scenes of all that facade. »
Social networks and society
If there are tragedies, imperfect it’s not a sad story. It’s bubbly and lighthearted, populated by quirky supporting characters (Clo the chic stylist, John the YouTuber who’s a hit with his makeup videos, Fannie the beautiful influencer, and Vince aka “Mister Abs”). A world where gravitates a community of influencers who thrive on self-portraits and the number of views. If it is fashionable, in intellectual circles, to criticize and despise influencers, Sophie Montminy condemns this denigration.
“For me, it’s a bad fight. The medium of social networks is society. “With the good and the bad. And the influence that can be positive.
John, for example, is a character who lives by his passion. The fact that you talk about jars of cream and then lipstick does not mean that you are negative.
Unsurprisingly, it is primarily young adults that he wants to reach. “Young people push me a lot. I see more and more this anxiety and this very young depression that I experienced, by force, by experience, because of something that happened in my life. Not at the beginning of his career. “With a cover to match, he hopes his novel will make its way to TikTok and then to the TikTok table at Indigo bookstores which, he laments, is dominated by American authors.
“I am perfectly aware of what I wrote, says Sophie Montminy without complex. I am fully aware that my story is popular. If you want to do fun with that, Go for it ! Is he sex and the city, if it tempts you. But it can be something else if you want. You can read it and ask yourself questions. »
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