Former fashion editor of a Quebec magazine, Sophie Montminy explores the cult of appearances, the pressure of perfection and the wildlife that inhabits the social media universe in her first novel. Under his lightness imperfect raises deep questions.
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Ever since she ended her story, Sophie Montminy has had the word “imperfect” written on her right forearm. This working title, which eventually caught on, marks the end of the personal therapy that writing this story was for her, which spanned six years. Why this indelible mark? To remind him that, like Anna, the main character of his novel, his desire to be perfect had once strayed from his path.
“It’s hard for me to break free from these bonds,” she remarks, even now, after all this thinking. »
After burnout and depression, which she ignored, she is now a web consultant and host of the podcast series iron women admits to having developed an addiction to social networks.
First it was a passion, it became an addiction. It totally freaked me out and it became a way of surviving. It felt good all the time until it hurt.
Like her character, she fell down that “rabbit hole” that social networks can be. Driven to live your life in the eyes of others. So in this story, which was originally intended to focus on the obsession with images, social networks played a major role.
We meet Anna, a young editor who works for Gisele, a fictional fashion magazine based in Montreal. There is of course the page adorable : trips to New York, meeting models, photo shoots, launch events.
Sophie Montminy experienced it when she found herself backstage at a Katy Perry show to cover the launch of her perfume. But it is out of the question for the author to suggest a Quebec version The devil Wears Prada.
Yes, you have access to it, but it’s 5% of the work. The rest is chaos. The Chaos of Printing, by meetinghard work, ‘this time it doesn’t sell, next time you have to change everything’.
From his time at the magazine Wink, from which she resigned in 2016, Sophie Montminy has a bitter memory. “Seeing my ties break down, seeing a lot of people burn out, disillusioned people saying, ‘I can’t take it anymore.’ It’s an unhealthy universe.Behind the scenes of this setting, at least the one she knew six years ago, she wanted to take her readers with her, leaving rosewater in the closet to reveal her characters’ vulnerabilities… and sometimes their darker sides.
Their first draft, the movement #weather deeply shaken until it left its mark on the plot. “I tempered it because initially it was a big anger for me. Watching all these people fall apart and saying to myself, ‘This is all just a front. We don’t know anything behind it.” My book is a backstage from all this facade »
Social networks and society
When there is tragedy imperfect is not a sad story. It’s lively and light-hearted, populated by flamboyant supporting characters (Clo the stylish stylist, John the YouTuber hit with his makeup videos, Fannie the beautiful influencer and Vince aka “Mister Abs”). A world where there is a community of influencers who thrive on self-portraits and the number of views. If it is fashionable in intellectual spheres to criticize and despise influencers, Sophie Montminy condemns this disparagement.
“It’s a bad fight for me. The medium of social media is society. “With good and bad. And the influence that can be positive.
John, for example, is a character who thrives on his passion. Just because you talk about pots of cream and then lipstick doesn’t mean you’re negative.
Unsurprisingly, she wants to reach young adults in particular. “Young people push me a lot. I’m seeing more and more of this anxiety and this very recent depression that I experienced, violently, through experience, through something that happened in my life. Not at the beginning of your career. With a cover to match, she hopes her novel finds its way onto TikTok and then onto the table dedicated to that platform in Indigo bookstores, which, she regrets, is dominated by American authors.
“I’m fully aware of what I’ve written,” says Sophie Montminy without complexion. I am fully aware that my story is popular. If you feel like making your own fun in order to, Do it ! It’s due Sex and the City, if it appeals to you. But it can also be something else if you want. You can read it and ask yourself questions. »