Anti-Perfectionism Takes Center Stage on v93oo
@v93oo by Mushtaq A’bdi
Mushtaq A’bdi, based in Sweden with Somalian roots, is the mastermind behind the anti-perfectionism Instagram page @v93oo. Mushtaq encourages us to be fearless, push boundaries, and just have more fun when it comes to makeup.
SHEER: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired the @V93oo Instagram page?
MUSHTAQ A’BDI: My name is Mushtaq. I’m from Stockholm, Sweden and based in a suburb called Rinkeby. I was born and raised in Sweden with Somalian roots. When making this account, I was going through a lot of stress and coping with anxiety (still do), but somehow I found a place for me to escape and be creative. I was also insecure without makeup on. I always had a dream of becoming a makeup artist, but there was no real passion for makeup behind it. Rather, it came from a negative influence of liking the glam which ended in a very painful way. At first, it was hard for me to really be comfortable without foundation, concealer, etc.
As I grew older into my teens, I got acne and when the pimples cleared up, dark marks were left. I started to cover my face more with makeup but reality hit me every night while washing my face that I could not wash my flaws away. It got to the point of not wanting to face the mirror and not going out without foundation on. At that point I was done with this perfection movement. I started reading a lot of self help books and this shift came, I started to slowly get rid of my makeup to the point of not touching it in months. Now I still work on feeling good without makeup on but experimenting with colors made me go back to makeup again. Also, just being creative with makeup instead of thinking about how I can’t wait to beat my face or to hide my dark spots or marks. I think makeup can be so much fun and empowering if used in a way where it does not bring you down. Just doing it for fun and to be colorful.
SHEER: Why do you believe anti-perfection is essential to the current beauty obsession taking over our feeds?
MA: Yes, It is very important to uplift anti-perfection on all platforms. We all know how the Internet has a huge impact on us because of the amount of time and effort we put into it so we need more of the anti-perfection content. We are constantly being reminded of our flaws, to have perfect skin or a perfect body. I think we should treat makeup more like art and not take it so seriously. And definitely show more love to color and being more creative overall.
SHEER: Where do you draw inspiration for your content?
MA: Art and just anyone who reminds me to give no fucks when it comes to using makeup.
SHEER: Who are some of your favorite beauty bloggers, makeup artists, style icons (past or present) defying beauty norms and how are they doing so?
MA: Grace Jones inspired me a lot with her boldness and Alex Box because her art is amazing. She was one of the first makeup artists that inspired me to make v93oo.
SHEER: In what ways do you think the current beauty market can work towards being more diverse and representative of its wide array of consumers and their interests?
MA: I think it’s a must to include literally everyone in the industry. It is important that everyone feels represented or feel like they can relate or see a model that looks just like them. I have seen some improvements, but I think we can do a lot better.
SHEER: What advice would you give to young women who would like to experiment with makeup but feel trapped by the pressure of "the perfect beat" by popular beauty bloggers, mainstream beauty campaigns, etc?
MA: I get this question a lot. I would say I know it’s not easy to change or to try new things. Believe me when I say I’ve heard “What happened to you? Are you sick?” when I don’t wear makeup and that was when I stopped wearing makeup for a while. Whatever feels right within you will never give you pressure. I would suggest not following other people’s steps. Pick up a palette of your choice and go wild if that makes you happy and feel good. You’ll feel freer and the absolute best thing is that you’ll be more creative.