Perfection: to be free of flaws.
It’s a burden most women acquire from childhood and carry into their adult lives. But is it even real?
Actress, self taught writer, and entrepreneur Iman Milner is here to let you know it isn’t. The Detroit native recently launched PerfectionisaMyth.com, a glorious website and social media platform that encourages women to share their unfiltered photos and first hand accounts of how they’ve come to view the idea of perfection within their own lives.
I spoke to Milner via email about her work as an actress, the reason she decided to launch Perfectionisamyth.com, and how she juggles everything.
What inspired you to launch Perfection Is A Myth?
I was tired of seeing women trying to be carbon copies of one another. Everyone was starting to desire the same body type, hairstyles, makeup looks, etc…and I felt like authenticity was being thrown out of the window. Social media started to seem dangerous to me: a breeding ground for comparison and fraud. And because we control what everyone sees of us, it’s really easy to get caught up in showing a seemingly “perfect” life. You can filter out blemishes, suck in your tummy, get just the perfect angle and receive hundreds of likes—but then go home and be depressed? Is that the message we want to send to the next generation? That it’s all about perception? That truth and transparency are useless? We can all exist in the same spaces and be 100% who we are without having to be a XEROX of what the world says is “in”. We lose nothing by being true to who we are. It’s ok to have your mind, your body, your nose, your hair texture, your life story—YOU are enough. And the road to YOU may not be worth thousands of likes in your eyes but someone else may need to know that they can make it through their own situation. And if you’re too busy filtering your hard times, you’re missing the opportunity to be a blessing. So…Perfection Is A Myth was born for women and men to be a blessing to others by sharing how they made it through.
You’re also an actress and a writer. How are you able to juggle everything you’re doing?
Only recently I’ve learned to pace myself. I map out my yearly goals and then I deal with one at a time. I am gearing up to shoot my second short film and while I was putting Perfection Is A Myth together—I only did things for the film that were fun— like make a Pinterest board for the lead character. Nothing that made me really take my mind off of developing the site. Now that the site is live, I am taking on the bigger tasks concerning the film and give myself strict guidelines on how much Perfection Is A Myth time I’m allowed per week. When my film is complete, I’ll be moving on to another big goal. Pacing and planning—the way I stay sane.
Your short film, Love Escapes Us, is a beautiful silent black and white film. What inspired the the story and the way you produced it?
I watched a lot of my friends (male and female) going through all of these breakups. At the time we were all in our early 20s and yet ALL of us could viscerally recall our first real heartbreak. What’s more is that we all knew that heartbreak was having an effect on our ability to love. So, I started thinking about the cyclical aspect of love and heartbreak. How we all have a responsibility to the people we date and yet, undoubtedly, we’ll deliver a heart-changing blow to someone at some point. I started writing it and then I realized that it needed a male point of view as well. I asked Anthony Phillips (who costars in it!) to help me round out the script. We ended up making the decision to do it completely silent because it doesn’t matter what’s said—it matters what happens and how it affects the people involved.
When you received the Discovery Award for the film from Essence for their Black Women in Hollywood initiative, your acceptance speech was amazing and emotional to say the least! What were you thinking in that moment?
Whenever I look back on that day, I always just remember thinking how badly I needed that affirmation. In this business, you go through so many ups and downs but in that moment I knew I was on the right track. Sometimes just knowing that you are on the right track is enough to keep you out of the darkness. Plus, my mom was there and, at the end of the day, I just want her to be proud of me.
One of your acting credits is The Misadventures of the Awkward Black Girl. How does it feel to know you were a part of something that has become so iconic?
Ha! I’ve never thought of it like that but I guess it’s pretty cool. Issa’s a genius and whenever I’m able to be in the presence of someone vibrating on that frequency, I feel lucky.