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Blake Marquez

English 101

1 March 2017

A Look in the Mind of a Botox Junkie

The mural I chose is located in downtown Los Angeles as well as part of a series of

artwork in a gallery in Culver City created by a group of artists known as Trustocorp. Their goal

is to bring awareness to the social inequalities of humanity while still using the sense of humor

they are so well known for; furthermore, this series of artwork is focused mostly around the

unfair wealth distribution in LA. That being said, my mural focuses on the image self-

consciousness that smothers local culture; the author uses a variety of colors, images, and words

in the mural to show how so many people in our society have become obsessed with perfecting

their self-image and how much they are willing to pay to do so.

A young woman colored in a film noir style black and white is shielding her face with

her hand and gasping in fear as she looks over her right shoulder, as well as layers of colors that

tear through her face and hands revealing what I believe to be a look into her head as if I could

see her thoughts. The tears over her face and hands reveal a variety of colors, such as red, blue,

orange, gold, pink, white, and yellow all colliding together making the images in her face and

hand very difficult to make a clear understanding of. There really seems to be no clear reason as

to what the purpose of all these colors is, however, I believe this is used to show the confusion

going through the young ladies head. As if, the colors are a representation of her thoughts, and

the reason there are so many different colors colliding is because the girl in the mural is

struggling with trying to keep up with the modern day notion of beauty which is mostly achieved

through many different cosmetic surgery procedures. In other words, its as if shes questioning if

the admiration from the local culture is worth all the money and time spent having these

procedures done.

The mural shows several different images spread throughout the background of the

colorful segments in the young ladies face and hand. For instance, you can see what appears to

be an empty syringe with the plunger already pressed down in the young womans hand which is

held up by her mouth; I believe this is used to symbolize botox injections, as well as a wide eyed

cartoonish looking man with some resemblance to the Bobs Big Boy mascot holding the young

womans chin with an expression of pure admiration and joy on his face; this is used to show the

reaction of the local culture to these procedures. That being said I believe the most noticeable

image is the deformed monster in her forehead, now some people might say that this is the young

ladies self-perception without the cosmetic surgery, however, I believe the monster is more of a

symbol on how a culture that has become so obsessed with outer beauty would view a women

that doesnt get cosmetic surgery and that scares the woman. Lastly, in her right temple there is a

clinched fist holding some sort of stick or tool as long what I believe to be skin, I believe this to

be a dark dramatization of how the procedure would look while being done. These images are all

key elements in the artists technique to express his opinion.

There are words in the background of the color run down her face stating, I was a botox

junkie, this is used to bring awareness to local culture about the addiction in achieving the

perfect image. In his article, Tristan Eatons Playground, the author makes comment on the

mural stating that, A needle is conspicuously hidden that represents a new type of addiction for

vanity. Eaton's critique on beauty in Los Angeles is a perfect fit(Daichendt)(8), in other

words, the author is trying to say that Tristan Eaton, the artist of the mural is trying to bring

awareness to the cultural obsession with achieving perfect beauty. These words are very crucial

in understanding this mural, because not only does it give the mural its name but it also makes a

clear statement to message its trying make by bluntly make a reference to the addiction in plastic

surgery to achieve great beauty.

I think the artist did a great job with this mural. He was trying to send a message to LA

about its local culture and how its become to obsessed with achieving some perfect image of

beauty by showing examples of what they would go through to achieve this goal, and even went

as far to show what goes through the head of someone who is trying to achieve the perfect


Daichendt, G. James. "Tristan Eaton's Playground." KCET. KCET, 07 July 2016. Web. 20 Feb.