Self-Concept and Body Presentation

Self-concept definition: an idea of the self constructed from the beliefs one holds about oneself and the responses of others.

This are few points from the book:

Self-esteem – positivity of the self-concept that one holds 

Body-esteem – positivity with which people hold their body image 

Cosmetic Surgery and body modification

Body piercing and tattoos

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Breaking Through Labels and Limitations

The idea of self concept and body presentation is essentially how one sees and view themselves, and how they portray this image to those around them. More and more marketing advertisements are focusing on the how and what they find. One company that does this, is Gillette Venus and their campaign of “And,” through #useyourand. In the more recent commercial ad, the title says it all, “Empower Yourself and Use Your And.” In the video, women are asked the question, “Who are you?” being asked to only use one word to describe yourself. However, one cannot just use one word to describe everything, it only limits and forces one to label them-self.

What the women give as an answer, is their reaction to the option to give only ONE word as a description for oneself. The idea of reducing a whole person to only one word; one vague word, one useless word is alarming as well as disheartening. Instead, they answer utilizing the word “and” in stating who they are. They are “doers and thinkers,” “a believer and a teacher,” “a poet and a boxer.” The word “and” can help one characterize them-self, without leaving anything out or behind. With the ability to use the word “and,” one can answer the question “Who are you?” The video challenges people to expand and think more when describing them-self. To change their definition of self concept, to a more positive outlook that not only looks to a small part of who you are, but of who you are as a whole. The video ad focus on our internal look of ourselves, while the product itself is an extension of this view externally, through to how we present ourselves.

To see the video ad: Empower Yourself and Use Your And | Gillette Venus #useyourand

Dove’s Real Beauty

dove

(Source: Dove)

Advertising and media images play an important role in everyday life, and sometimes the messages being relayed to young women about beauty are harmful and skewed. Young women are exposed to these potentially harmful messages at a young age, and are, therefore, continuously present in their lives. In reality, no one actually knows what true beauty really is, so advertisers have created an unrealistic depiction of a truly beautiful woman over the years. There are different opinions about what real beauty is, including a concept of the “thin ideal” being portrayed in some advertisements that are always visible to people and can have detrimental effects on those observing the images. The media is a very influential part of peoples’ lives, and even if we don’t remember all of them. We are exposed to as many as 5,000 ads a day, which seems like an astronomical number, but it is realistic with the type of consumer economy we have today. Many of those ads that focus on women could be portraying messages regarding health, beauty, exercise, and these messages would normally be beneficial to women in terms of proper methodologies to care for oneself. However, some of these messages could also relay a detrimental message to women that they should look a certain way, similar to the “thin ideal “woman, a woman that does not represent the average body type of an American woman.

Feeling beautiful in a world with supermodels and gorgeous actresses dominating every magazine cover, billboard, and TV show can be tough—really tough, some days. But thankfully, some companies are giving us the ammunition to fight back against negative messages—both from the world and from ourselves—with new campaigns intended to inspire all of us to feel stunning, inside and out. In the early 2000s, Dove took this idea and began looking for a way to revive a brand that was being overshadowed by other companies. The company conducted a study of more than 3,000 women in 10 countries in order to learn about women’s priorities and interests. When it reported that only 2 percent of the women interviewed considered themselves beautiful, the executives at Dove saw an opportunity. They moved beyond the bar of soap and introduced other products such as shampoo and body wash, in hope to start a conversation about beauty.

 

Body Shaming Men Is Not Okay

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(image source: fitisafeministissue.com)

For years, we have fought over the advertising industry for objectifying women and promoting wrong concept of beauty. We can say things have got better with the rising awareness of healthy living and equality. For instance, France has recently announced a law against the use of underweight models and requiring photoshopped images to be labeled.

However, the whole industry in general is still glorifying certain kind of beauty; and it is not only affecting the ladies. As we seeing the emerge of plus-size models and fashion lines for female within the past few years, we did not witness any of those progress happened on the men’s side. We see more and more naked men in entertainment and advertising, with a perfect muscular body. If we think it is cruel for the world making our girls to think they have to be like barbie, just remember it would not do any less harm to do the same on the boys.

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(image source: Girltalkhq)

By today’s media standard, I will not be anywhere close to a fit body. And I do feel self-conscious and insecure about it, I went to the gym and feel less like a man standing next to those big guys. The worst part is men are taught to not express our feelings because being emotional is simply not for men.

We nowadays seek for more diversity in beauty, telling people that they can be beautiful no matter their ethnicity or sizes; but at the same time we set up this body standard for guys. If body-shaming to women is incorrect, why would the society thinks that somehow it is more acceptable to to do it to men?  It is okay to have preference for a body type, but it is not okay to feel bad for not having it.

Female Body and Sushi Presentation

As a Japanese art form, women are used for their naked bodies to help serve sushi at social events. By “help serve” I mean by just laying there on a table. The sushi is laid upon the body in the form of “art” to display as though the woman is the platter. The woman is trained to lay for hours on end as the platter for people to choose their sushi off of. Now then, these women are mostly hired for events such as bachelor parties, extravagant birthday parties, and other events like that. They pretty much look like this:

The bodies of these women are expected to look a certain way, of course. Usually lean, and curves in the “right” places as some may say. Women who go for jobs like these more than likely are confident in their body presentation. You can bet that someone who is very insecure with how their body looks will never put themselves on display like in the picture I placed above. Not only women (but mostly, let’s be honest) are wanted for this job; men are sometimes also wanted to be a good-lookin’ sushi platter. But of course, they usually are expected to be fit, and probably have some muscles, or something of the sort. Regardless of the gender though, one will usually have a strong self-concept in order to do a job like this.

 

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