In What Ways Do Images Construct Identities? Discuss Using Specific Examples.

2118 words 9 pages


In what ways do images construct identities? Discuss using specific examples.

In what ways do images construct identities? Discuss using specific examples.
Stuart Hall defines identity as an ‘already accomplished fact, which the new cultural practices then represent’. We should think instead of ‘identity as a ‘production’ which is never complete, always in process, and always constituted within, not outside, representation’ (Hall 1994 p.392). An individual’s sense of belonging to a particular group, thinking, feelings and behaviour can also be referred to as identity. One’s cultural image can construct identity; such features as hair, skin tone and height. History shapes our identity.
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Using my own mother as an example, she has been influenced by L’Oreal commercials as she wants to portray the image shown. She perms and styles her hair a lot because she thinks having straight and long hair is beautiful and now she is losing her hair because of that. The image my mother was buying into is beauty, class and someone else’s identity.

Figure 2: L’Oreal Product
I called my mum as I wanted to know more about why she stopped using the L’Oreal product. Was it only because she was losing her hair? She said it was not only because she was losing her hair but because she feels that she’s at an age where that identity no longer applies to her. In the phone conversation she asked me if l saw older ladies in the L’Oreal commercial. I said no, that I see only young beautiful women. When she said that, I understood what she was saying. She is now at an age where an ideal identity, as portrayed in the media is no longer important to her. She no longer feels a need to try to impress anyone and she recognizes that the company is not only selling the hair product they are selling a way a woman should also dress and look. We are in a society if you sometime different people class you are weird.

Figure 2: traditional African clothes
Every society has different ways of dressing and the style a person dresses is part of their identity. One of the ways people will judge a person is by their choice of