As noted in the feedback from my first presentation whereby I went over my time, I wanted to ensure that this did not happen in my second presentation, and once the structure had been confirmed with my tutor, I ran through this again timing it. I ran through twice for clarity and clocked up a time of 7 minutes.
At this stage I decided to cut down this again, keeping only the essential, critical information needed to convey the desired message. I found this at first hard with the subject this time being theoretical perspectives, however actually looking back now can see how this has helped to refine this theories to their essential core details in respect to my current practice and research question, which going forwards I believe will be of help which working on both practical and research-led projects alike. I found this process of timing myself useful and is not something which I did in preparation for the first presentation, which now in retrospect would of alleviated this problem prior to delivery. The final and refined script for my second Professional Context presentation can be shown below.
SLIDE 1 – INTRODUCTION
This presentation will cover the key theoretical perspectives that I believe support my current creative practice.
In regards to my working research question, I have listed theories that I have touched on during research to date. However, for the purposes of this presentation I will cover several key theories that are most relevant to my practice – Self-Perception, Social Identity, The Male Gaze and The Self Surveying Gaze, and the Theories of Objectification and Self-Objectification.
Self-Perception Theory is an integral part of my current practice shaping my practical work to date, and being the anchor point of my research question, whilst the other noted theories are of importance due to underpinning the links between context and graphic design.
SLIDE 2 – SELF-PERCEPTION THEORY
It is said that “Self-perception theory is counterintuitive. Common knowledge would have us assume that a person’s personality and attitudes drive their actions; however, self-perception theory shows that this is not always the case. In simple terms, it illustrates that “we are what we do.”
We interpret our actions and the actions of others, therefore allowing ourselves to be socially influenced opposed to be being completely self-led. This resonated with the current trends of social media surrounding the beauty and fashion industries, whereby we often see those whose actions and appearances are ‘socially informed’ opposed to produced from freewill.
The images shown – one of Kim Kardashian, and one of Makeup Artist/Instagram Icon, Amreezy – both show that they are practically holding the same pose in similar attire, with similar postures and facial features. This example represents how social media can affect our self-perception, allowing us to feel it is okay to perceive ourselves, or see ourselves in a similar way to others in order to attain positive appraisal.
SLIDE 3 – SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY
Tajfel and Turner, stated “part of a person’s concept of self comes from the groups to which that person belongs. An individual does not just have a personal selfhood, but multiple selves and identities associated with their affiliated groups” acknowledging the fact that people act different, and at times look differently also depending on their social situation.
Tafjel and Turner note that we belong to ‘social groups’ changing our identities to ‘fit in’ or be ‘in-group’ and that “individuals strive to achieve or maintain positive social identity”. This can also be said for those whom do not fit in mainstream groups, trends and cultures and therefore change their ‘look’ to find acceptance and belonging in society, as demonstrated in the model shown.
The image of the Harajuku girls shows that this ‘group’ have accepted the social identity of which they belong and feel accepted. This image contrasts the imagery from Japan Vogue shown in my previous presentation whereby Japanese women were told that they had to change their image to ‘fit in’ and be accepted by society.
SLIDE 4 – MALE GAZE AND THE SELF SURVEYING GAZE
Rumsey, stated that, “Media help us to shape beauty ideas by showing certain body sizes [as] beautiful and desirable” summarising how the fashion and beauty industries can affect our self-perception and perceptions of others due to a constant gazes and promoted ‘ideals’ often curated for men.
For example, a photograph of the original 1950’s Playboy Bunnies on the left shows women were aware that they were objects of male attention and the male gaze, proudly wearing their corset-based uniforms, in turn becoming the ‘ideal’ and ‘sex symbols’ of the time.
Theorist Shields noted that “[the] ‘male gaze’ transforms women into objects of the heterosexual man’s eye … advertisements and other images of women are shot in such ways that encourage female audiences to adopt a certain perspective when looking at other women and themselves” therefore internalizing the male gaze and the medias pre-set ideals triggering, the self-surveying gaze.
The right hand side image visualises how our self-perceptions can become distorted, not being able to recognise the ideal nor reality, adding pressures to look a certain way due to this new, internal influence.
SLIDE 5 – OBJECTIFICATION AND SELF-OBJECTIFICATION THEORY
Finally, Objectification theory is also key to understanding how women are portrayed in the media, suggesting that women may perceive themselves as objects or commodities to be looked at, and judged.
Frederickson and Roberts’ noted that “objectification occurs whenever a woman’s body, body parts, or sexual functions are separated out from her person, reduced to the status of mere instruments, or regarded as if they were capable of representing her. In other words women are treated as bodies – and in particular, as bodies that exist for the use and pleasure of others”
On the right hand side, an editorial from Vogue France can be seen whereby a young girl is being objectified through the use of her body part’s and self-awareness, separated out as commodities of influence promoting Tom Ford’s cosmetic goods – a designer whom often objectifies women in his promotional campaigns also.
Fredrickson and Roberts define Self-Objectification as “valuing one’s own body [from] a third-person perspective, focusing on observable body attributes”.
The photograph of Sarah Gonzalaz, a Makeup Artist turned Instagram icon shows such self-objectification, with one recognising the need to objectify her body as a commodity and marketing tool, knowing what the ‘outsiders’ want to see and internalising this.
I feel this short overview of key theories, shows how powerful the beauty and fashion industries can be when influencing our internal perceptions, encouraging change for external pleasures, approval and acceptance.