Dissertation: Chapter 1 (Context of my Practice) – Draft 1

Below shows the first chapter of my dissertation as a draft, in line with the structure and plans made prior. These can be found on separate blog posts. This chapter outlines my professional practice and the surrounding theories falling in line with my research and practical work to date.

Any feedback given from my supervisor will be implemented, recorded and documented.

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Chapter 1 – Context of My Practice (Theoretical, Professional)

In relation to social media and beauty publications in the fashion industry, there are many theories which have been derived. Each highlights different perspectives that encompass the topic of self-perception, and allow for cross-cultural analysis, in particular focusing on the UK and Japan as comparatives.

Bem’s (1972) self-perception theory allows for a multitude of theoretical perspectives to be considered in context. In particular, ‘The Mirror Stage’ theory (Lacan, 1936, Hesse-Biber, 1996), the ‘Social Identity’ theory (Turner and Tajfel, 1986) and ‘The Self-Surveying Gaze’ theory (Shields and Heineken, 2002) allows for a foundation to be built upon, opening up discussion of different theoretical perspectives.

These theoretical approaches allow for a deeper understanding of a modern ideology that social media and beauty publications can affect our self-perceptions, whilst understanding the issues behind which they were once derived.

1.1. The Self-Perception Theory

Rumsey (2012) states that “[the] media help us to shape beauty ideas by showing certain body sizes [as] beautiful and desirable”, summarising how both the beauty and fashion industries alike can affect our self-perception due to a pre-determined ‘ideal’ that is embedded in our subconscious. Furthermore, Rumsey insinuates that the media in particular is responsible for choosing who and what is seen as the ‘ideal’, shaping and creating unattainable and unmaintainable aspirations for women causing body dissatisfaction and poor self-perceptions.

In regard to this, social media and magazines opens doors for self-perceptions to be distorted, being formed by the views of others, opposed to ourselves. (Bem, 1972) notes this, stating that both our actions and appearances are ‘socially informed’, opposed to being self-led.

“Self-perception theory is counterintuitive … In simple terms, it illustrates that ‘we are what we do.’ According to self-perception theory, we interpret our own actions the way we interpret others’ actions, and our actions are often socially influenced and not produced out of our own free will, as we might expect.” (Self Perception Theory, Online, 2016)

This reinforces that we may change our appearances for positive appraisal, based on the views, or perceptions of others, consciously or unconsciously in a bid to feel accepted within specific social, or digital circles, i.e. Instagram communities.

In context of the beauty and fashion industries, this is further supported by claims from Wong (2012), whom notes that we only present ourselves in a way in which we want to be seen – “self-presentation among people tended to lean towards their desired selves and away from their undesired selves” hinting at an increasingly self-aware and narcissistic digital culture, particularly in relation to Instagram whereby one has complete control over their projected image – “presenting oneself on the internet sites was aimed to convey desired images to the others”. In support of this, Kraut et al., (1998) noted that a world of self-curated galleries on Instagram for example will allow the above to happen autonomously, naturally and distinctively in a world where “internet usage in particular, will continue to transform social life on a global scale” allowing for perceptions, critiques and judgements to take place.

This is demonstrated with Figure 1, an image of Kim Kardashian, and Figure 2, one of Makeup Artist/Instagram Icon, Amreezy – both of which show that they are holding similar poses in similar attire, with similar postures and facial features. This example alone represents how social media can affect ones self-perception, whereby it is okay to perceive ourselves, or see ourselves in a similar light to others in order to attain positive appraisal and acceptance. The public can use various aspirations, and socio-culturally accepted ‘ideals’ formed around cultural icons to shape our own identities and egos, opposed to forming our own.

1.2. Social Identity

In support of Bem’s (1972) self-perception theory, Tajfel and Turner state that, “individuals strive to achieve or to maintain positive social identity” (1986, P.16), alluding to the idea that we may change our appearance for positive praise and acceptance within our different social circles, opposed to self-gratifying reasoning.

Tajfel and Turner (1986) stated that;

“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. A person might act differently in varying social contexts according to the groups they belong to, which might include a sports team they follow, their family, their country of nationality, and the neighbourhood they live in, among many other possibilities”

This ideology can also be applied cross-culturally to that of magazines and social media, along with that of individuals. This reflects the possibilities of changing ones’ social identity intentionally to appeal to a particular social group; digitally or in person.

The Social Identity model (Figure 3) shows how personal identity and a sense of self can be formed through either acceptance or non-acceptance into a chosen social group, with retrospective intergroup comparisons. Once accepted within a particular group, one will be classified as ‘in-group’, allowing for comparative behaviours to arise with those who do not identify with such groups, classified, ‘out-group’. This denotes the concept of ‘us’ and ‘them’ in retrospect, causing competitive behaviours, altered perceptions and self-perceptions in turn. Social comparison can however, cause poor self-perception and negative behaviours via the comparison of ‘in-group’ and ‘out-group’ members.

In relation to the modern day beauty and fashion industries, Mary F Rogers (1999) notes that ‘cultural icons’, such as celebrities and models, form the standardised ‘in-group’ of today’s societies, whereby followers and admirers form the ‘out-group’. This encourages said ‘out-group’ individuals to feel the need to be constantly striving and working towards such standardisation and acceptance of a particular group or community. In support, Rogers (1999) states that, “[people have] the desire to avoid punishment and accrue rewards”, whilst Turner and Tajfel (1986), state evidently that, “social status … is the outcome of intergroup comparison”.

However, on the contrary, Campbell (1987), argues that in regards to beauty and fashion, “[social] identity in the modern world takes the form of ‘discovering their true identity by a process of monitoring their responses to the various styles that are brought to their attention … as a part of a process of coming to realise ‘who they really are’” (Crane, 2012) opposed to shaping personal identity through intergroup comparisons. In contrast Bovone (2012) claims that beauty and fashion “[provide] aesthetic choices that enable the consumer either to conform or to rebel” to the pre-described ideals and standards which society sets out for the masses. This argument denotes that an individual seeks to find their ‘social identity’ through external responses to chosen aesthetic choices and the opinions of others, opposed to adhering to intergroup comparisons as noted by Tajfel and Turner (1986).

1.3. The Mirror Stage

Self-perceptions are developed from an early age, allowing for a conscious sense of self-awareness and selfhood to be derived, whilst allowing for change overtime. The Oxford Dictionary, describes ‘selfhood’ as “the quality that constitutes one’s individuality; the state of having an individual identity”.

Lacan’s (1936) mirror stage theory, notes a child at 18 months, first recognises oneself in a mirror and becomes conscious of selfhood, recognising that he or she is an individual and is separate to others; “it begins the process of developing an identity distinct from others and yet, at the same time, dependant on the images of others to determine itself”.

Hesse-Biber (1996, P.13) re-enforced the mirror stage, theory noting that a reflection of oneself can affect our thoughts, actions and behaviours, whilst affecting a sense of self-perception. However, Hesse-Biber (1996, P.31) claims that this is a result of comparing oneself to the societal ideals portrayed in the media such as magazines and social media, whereby “the concept of a mirror gives us an analogy for how society fosters women’s obsession [with their] body image”, in turn seeing the mirror as a symbol of commercialisation and standardisation opposed to individualisation as Lacan (1936) discusses.

Freud argues that, “the mirror itself is a ‘double’, where the person is oneself and the image the person sees is another self … since this produces a double image, what is visible may actually be invisible or altered through our own perceptions” (Lind, 2009), whereby we make solitary decisions in regards to our sense of self-hood. This contradicts Tajfel and Turner’s (1986) social identity theory by claiming that there is a constant battle between conscious and unconscious thought in regard to our appearance, opposed to being constructed through intergroup comparison.

Furthermore, Stratton (1996) claimed that, “[with enough work] people can construct the appearance that they want. Such understanding emphasises the visual, pointing towards a world of gazes, mirrors and spectacles where they eye is the central sense and the body is its major focus”.  This is particularly resonant in regard to social media and magazines surrounding the beauty and fashion industries, whereby the camera, or public eye becomes a mirror, allowing for distorted self-perceptions and self-analysis, with one therefore being unable to recognise what is real, or not, adding pressure to look a certain way.

1.4. The Male Gaze and The Self-Surveying Gaze/Gratification Theory

In regard to seeking social acceptance and approval of ones ‘image’, the male gaze theory is prevalent.

Shields and Heinecken (2002) states that this theory “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”, internalizing the male gaze and the pre-set ideals of the media triggering, ‘the self-surveying gaze’, or the gratification theory, which in turn can dampen self-perceptions.

The male gaze theory allows women to be seen as objects, and has been used within beauty and fashion marketing strategies for decades. However, the self-surveying or gratification theory allows women to adopt different perspectives in order to see themselves through the eye of the third person, opposed to how they actually perceive themselves. This then allows for women to judge other women in the same vein – through a male lens. By doing so one is put under continuous pressure, feeling the ‘gaze’ consciously from different angles.

This is reflected in Figure 4 and Figure 5. Figure 4 shows 1950’s Playboy Bunnies in Chicago, whereby they were objects of both male attention and the male gaze, wearing their bunny-suits proudly, in turn becoming the ‘ideal’ and ‘sex symbols’ of the era, whilst figure 5, shows how self-perception can become distorted through the self-surveying gaze. Shields and Heinecken (2002) state that this can be “overwhelming, and in turn, distorted”. One becomes unable to recognise the ‘ideal’, nor reality, adding additional pressure to look a certain way.

The self-surveying gaze, or gratification theory, unlike the male gaze theory, does not pin the blame on the media for altering self-perceptions and thoughts. Instead it focuses on how one use of media, emphasising the importance of individual choices, and the choices of the brands creating the visual content initially (Raccke, 2008). This is evident with the Playboy brand for example, as noted above, as well as in various Japanese Shisedio advertisements (Figure 6 and 7).

Figures 6 and 7 show how this theory has been used within marketing strategies. Shiseido often used a woman’s gaze in a mirror, hinting at both self-analysis and self-awareness. Rather than being exposed to external gazes, internalised gazes become prevalent and at the forefront of ones self-perception.

Klein (2013) states that this strategy builds on comparison through recognising “the susceptibilities in [women]”, whilst Hesse-Biber (2006) notes “girls already vulnerable to self-esteem or body image issues are most negatively impacted”. By choosing to engage with such comparisons and internalised gazes, body dissatisfaction is more likely to occur. This is evident in modern day with social media and magazines, whereby a camera lens, a selfie or a celebrity become the comparative.

Bibliography (Not in Alphabetical Order)

Unknown. (2016). Self-Perception Theory (Bem). Available: https://www.learning-theories.com/self-perception-theory-bem.html. Last Accessed: 5th November 2016.

Wong, W. K. (2012). FACES on FACEBOOK: A Study of Self-presentation and Social Support on Facebook. Discovery–SS Student E-Journal, 1, 184-214. Retrieved from http://ssweb.cityu.edu.hk/download/RS/E-Journal/journal9.pdf

Vogel, E. A., Rose, J. P., Roberts, L., & Eckles, K. (2014). Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 3(4), 206-222.

Turner, J. C., & Tajfel, H. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. Psychology of intergroup relations, 7-24.

Rogers, M. (1999). Barbie Culture: Sage Publications. P.6.

Rogers, M. (1999). Barbie Culture: Sage Publications. P.87.

Bonvone, L. (2012) Identities Through Fashion: Bloomsbury Publications. P.5.

Crane, D. (2012) Identities Through Fashion: Bloomsbury Publications. P.1.

Rumsey, Nichola, and Diana Harcourt. (2012) The Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. Print. P. 217.

Oxford Dictionary. (2017). Selfhood. Available: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/selfhood

Lacan, J. (1936). What is Jacques Lacan’s “Mirror Stage” theory? Available: https://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/themes/Edu/curriculum/curriculumQAAJAX.php?action=getcourseunitqas HYPERLINK “https://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/themes/Edu/curriculum/curriculumQAAJAX.php?action=getcourseunitqas&courseunitid=8440″& HYPERLINK “https://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/themes/Edu/curriculum/curriculumQAAJAX.php?action=getcourseunitqas&courseunitid=8440″courseunitid=8440. Last Accessed: 30th January 2017

Hesse-Biber, S. (1996). Body Business. In: Hesse-Biber, S “Am I thin enough yet?” The Commercialisation of Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. P.13.

Hesse-Biber, S. (1996). Body Business. In: Hesse-Biber, S “Am I thin enough yet?” The Commercialisation of Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. P.31.

Lind. (2009). The Mirror Gaze and Eating Disorders. Essay. P.N/A.

Stratton, J. (1996). Plastic Bodies. In: Rogers, M. (1999). Barbie Culture: Sage Publications. P.113.

Shields and Heinecken. (2002). In: Klein, K. (2013). Why Don’t I Look Like Her? The Impact of Social Media on Female Body Image. Available: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1749&context=cmc_theses. Last accessed 12th November 2016.

Raacke, John and Jennifer Bonds-Raacke. “Myspace and Facebook: Applying Uses and Gratifications Theory to Exploring Friend-Networking Sites.” Cyber Psychology and Behavior 11.2, P.170.

Shields, V & Heinecken, D (2002). Measuring Up: How Advertising Affects Self-Image. USA: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 106.

Hesse-Biber, Sharlene, Patricia Leavy, Courtney E. Quinn, an Julia Zoino. (2006) “The Mass Marketing of Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders: The Social Psychology of Women, thinness and Culture.” Women Studies International Forum 29, P.217.

Klein, K. (2013). Why Don’t I Look Like Her? The Impact of Social Media on Female Body Image. Available: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1749&context=cmc_theses. P.75. Last accessed: 1st February 2017.

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Dissertation: Chapter 1 – Context of My Practice – Structure

Below shows the planned structure for the first chapter of my dissertation.

Chapter 1 – Context of My Practice (Professional, Theoretical)

2000 Words

 

  1. The Self-Perception Theory

Bem (1972) Self-Perception Theory backed with:

Rumsey (2012)

Wong (2012)

Kraut et al (1998)

Photo of Kim Kardashian and Amreezy (Instagram)

  1. Social Identity Theory

Tajfel and Turner (1986) Social Identity Theory backed with:

Tajfel and Turner’s Social Identity Model

Mary F Rogers (1999)

Campbell (1987)

Crane (2012)

Bovone (2012)

  1. The Mirror Stage

Lacan’s (1936) Mirror Stage Theory backed with:

Hesse-Biber (1996)

Lind (2009)

Stratton (1996)

Photo of Playboy Bunnies, Chicago 1950

Photo of Eating Disorder Campaign – Mirror Image

  1. The Male Gaze and The Self-Surveying Gaze Theory

Shields and Heinecken (2002)

Raccke (2008)

Klein (2013)

Hesse-Biber (2006)

Photo of Shiseido Advertisments x 2

 

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Dissertation: Plan/Structure

Below shows the planned and proposed structure of my dissertation. I have stripped back each chapter accordingly in line with my research to date, in order to ease the writing process through being heavily structured and planned.

Each chapter will include sub chapters focusing on specific elements of research and my research methodologies to date, in order to answer the proposed research question/topic.

By breaking this down, this has enabled me to work out what specific content needs to be included, whilst working out word counts effectively for each chapter.

From this each chapter will be broken down, planned in relation to collated research, and evidenced on my blog accordingly.

  • Title Page
  • Acknowledgments
  • Contents Page
  • Introduction

500 Words

  • Chapter 1 – Context of My Practice (Professional, Theoretical)

2000 Words

  1. The Self-Perception Theory
  2. Social Identity Theory
  3. The Mirror Stage
  4. The Male Gaze and The Self-Surveying Gaze Theory
  • Chapter 2 – Method of Practice (Methodologies and Ethics)

2000 Words

  1. Journals, Books, Articles
  2. Interviews
  3. Questionnaire
  4. Visual (including Critical Design)
  5. Alternate Perspectives
  • Chapter 3 – Research Findings

2000 Words

  1. Summary of Research Findings
  2. UK vs Japanese Self-Perceptions within the Beauty and Fashion Industries
  • Conclusion

500 Words

  • Illustrations
  • Appendices
  • Bibliography
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Japan Research Trip – Mind-map of Collated Research

I have compiled a mind-map in order to collate my findings from my research trip to Tokyo, Japan. From this I plan on creating further mind maps and blog posts relating to each point noted below.

This is also working toward the following objective:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

2. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

 

japan-mindmap

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A Conversation with Toni Hollowood

Below shows notes made from the audio recording of my meeting with CSM MA student Toni Hollowood, who has looked into issues surrounding DIY Beauty in relation to social media surrounding the beauty industry for her research and practical project.

A recording of this will be submitted on a USB along with all other recorded interviews, whilst being noted in my appendices of my dissertation, with print outs of the notes featured below for reference.

This is working toward the following objectives:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

toni-hollowood-convo

toni-hollowood-convo-1

toni-hollowood-convo-2

toni-hollowood-convo-3

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Shiseido: Harvey Nichols & SPACE NK – Leeds

Today I visited Space NK and Harvey Nichols in Leeds, to find out prior to visiting Japan, which Shiseido products are currently on offer in the UK. No other stockists sell Shiseido in Leeds, therefore was keen to see this as a comparison to the brand in it’s native home of Japan. I also hoped to take photos/collect any marketing materials/ad campaign material which may be visible, again to compare with the Japanese collateral – i.e. model, copywriting, product name, etc.

Harvey Nichols:
In Harvey Nichols, I found a very small range of 6 skincare products, at the back of the store – I was unable to photograph the selection being surrounded by beauty consultants and felt this was inappropriate to do so. I found that Shiseido used to have a cosmetics and skincare concession in Harvey Nichols, selling a full range of products, but has since been removed and now features a small range within a wall of more ‘remote’, or ‘new’ and not as well known, products and brands such as Iconic. All of the staff members in the department were too new to Harvey Nichols to tell me why the concession was removed – my only thought was that it could not compete with the likes of MAC and Benefit which fill the first floor of the store, perhaps not being as understood by a British audience, or not being so well received due to the lack of advertising and marketing surrounding the UK demographic. I did ask for any Shiseido marketing materials or magazines, to which I was informed they do not stock, nor know of, at all in their working experience at Harvey Nichols for such brand. I was advised to visit Space NK, another stockist, across the road to enquire with them regarding this. From my research, a full range of Shiseido products in still available online, on the Harvey Nichols website. I did find interesting however, that, out of the few products in the store, 3 of which featured skin-lightening or ‘whitening’ in the product name. I was told by a member of staff that this was most likely a brand-conscious/buyer decision, in regard to still catering for the Asian market and demographic within Leeds, as these ‘types’ of products are not readily available in the Western/British market.

Space NK:
After being directed to Space NK by a beauty consultant at Harvey Nichols, I was informed that only 1 product was actually stocked in-store – beauty blotting paper. I found this surprising for a cosmetics store, however was also told that last summer they did stock the Shiseido Summer Range, consisting of SPF products, aimed at preserving ‘white skin’. Again like Harvey Nichols, found that this would of been a conscious decision, possibly catering for the Asian market in Leeds. I found it interesting that cosmetic products weren’t stocked, however Shiseido ultimately have been known for their technical innovations and formulations, making them stand-out with their skincare products primarily. There was also no marketing materials in store for Shiseido, and was directed to their website to view the advertising campaigns if desired.

Whilst in-store, I was speaking with a Korean Beauty Consultant, Vicky, whom I found extremely interesting and helpful in regards to discussing areas of interest surrounding my research trip to Japan. Vicky took a great interest in my research project, and took some time to talk to me about Japanese culture, history and its association with modern day beauty, as well as discussing products, brands, bloggers, social media and trends.

The main points in raised in conversation were:

  • Korean Beauty trends influencing China and Japan’s beauty regimes – both skincare and cosmetics. Lisa Eldridge has been known to take her influences from Korea in regards to innovation, formula and trend, whilst working with in Japan with brands such as Shiseido and Lancome.
  • Contrasts between stereotypes of British people wanting to tan, and Japanese people wanting to ‘lighten’ or ‘whiten’ their skin. It was said by Vicky that this ‘ideal’ of Japaneseness, comes down to the history of the culture and society in regards to work, wealth and status. In the ‘olden’ times, it was known that if you had a tan, it was likely that you worked outside either farming, or building, for example, whilst if you had ‘white’ skin, you would be indoors, leading one to the assumption of one’s education, superior job role and high class status. It was not seen as a good thing to have a tan, and this ‘ideal’ has carried on through to present day, further pushed with the globalisation of celebrity, culture, international brands, publishing/advertising, communication and social media. Hierarchy and sense of ‘place’ are known in Japan to be respected, and it was said that no one wants to be seen at the bottom of the hierarchy, whether it be in society or at work. This allows for markets such as ‘skin-lightening’ products and fashion magazines to become readily available, with one then being able to buy into a sense of better being, belonging and status, being accepted as one of ‘them’, opposed to being perceived as ‘one of us’ in contrast. This idea is also discussed in Mikiko Ashikari’s Journal, ‘Cultivating Japanese Whiteness’ (2005).

This is also working toward the following objectives:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

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London Research Trip: Findings Mindmap

Below shows an overview of my research findings from my London research trip. In-depth notes have been made regarding the meeting with Toni Hollowood (separate blog post and included in appendices with audio recording), however the interview and findings with my model contact due to confidentiality agreements, will only be included in my appendices (with audio recording also).

In regards to the ‘Burberry’ and ‘Visual Research’ headings, these findings will be explored in Tokyo, Japan, off the back of this research trip in more detail, and will be discussed in conversation with Vogue, for example, whilst gaining comparative research (both contextual and visual).

This is also working toward the following objectives:

1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

2. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

3. To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

london-mindmap

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Semester 2: Objectives, Goals and POA

The below objectives and goals have been carried over from Semester 1, and will remain the same objectives which I am going to work towards throughout Semester 2.

Due to the types of research I plan on carrying out this semester, I believe that Objective 4 will change in regards to practical work, as I feel my research will inform this, and therefore have removed any specifics to allow for a clean slate to build from post-research and analysis of all work, and research to date. After looking quite broadly last semester, by narrowing and deepening my research this semester, I hope to have a very refined and direct final outcome which is relevant and in response to my research topic.

I also aim to work on Objective 5 post-research and post-interviews/meetings with Industry Professionals in both the UK and in Japan, to assess it’s viability before being produced/designed.

I have noted below each objective/goal research methodologies which will allow for these to be achieved.

Objectives and goals:

  1. To understand the ways in which Social Media and Magazines can affect self-perceptions and issues:

A) With body image (Females, 18-24)

B) With body image on a cross-cultural scale (Females, 18-24; Tokyo, Japan).

Questionnaire allowing for 18-24 year olds to complete the survey online, regardless of location (UK/Japan). I found this to be a good way of collating quantifiable data and analysing it, after finding it hard to connect with Japanese students in Japan (lack of contact information) and having little response back from HE Institutions in the UK. By having the questionnaire online also, it is possible to gain the trust of participants whilst also gaining a larger range of responses from a larger range of people, which may of been restricted via targeting Universities, for example.

I plan to keep this open to both males and females to gain different perspectives and comparative results, taking into account feedback from Semester. In addition to this, I plan on using my time in Japan (16th-23rd January 2017) to speak with Beauty Bloggers and Vogue, in order to understand this on a cross-cultural scale.

I plan on speaking with various other professionals to gain different perspectives, i.e. models and bodybuilders, whilst also speaking with like-minded creative practitioner, Toni Hollowood from CSM about her MA, similar research and practice.

  1. To understand policies and guidelines within the Fashion and Beauty Industries currently encouraging positive body image.

I plan on speaking with ASOS to understand an Industry perspective on this topic, in relation to their Model Welfare Policy and Corporate/Social Responsibilities.  

I plan on speaking with Vogue in Japan, and hopefully in the UK also regarding other positive strategies which are promoted/used throughout their publications and digital content.

  1.  To work with and interview those both actively working in the Fashion and Beauty Industries, and those on a consumer/follower/user basis, to compare behaviours and perspectives in relation to body image and self-perceptions.

See actions for Objective/Goal 1.

I also plan on speaking with professional international and national models, whilst speaking with beauty and/or fashion bloggers both in the UK and Japan. I have made contact already with bloggers in Japan ahead of my trip, and will now actively look for bloggers in the UK to contact also for comparable research.

  1. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of Social Media and Magazines on self-perceptions and body image.

I plan to carry out the main body of research for semester 2 prior to working on my practical work, as I believe that this semester will allow for the cross-cultural side of my research topic to be truly highlighted, and therefore visually used in context. I also feel I need to go to Japan and seek inspirations from their culture, galleries, products, advertising, etc, whilst taking into account research to date and upcoming interviews/meetings.

I do however have ideas which I would like to push and develop, however feel the key aim has to be to highlight the cross-cultural differences between the UK and Japan in relation to my research topic.

  1. To derive a National or International Policy for use within the Fashion and Beauty Industries, based on collated research, interviews and experiences throughout this project.

See actions for Objective/Goal 2.

In addition, I plan on carrying out all research prior to embarking on working soley towards this objective/goal. I have also recently been thinking critically whilst reflecting on the research/practical work done to date, that perhaps this is not the focus of my practice, but an interest which still needs to be explored and research in context. This leads me to note that, perhaps the practical-led work for this outcome should be as stated above, in Objective/Goal 4, opposed to a Policy Proposal. However, this will be discussed and considered further as my research unfolds, meetings are carried out and as interviews take place.

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Semester 2: Research to-do

Before resuming research during Semester 2, I wanted to draw up a list of research-led actions which need to be taken to answer my research question, and meet my set objectives and goals going forwards.

  • London Research Trip – UK/Japan Comparisons (products, advertising, copywriting, models, etc), Interview with International Model and Meeting with CSM MA Fashion Communication Student/Art Director (Objective 3)
  • London Research Trip 2 – Meeting with ASOS (Objective 2, 3 and 5)
  • In-depth research on culture, makeup history and beauty in Japan in comparison to the UK
  • Japan Research Trip – UK/Japan Comparisons (products, advertising, copywriting, models, etc), Meeting with Beauty Bloggers and an International Publisher to gain different perspectives on my research topic
  • Interview analysis from Semester 1 & 2 (Objective 3)
  • Questionnaire for Public completion (UK & Japan) (Objective 1A/1B)
  • Policy – viability post-research analysis/meetings/interviews
  • Alternate Perspectives
  • Journals, Articles, Books
  • Visual/practice-led research (Objective 4)
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