Monday, 5 October 2009

What makes us who we are?

Ok, I wanted to take a different approach on identity. Its not just looks that determine who we are- there are many factors which people do not see, so instead we are judged on our physical appearance. I was reading Farideh's blog and she brought up the idea of how when we were younger, we wanted to believe in the whole fairy tale image- ordinary girls finding their Prince Charmings and turning into princesses. When i had my Graduation Ball, i was able to dress up like this in an expensive dress with a lovely guy on my arm to show off and its funny how you grow in confidence and feel like a different person, but are still just the same.

I think also that other people help to make you who you are. People meet new people all the time and its the ones you get close to that help bring out your true identity.
Yeh, ok, here's the girlie soppy personal bit! :P
A lot happened in my life growing up from the age of 11 that affected my life, same as everyone. I was bullied a lot, even through my teens and during 6th form- a lot of the time to do with the way i looked. I started to always worry about what other people thought of me and meeting new people became more of a chore. I always felt like i couldnt truly be myself- a memory being given dirty looks and name-calling by close friends just because of my dying my hair and because i was blonde, i was obviously stupid!! I soon began to know my boyfriend and before i knew it i finally knew myself. After a year i started my Foundation Course at UCA Rochester (last year) and i realised that everyone was so individual that it was easy to fit in and i became more confident with my own identity and learnt that, I may not be 'perfect' in appearance, but i am who i am and i try to let my good personality shine through. Ive always believed that a more positive image is given off by someone who is good natured. 'Never Judge a Book by Its Cover!'
I think family also has an effect on your identity- after all they're the ones who share most of the things you are. Our parents for example have socialised us with basic informaiton, rules and morals that help make up our identity in a more sociological way and obviously in a scientific way being our physical traits and genetics


  1. Hi Jade,

    This isn't your review; that will follow as second post; I just wanted to say that I admire you for being able to talk about the bullying thing; as a teenager, I was classically 'square', in so much as I wore glasses, had rubbish hair (no Nike trainers obviously!) and was a bit too intelligent for some; I was bullied too; at the time, it was pretty rubbish, but it's all dim and distant now; suffice to say, confidence is something we can give ourselves! I want you to be confident; I know you don't like the whole seminar experience and probably dread being asked an outright question or having attention drawn to you, but hey, nothing bad is going to happen to you here - just good stuff! Anyway, that's the soppy bit over with, now onto the tutor routine... :-)

  2. Interim Review Unit 1: Anatomy 06/10/09

    Firstly, your essay question - perfection? I guess you mean 'beauty' - as you rightly point out, it's a cultural fiction, but it's also a big target, so your first job will be to put limits on the discussion and choose your case-studies carefully; of course, Dorian Gray is a story about the hypocrisy of beauty (that it really is only skin deep), but it was written at a time when the idea that a person's personality could be derived from their face was gathering scientific credibility; a good starting point for your essay would be to look at the idea of physiognomy

    and also scientific racism

    All of these belief systems have, at their base, that there is an agreed version of beauty to which other versions can be compared unfavourably; so the Greek profile compared to the African profile etc. One is canonised as the 'rule of beauty', which means everything different from that cannot be 'as beautiful' and therefore inferior; it's an idea that is ongoing; look at red heads as compared to blondes etc...

    Do put the idea of beauty 'on trial' you will need to demonstrate a basic understanding of these ideas, and select portraits, illustrations, drawings etc, that allow you to enrich your argument.

    Regarding your portraits, I'd like you to move into colour/mixed-media, as you do seem very comfortable (perhaps too much) working in a linear, graphic style; perhaps you might consider combining drawn elements with photographs and manipulated photographs; I know you're learning photoshop pretty much from scratch, but I should get stuck in and start applying it in practical terms; as yet, you don't appear to have settled on a single, out-right idea, but I wonder, in light of what you've talked about re. bullying, if you might use metamorphosis or transformation as an image for the 'then/now' idea you were expressing. I'd certainly like to see you incorporate a more bold, stylised aesthetic, and more abstraction too; remember, your own face need not be the key to creating a compelling picture of your identity/indentities...