You Can Be Anything You Want To Be: How Self Image Effects Quality Of Life

947 words - 4 pages

You Can Be Anything We Want You to Be

It is a known fact that one’s physiology and sociology affects one’s psychology, but there are many different factors that lead to different outcomes. The way one appears to others and self-image has a major role in the way one behaves, as well as the greatest factor the quality of one’s life (e.g., Economic status, community, (slums or suburbs) and nationality). I believe that the stereotypes society puts on individuals are the biggest role in one’s psychology, basically people say “I am going to behave the way I am because I am expected to behave like this.”
Body image has been defined as the unconscious mental representation of one’s own body. It evolves gradually and reflects interactive forces exerted by sensory (e.g., visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), interpersonal (e.g., attitudinal), environmental (e.g., physical conditions), and temporal factors. Stereotypes, with its impact on physical appearance, functional capabilities, experience of pain, and social roles, is believed to alter, even distort, one’s body image and self-concept. People, for whatever reason play into social stereotypes unconsciously. Women fell they must be thin and pretty and dress the way media tells them they should dress, all the way to young African American men feel they must be like the way society thinks they are.(e.g. In gangs, dress in urban ware, and act out in crime).
One’s self-concept and self-identity are linked to body image and are often seen as conscious, social derivatives of it. However, self-concept and self-identity may be disagreeing for many individuals. The sense of self, or self-identity, which is privately owned and outwardly represented, may be denied in social interactions with others who respond to the person first,focusing on appearance rather than identity, thereby losing sense of the person’s real self. The person’s self-esteem, representing the way the person is percieved component of the self-concept, gradually shows signs of erosion and negative self-perceptions following such encounters.
The impact of stereotypes and prejudice acts to increase the stigma toward people. Restrictions imposed by stereotypes lead to deviations from several societal norms and expectations, (for example a young man who’s father is an alcoholic and divorced sees from society from stereotypes that he is expected to behave the same, and so he does, unconsciously only because he is expected to behave in such a way). They are, therefore, viewed negatively by society and result in stigmatizing perceptions and discriminatory practices. Furthermore, when internalized by experiencing people who force stereotypes, these stigmatizing encounters with others result in increased life stress, reduced...

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