Monday, 28 October 2013


Task 3: Write an analysis 300 - 500 words on one media image of your choosing. This analysis should highlight how the indented reader/ audience would contract their identity by a specific reading of the text which is based on the othering of other groups or individuals.

Your analysis should evidence an understanding of the concept of othering and also show some acknowledgement of how much the security of our own fragile subjectives or identities depend on this process.

The following texts are useful reading material on identity

Woodward, K: Identity and difference
Hall, Stuart - Representation: cultural representaion and signifying practices
Berger, J: Ways of seeing

For this project I looked at Kathryn Woodwards 'Identity and Difference'  and focused on the body and the difference.

In this essay I will highlight how the indented reader/ audience would contract their identity and the difference specifically through the body in this advert for Dolce and Gabbanna. I will look at the 'othering' of other groups or individuals and how this advert makes audience question their bodies and their identity.
This advert stereotypically uses this woman's identity as something men would be attracted to and what women want to be like. Our bodies in society are no longer just what keeps us alive, but have a new meaning in what is seen as acceptable and attractive. "The human body is important not only because it provides us with the basic ability to live, but because it shapes our identities and structures our interventions in, and classifications of, the world." (K.Woodward, pp. 65). The model Scarlett Johansson, is laying seductively on a leopard bed in a bodice making her look sensual and desired to the audience. The outfit she is wearing excentuates her curves and makes her waist look tiny. Her identity is formidably been shaped into a sex symbol or an object of desire though the creative direction in the photography and the dominant social construct towards the body.

These dominant social constructs that are portrayed in society through advertising and the media, can create a feeling of ‘otherness’ and that if they don’t look a certain way they can do, through the product that is being advertised or through reconstructive surgery that is offered in today’s society “Recognizing that the body has become a project for many modern persons entails accepting that its appearance, size, shape and even it’s contents, are open to reconstruction in line with the designs of it’s owner”. (K.Woodward, pp. 69). People want to conform to what is seen normal in society or want society to perceive them in that way through their physical attributes because they are pushed by their instinctive needs of wanting to be loved, adored or even accepted. 

In conclusion the way in which we are express our identity through our bodies is the way we look physically. If we look at someone that is overweight we would initially perceive them as being unhealthy or unattractive, based upon us looking at them as different and apart of a stereotyped group ‘otherness’. Which has been influenced by what we see in the media and what society has grown to accept.
"As a result of developments in biological reproduction, genetic engineering, plastic surgery and sports science, the body is becoming less of a given, and more a phenomenon of options and choices." (K.Woodward, pp. 67). A everyday woman would look at this advert and identify herself as someone similar or others would look at them as something they want or aspire to be like.

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