Andrea Misir on Feb 6th 2011
You know that old saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover?” As true as that statement is, why is it that we never seem to follow it? In many situations, we tend to pass judgment based on appearances; sometimes, appearance is the only criteria we use to judge. Wouldn’t our parents be ashamed of us for not being mindful and not taking the time to delve into what is given and discover the truth? Or, would they applaud us for our quick, keen judgment by screening a situation and dodging a bullet? Either way, image has such a profound impact on our decisions. But does it deserve to have such influence over our actions and thoughts?
We all have our lives to lead, which can be hectic at times. One can argue that we simply cannot afford to spend time and energy. We need to take what’s given and make a decision in a heartbeat. But on the other hand, we could very well be depriving ourselves of something greater by being rash. Nevertheless, there are some instances in which image is not an accurate measure of a person’s character and there will be some instances in which image is the only factor that matters.
I maintain that image importance depends on an individual’s implicit status based on society’s reception of his or her actions and words. For example, celebrities have carefully crafted images which are the results of not only their unique personalities and polished good looks, but a brilliant team’s buzz marketing and evocative writing. True, most celebrities genuinely have talent but nobody would even blink an eye at them if it was not for the hard work that molded them into household names. If they are not able to combine their talent with a marketable image and create money for the people that have them under contract, they will disappear from the industry’s radar. But very few of us, for many reasons, will not have an image so heavily scrutinized as a celebrity’s. What about our own image?
Because there are so many different personalities that encompass different attitudes toward image, I’ve compiled a list of different subsets that are based on my personal observations and judgments:
- The independent crowd, the people who don’t care about their image in the eyes of society but still strive to do what they want
- The apathetic crowd, the people who don’t care what they look like in the eyes of society and don’t really care to do anything
- The neurotic crowd, the people who care so much about their image that all of their efforts go toward maintaining it and nothing else
- The productive crowd, the people who understand the importance of their image and work towards shaping it to their advantage to better themselves and the people around them (celebrities are NOT a part of this crowd because, as far as I’m concerned, their entire career is based on their image and it has a huge impact on the lives they will lead since society is closely watching them.)
- Last but not least, the manipulators. Basically these people are looking for their own self interests, so they will not hesitate to change or distort their image or the images of others to get what they want
So those were some of the main mindsets of image (I know that I’ve glanced over them and that some more could still be out there, but the ones that I outlined are the ones that I think are the most visible in society.) I think I have a hybrid of productive-independent: I understand the importance of image, I do what I can to improve myself but chiefly because I want to fulfill my ambitions and better myself. If I put my best foot forward and people don’t appreciate it, then it’s their loss