The Body's Image

How much is our concept of beauty dictated by cultural conformity?

Supermodels are rewarded with higher incomes than educators, therapists, artists, bodies in the workplace, almost everyone.
Does our culture worship the body or the image of the body? What is the difference?

How does obsession with the body's image distort the potential of the mindbody itself?
Do wars occur because people look into the mirror and can't agree upon the image? If body parts are worshipped individually, why do we have a corpse when we dissect them?

Do you like what you see in the mirror?

Have you ever played with your image?

How much psychological damage is done to people whose image does not conform to the cultural norm?

How much medical damage is done by fashion over the years? (high heels, tight corsets, plastic surgery etc.)

How much of character transformation in fiction is achieved through a change in body image?

If you could look like anyone, who would it be? Why?

Student Albert Lung analyses the striptease: "For Roland Barthe, the art of shedding clothes is a French bourgeoisie myth replete with poetic and literary traditions, as well as a national sport which occasionally delivers magic. But more interesting is the clumsiness of a non-professional stripper--those well-educated and moralizing ladies of the middle class whose lack of imagination and awkward gestures while trying to strip fascinates the spectators even more. This process of "de-sexualization," as Barthe terms it, provides the subtext of French culture and p°litics.

Of course in America striptease is a commercial transaction-- a symbolic act of the "Hollywood narcissism," which is today monopolized by millionaires like Demi Moore or Michelle Pfeiffer. Sadly one has to muddle through some afternoon junk shows like Ricki Lake or Oprah to see a fat and ugly woman strip for the glory of being a pure object of sex. Such courage requires a self-indulgence which transcends a woman's self-consciousness and interpretation of beauty; it is a self-imposed discipline beyond any sexual innuendo. Striptease is inherently a democratic act which perhaps originated from the Greek ideal of the perfect body. Today it is an individual expression of his or her hunger for exposure and feedback for it is the stripper who possess the right to communicate and freedom of speech, whether in real life or through the video camera."
Student Michael Gatling captures what happens to the reflection of the body in water in this image:

Student Andrea Martin writes a poem about the dichotomy of self and image.

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