“They Looked Better on Facebook” Identity & Pecha Kucha

A Walk Through A Slide

My part of the Pecha Kucha project was how technology condones the false beliefs of beauty. The false beliefs of beauty are ones that technology alters and projects to us, but it is not reality. I used celebrities everyone would know for my examples because I wanted to prove that technology and the media can alter and edit who we look up to (celebrities) and almost makes us want to look like them. Have you ever read in a magazine how to get “Kim Kardashian’s red carpet makeup at home?” or “Supermodel body workout! Lose 5 inches in a week with this workout?” Then you will see photos of beautiful, toned celebrities and models we are supposed to envy and want to be; yet what isn’t in the article is that most models in the industry are not plain folks like us. These model’s bodies are photoshopped to extreme portions or hiding the fact that eating disorders are prevalent in the industry. Skin lightening was also a topic I spoke about in my presentation. I believe the slide with Beyonce on two different covers of Glamour in two different countries shows that beauty can be digitally altered in order to please the magazine’s client base. The picture I chose that is the most striking is the one below:



This slide builds on the idea that just as easy as bodies can be photoshopped; skin color can be photoshopped and altered just as easily thanks to technology. According to the video “Identity 2.0” Identity is reputation also known as what others say about you. Many people may “identify” which Beyonce as she has a reputation of being a very successful artist, wife, mother, and businesswomen. People may “identify” which Beyonce because of physical appearances as well such as skin color, stature, or personal style are just some examples. In the case of the photo, one country wanted their readers to “identify” with Beyonce with lighter, digitally altered skin while the other country wanted their readers to “identify” with Beyonce’s darker skin. My point here is that photos can be altered to identify to whom they are trying to sell or relate to. The reality is, we may never get a chance to actually see these celebrities or models in person. Our only outlet is through digital media and magazines to get a feel of what they look like and based on that we create assumptions. If I were to change the slide, I would have included a picture of Beyonce in more of a paparazzi like pose in addition to the one above to show how digitally altered these photos are.

What I learned about my blog topic:

Since my group’s blog had the theme of technology and identity; I have learned a lot about how technology can alter our opinions on what is beautiful and acceptable. In today’s world, I hear a lot about cyber-bullying and how so many young girls get eating disorders because Americans have a distorted image of beauty. In using the interactive application “We Feel Fine”, I could really see how women young and old across the control feel about themselves whether it be positive or negative. The internet is like a gateway to finding out what is “acceptable” in our society. I have learned that no one should tell you what is acceptable rather than you must decide what is acceptable and not let that go. If you let technology and the media decide for you than you will fall into a state that is not reality but rather lack of self-awareness. As young adults, we know who we are and what we are capable of doing. We know (most of the time) what is and is not acceptable and are capable of making mature decisions. As children younger and younger begin to use the internet and start to see these false beliefs of beauty, that is when the problem begins. Young girls thinking they are fat when they are simply just “growing up”. I know I felt that way when I was young and I am sure many of you did as well. Now as adults, we realize that as we grow up we were heavily influenced by others around us. For example, the other night the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show was on. Then I go on Instagram and see pictures of the models with captions written by my followers such as “not eating for a week”. Whether as a joke or in seriousness, young girls look up to these people. It creates a sense of a distorted body image that can ruin young girl’s lives.

The article by the New York Times about Target and how they find ways to identify with and attract their customers we read the other day makes me realize that our identities are out there in the world and we don’t even know it. Target knows about us and our spending habits and other stores will continue that trend for higher revenue. I have learned that social media really allows us to identity or not identity with others around us. I have learned that video games can give those a sense of identity as see in the article “Becoming Screen literate”. Finally, I have learned the internet will only try to virtually identify with us for years to come. This module opened my eyes to the immense changes in technology over the years and what is to come is surely unknown.