Friday, July 19, 2013

Image is Everything

A couple of decades ago Kodak and Andre Aggasi made "Image is Everything" a slogan to live by. In the case of Kodak perhaps it was indeed the image they meant, you know the after product of when you click a camera's shutter to take a photograph. But the unspoken connotation is that it is how one is perceived that is everything.

It is pervasive in our society and has been for a very long time. We don't look into people hearts anymore in an attempt to understand, we look at the image they project. This has in fact become quite an industry; celebrity stylists, image consultants all have become a mainstay of life today.

The cosmetic industry is a billion dollar business that is all about altering our image, add to that how we dress, smell, style our hair... the list goes on and on.

But when one connive's an image they also are engaging in con game when the outcome of this act is to manipulate how another person perceives that image.

Rolling Stone Magazine put an image of the Boston Bomber on the cover of their magazine this week:

The public was outraged. It didn't want to see the image of a killer to look so much like the boy-next-door. So now this image is being circulated so you won't forget how he "really" looked:

And there was another image manipulation recently. When George Zimmerman was arrested in the killing of Trayvon Martin he looked like this in his mug shot:

To my caucasian eye he appears quite hispanic and maybe a bit thug-like. So my perception was probably not a singular view. By the time the trial became Zimmerman's image has changed a bit:

Now appearing more white-like and much more professional than like a street thug.

But Trayvon's image was manipulated too, we had the defiant bird-flipping Trayvon shown and the football playing All-American image tossed out there as well. In other instances that are not life and death matters we seen magazine cover images of stars that have had inches Photoshopped off their waists and thighs.

Yep, image is everything, isn't it? And thinking for oneself shouldn't even enter into it. Ahh yes, "The mind is a terrible thing to waste".

1 comment:

  1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Rolling Stone cover. People who object remind me of the Muslims who are upset when someone publishes an image of Muhammad. Images are just images. They're neither sacred nor profane.