The unsustainable weight of self-image: (re)presentations in the spectacle society

Michelle Rodrigues de Oliveira Jacqueline Simone de Almeida Machado About the authors

Abstract

This study aimed to identify adolescent self-image in the face of a society forged by perfect image-body standards, understanding the influence of social relationships and the media in constructing their identities. This is qualitative research based on Oral History involving 13 male and female and adolescents aged 15-19, students from a public school in Minas Gerais. We employed interviews with a semi-structured roadmap to collect data, which were later interpreted by thematic content analysis proposed by Bardin. The findings were arranged into two categories: 1 - Self-image in the construction of the adolescent’s identity and 2 - The aesthetic ideal of the spectacle society. The reports show a strong influence of technology in forming their identities and possible consequences that the search for a spectacular image to meet the aesthetic standards of the virtual or real world can bring to adolescents. This idealized self-image reveals the new way of being and living, the values, and the fragile and superficial relationships in the spectacle society.

Key words:
Adolescent; Self-image; Body image; Social identification; Beauty culture

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