The Looking Glass Self states that we imagine how we appear to others and how we imagine others reaction to our imagined appearance and that we evaluate ourselves according to how we imagine others have judged us. Every day of my life that I leave the house to go to school or to work or even to do shopping; I spend a long time in the mirror trying to reassure myself that I look alright, when I go out, I imagine that people I pass by look at me and notice that I do not look good. I imagine them passing on judgments at me, commenting at my hair, my shirt, my shoes, my over all appearance etc.
Thus when I meet someone who says that I look good, I usually tell myself that they are just saying it out of politeness and that they are just to ashamed to tell me I look awful. I understand now that our self-concept is influenced by how we think other people see us and that it is a very dangerous path to take, because our belief in who we are is dependent on other people and we will end up continuously comparing ourselves to others which ultimately lead us to feel negatively about our selves.
When I watched the video of Reviving Ophelia, I felt alarmed at how media has become a greater force in shaping how teens behave and think about themselves. The media portrays what the ideal teen should be and they are sending the message that girls should be provocative and sexy, that to feel good they should make every effort to catch the attention of boys, and the most popular with the boys are the best.
After watching the video, I watched TV and took notice more of the present advertisements that targeted teens, and I was appalled at how blatantly sexual the messages are. I strongly feel that something should be done about this advertisements, and that parents and the school should take a more active role in the lives of teens beyond the home and the classroom.
Upon completing the readings for chapter 3, I think I have a better understanding of how teens develop their self-concept and their identities. Erikson calls this identity crisis, which refers to the phase that any adolescent undergoes to establish his/her identity and this is a process wherein other people’s perception are the most influential. A number of theorists have explained this phase and have come up with varied explanations ranging from the biological to the psychological and even to the idea of generational differences. What I have learned is that an individual is affected by society and that society affects the individual in a number of ways.