The Body, Dress and Cultural Judgements In this reflection upon how the appearance of my body has produced judgements, both positive and negative, by people (including myself), I will argue the thesis that the two intertwined determinants that inform these judgements are culture and gender. As will be seen, it is not so much my body itself that “causes” judgements, but rather the complex framework of cultural and gendered stereotypes that define how my body is perceived by both others and myself. It is useful to begin with a brief description of my appearance. I am female, 22 years old, approximately 165cm in height with a small build. I do not possess any particularly defining physical feature, such as a birthmark, scar or visually...The end:
.....1 and the years following – and their representation in the Western mass media – inform these perceptions? In this analysis, it is clear from these descriptions of judgements of my appearance in both Iran and Canada, and from my reflection/analysis of these judgements, that views of my body and appearance are not “caused” by my body but by the cultural and gender stereotypes of the environment in which they are made. These stereotypes, as has been seen, influence both how others see my body as well as how I see myself, and present myself, in public space. The human body, in this analysis, can be seen as a being defined by social and cultural forces and gender stereotypes as much as – and perhaps even more than – any innate trait or quality.