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Use Of Bodies To Communicate Identity

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‘Today, We Use Our Bodies to Communicate Our Identity’. Discuss, with reference to Alexandra Howson’s chapter ‘The Body in Consumer Culture’ in the Essential Readings.




Today, we use our bodies to communicate our identity. It is our bodies that say who we are in the society. We use our bodies to interact with the outside society and environment and represent who we are inside. Our bodies communicate what we think, do and believe overtime. The body size, shape, smell and demeanor depend on the impact created as a result of consuming what we give preference to (Howson, 2013). Our bodies are at the centre of our own self and shape the perspectives that other use to view and think about us. In this essay, I will discuss how people use their body to communicate identity knowingly or unknowingly.

Our bodies communicate our belief, personality, attitude and culture. Consumption of these factors by the body influences the shape, size, smell and demeanor of the body. A person belief shapes behavior and actions that influence the body overtime. For instance, people who identify themselves with religion wear clothing that aligns with their beliefs and act according to what they think is morally upright. For example, belonging to a certain belief limit the amount and type of food one consumes.  Secondly, our individual personality is communicated on our body. The personality of an individual in terms of lifestyle and distinct qualities are communicated by the body. The body communicates what an individual thinks is good or perfect. For instance, people in today’s society who identify themselves with different organizations or lifestyles have certain body aspirations that shape their body. People living lavish and celebrities’ lifestyles strive to attain a certain look that is regard as perfect body by the society. Third is the attitude that a person has about certain occurrences on the society. People who have the right attitude toward scientific advancements tend to adopt new methods for managing their body size and shape. This is seen where some people use modern methods of reducing weight or changing skin color by undergoing surgery or how applying chemical. This helps them attain perceived perfect looks. Lastly, the body communicates the culture that an individual belongs to. The culture dictates the pattern of norms that an individual practices or adheres to that shapes what they appear in the society. This can be evident where people from certain countries or section of a country practice body piercing as part of their culture.

From the discussion, it shows that bodies communicate an individual identity of what they hold inside (consume). It also shows that personality, beliefs, attitude and culture are what the body consumes and communicate them to outsiders. Therefore our bodies communicate our identity by shape, size, smell and demeanor of an individual.



Howson, A. (2013). The Body in Society: An Introduction. Oxford: Wiley.


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