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Chapter Five: Reflections in a looking glass

The section about "The Self" in chapter five, is particularly interesting to me. I have, as well as many of my close friends have struggled with insecurities and feeling like we are not "good enough," according to societies standards. It is easy to get swept up into what the "other" deems as beautiful, good and successful. This section sheds light on that becuase it is such an interesting paradox about how we need that self-comparison in order to create a self, but yet that very thing can lead to an unhealthy creation of self. If we do not abuse it or take everything as fact, it is beneficial and obviously necessary for us to create our self-identity. Many times it is abused, especially at a young age when critical thinking is not as strong or prevalent to you.

The author explained it quite eloquently, saying, "I can only experience myself in relation to others, absent interaction with others; I cannot be a self" (63). I like the way the self is described as an object, since we have been taught to take on and assign roles to ourselves and others based on the language we use.


  1. I totally agree with you about having insecurities and feeling pressure to conform to the unrealistic standards of how a woman should be. We develop our sense of self as children and youth; the target age of most advertisers. Its true that you cannot find your true self without social interaction and example from others.

  2. The idea of self-image is an extremely frustrating subject for me. Not because I personally have a negative self-image, but because our country's media is portraying the image of the human body as one that is not natural whatsoever, and is forcing many young women to take unhealthy actions to try and make their bodies look similar to the women we see on television everyday.

    I feel that Mead's idea of taking another's point of view to create the image of one's "self-image" is odd. I wish we would look at ourselves based more on the actions we take, the way we treat others, and values, rather than how aesthetically pleasing our bodies are to other humans. Sooner or later we'll all be nice and wrinkly, fat, and ugly, there will be things much more important that physical attractiveness then.

  3. I find it interesting that we have to “conform” to what others value as important. The funny thing is that the value society is putting on people seems to be always changing. One week it will be saying you need to change one thing about yourself and the next week it will be something else. I believe that is why the happiest people are those that are satisfied with who they are rather than trying to meet societies standards. It really is amazing to see how much of what others think can influence a person from the car they drive to decisions about the clothes they wear. I guess this really goes to show that no one is exempt from being influenced by society. We all have things we do or say that are dictated by others.

  4. It's really interesting how in order to understand ourselves we have to look at others to make a comparison. We identify what we like or dislike in others and then try to base our self-image off of that.
    It's easy to say that we shouldn't look to others for acceptance, but it's hard to put that into practice