Image in the Modern World

by on March 7th, 2015
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Image: the way you appear to others; a simple word with a reasonably simple meaning. However, this very meaning can define the success or failure of people, and products. It can even define the success of both small businesses and gigantic corporations. If you are attempting to sell anyone anything at any given time, then the presentation will make or break you. McDonald’s won’t publicly tell people what’s actually in their “chicken” nuggets, just like an everyday guy would like to avoid telling future employers’ that he had been in jail. The very essence of image is such: the minute people lay eyes on you, they automatically have an assumption about who you are.

You could be the richest man In America, but if you’re walking down the street dressed like a bum, then that’s exactly what people will naturally assume you are. Thusly, people and corporation’s alike will attempt to present the best image possible in order to achieve their goals. While that may sound like common sense, you’d be surprised how many people don’t understand the concept. Or perhaps they do, and simply don’t want to open their eyes to the fact that their being swayed by an image that isn’t at all like the true intention. Take the cigarette companies for instance, they will never have a commercial showing just how many die of tobacco poisoning every year. Instead they portray there product as an incredibly enjoyable experience, that will lead to a happier and fuller life. The sad part is that some believe the ads and indulge hoping for the things they were shown.

If you were to accurately show 80% of the products on sale today, only 10% of them would actually make a profit. That being stated, what is image? If I were to focus strictly on the negative uses of image, then I fear the main point would be missed. When it comes to corporations and such, 90% of the image shown just happens to false. Of course, while on a smaller scale, individual people do the same thing in various situations, the need to have a positive image is actually a universal sentiment.

Coloring your hair, piercings, jewelry, makeup, haircuts, all are attempts to produce a positive image to the rest of the world. Of course, that’s not to say that some aren’t attempting to repel people. No matter what you do or don’t do, you’re going to have an image. If you say you’re a rebel, and won’t conform, that’s your label. If you’re as normal as can be, then that’s your image as well. Often, image is defined by something that we have no personal control over, such as race or gender.

The foundation of image, either positive or negative is not a difficult plane to understand, but it does require some skill and experience to navigate. Whether or not your image is who you truly are is sometimes in your control to affect, and sometimes not. While you may not wish to be represented a certain way, assumption is just the way the world works. So, the true definition of image is: the first assumptions others make about you based on what they see and not what they know for fact. If you choose to fight for a better image, or to flow with the current is then up to you.

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