Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Thursday, 12 February 2009 00:00

My Face, My Self

Altering one’s face is easy: a bit of make-up, a change in haircut, a pair of glasses, a beard… it is simply a matter of choice. However certain changes have deeper consequences or purport when they are not meant to be temporary or when they imply a cut in the flesh. For example, what are the motivations to undergo plastic surgery or to pierce a porcupine quill through the nose? Are they for aesthetic reasons or are they simply there to make one more comfortable or more self-confident? Could it be to please others or to stand out from the crowd?

On one hand, the face can be seen as the perfect metonymy of one’s self, and on the other hand, it is also paradoxically the one part of our body most prone to change and variability as we age or express our emotions. By putting on make-up, going through operations, piercing or tattooing ourselves, besides asserting an aesthetic vision, we are also re-defining ourselves according to our persona.

If my face is something that people first associate my identity with as well as my very first link to humanity itself, then modifying or hiding the face would be way of asserting a given identity. The way I like my face or not as well as the way I see it are also related to the way other people see my me; in a more general way, how do I make my identity relate to my appearance?

In this month’s issue we explore the relation between one’s face and one’s self through different experiences and testimonies.

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