One topic that has resonated with me so far this semester was the lecture we had on 3/28: Personal Salvation and the Cult of Self-Improvement. Up until the 17th century, the term individual was nonexistent. Before the 17th century, a person’s identity was characterized by the group or tribe that they belonged in rather than the individual alone. The idea of self-transformation is extremely evident in today’s society as Professor Ewen had mentioned in the lecture. With self-help books, makeup products, photo editing software, and different social media platforms to display all of this, people in our society are always trying to become their “ideal self.” TV, magazines, and other types of media are constantly projecting an image to the public regarding how they should look- and if a person doesn’t look like the model on the cover or an actress in a movie, they might be tempted to change their appearance. This lecture really opened my eyes in terms of just how much of a different culture and society we live in- where getting the most likes and attention on a photo could be an incentive to alter our identity.
Self-Improvement and the Ideal Self: Simona Borkina