Art302@CSULA

Alter Identity

When we were asked to create an alter identity, at first I had no clue on what to make my alter identity on. My first alter identity that I had in mind was doing something out of the ordinary for me which was getting fake tattoos. As I keep thinking about my alter identity the more I started doubting it. If I where to get the tattoos I knew I would be covering them up and that would just defeat the purpose of me having the tattoos and I was not planning in having a face tattoo that would jut be to weird for me. After I commented my alter identity project to my sisters my sisters suggested to do something extreme something that would truly get peoples reaction. We all have an image in out heads of what an  ideal beauty should look like to us, so for my alter identity I transformed my self in the opposite of an ideal beauty by making half of my face  look as thought my I was burnt and see the reaction of people towards my appearance and to truly see how we secretly judge other people on the way they look.

I was able to achieve this look with the help from my sister who is a make-up artist. She created the burnt look by combining a silicon gel and color pigment gel. Then applying it with a popsicle stick letting it dry and then adding the effects with make-up to make it  look like my skin tone.I stared my alter identity after Thanksgiving dinner just to get the feel of having something on my face. The reaction that I got from my family members where, “Oh my god. That looks nasty and so real”. After I heard those words coming out my family I knew I had accomplish the reaction I would want from people.

On Saturday after black Friday I decided to go out to some of the stores to get peoples reaction towards my disfigure face. The store we went to first was Walgreen’s and Best Buy at first not many people notice me or notice my face the only ones that would stare at me then would run away to their parents where young little kids. When we where walking around the Walgreen’s store from the corner of my eye I would see the little kids staring at me then ask his mom, “why does she look like that?”. The little boys mom just looked at me smiled and walked away. When I heard the little boy say those words I felt my confidence going down. At that moment I felt like going back home and not want to continue with the project any more. After hearing what the little boy had said I realized that we start having this ideal beauty an ideal image on what a perfect complexion should look like at a young age. The reaction this little boy had got me thinking on the discussion we had when we had watch the movie AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL and the reading how has young girls play with these perfect Barbie dolls so they are raised with the idea of being beautiful is to look like Barbie.

After the experiment I had at the previous stores I was afraid to go to any other store. For the third day on this experience I decided to make my burn a bit more gruesome then the previous day. On Sunday I went to the mall once again with my sister so they could help me document the reaction of people. When we enter the mall I started feeling nervous and scared and for a split second I felt like crying. As soon I walked through those doors I could not be more wrong as I walked through those doors every person I would walk by would give me quick glance then look away and keep on staring after I had passed them. The experience I had in the store compares nothing to what I experience in the mall. When I was at the mall I was more aware on the way I looked and I kept on trying to cover my face. I tried to be as comfortable with my self as I possibly could. Even though I was not able to see the people staring at me I was able to feel them staring that made me feel even more uncomfortable. As I was walking around the store looking at the clothing my sister kept noticing that a little girl kept on looking in the same direction I was so this time I decided to approach her. I asked this little 7 year old girl; what was she thinking when she saw me and what was her reaction towards how I looked. When I talked to her she told me “I felt sorry” “I wanted to know what happen to you and if you where ok.” and the one thing that made me understand her reaction towards me was when she said, ” I have never seen anybody that has a scared faced and walking around.” Another reaction I had was from a young boy who kept staring at me when I was looking as shoes I did the same thing I had done with the little girl I approached the young boy and asked him the same questions, his response to one of the questions I asked him was the same “I felt sorry and I hope she is ok” he not only answer the question by say I feel sorry for me but he gave me anther answer I was not expecting to hear from a young boy like himself he told me, ” If a girl looks the way you look, if she told me she wanted to be my girlfriend I would tell her that even though she has a great personality. I would not be with them because the way she looks.” After I proses what he just said I then asked him “Why?” “What do you consider as being beautiful?”. He told me the one thing we all know, ” I see someone being beautiful, someone that looks like a model, some one with a nice face.” The conversation I had with the young boy made me realize that it dose not matter the person you are it matters how you look towards people to be able to fit the criteria of what the average beauty should looked like.

I did not only experience the glances and stares from people. I don’t know if this will be considered as discrimination or not, but as I was walking with my sisters their where people handing out flyers one of the flyer handing people was going to hand me a flyer but when he saw my face he turned and handed the flyer to another person. At that moment I was in shock of what just happened. I also experience and notice that when I would talk to any sale associate they would try to make little contact with me and some would not want to make any eye contact with me.

What I experience and learned from this alter identity project was when we see someone different from the norm we try to avoid making eye contact with them because we think the other person would feel uncomfortable. I also learned from this project was because we are told from a young age not to stair at people and not ask question we carry that on to adult hood, and that is what I saw many people turning to stair at me or giving me quick glances. What I got from the reading in connection to the project was I have a schizoid personality (a person who does not want to be notice.(pg. 169)) I hate being the center of attention and when I decided to do this alter identity I did not have in mind of the attention I was going to get. I thought I was just going to get simple glances from people I did not think I was going to end up having that stair I was getting. This alter identity made me feel very uncomfortable because all the attention was on me and that made me feel even more uncomfortable because for the past 3 days I was getting the attention that I normally don’t get. In the end I did enjoy this alter identity project because I got to see first had the reaction and the treatment of people towards me and towards someone who looks different.

 

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