What does your critical analysis of the website reveal to you about Cindy Jackson’s sense of her social self, her self-concept, her self-esteem and her self-presentation?
The concept of the self stems from many different places. It can come from social interaction, social expectations as well as cultural beliefs (Sirgy, 1982). Although many people believe that plastic surgery is for those who have low self-esteem, it does not seem to be the case for Jackson. In Cindy Jackson’s website, she focused mainly on how she looks and what she wished for herself (Jackson, nd.d). There is a sense of being unsatisfied and always striving to be better. Jackson had a goal and wanted to stick to it. She knew what she wanted to look like, and therefore she aimed to pursue her goal of looking “better”.
Jackson had this idea of beauty imbedded inside her head. Although her blog does not reveal very much about her social interaction with people around her as well as her relatives, it does show that she held her Barbie Doll very dear. It was a toy she often talked about in the pages of her blog, in her author biography section as well as her list of surgeries. She even went on to meeting the “Real Life Barbie Doll” from the Ukraine. This type of behavior shows the idea of the self concept in consumer behavior (Sirgy, 1982). There are times when consumers look to products in order to improve themselves. This might be triggered by the media and the advertising world, trying to sell their products. They try to embody their products as something they want consumers to relate to. They can also instill fear in individuals so that they will purchase their products. In this case, the product is plastic surgery, and her gateway was the Barbie Doll that she had while growing up.
Jackson is wrapped up in the idea that she can fight aging and become beautiful for herself. Although she talks about how her plastic surgery is only for her, she seems to defend her life choices a bit too much on her blog. Jackson has a number of photographs of herself as a child, and she repeats the phrase “better with age”. During her lifetime, she has had celebrity “pegs” that she wanted to look like. For Jackson, true beauty was glamoured-up and covering magazines. One could say that she had an unrealistic expectation for beauty. Ironically, this is one of the psychological requirements pre-plastic surgery, where doctors have to assess a patient’s views on how surgery will affect their lives (Sirgy, 1982).
How does the physical attractiveness stereotype of interpersonal attraction affect Cindy Jackson?
A lot of individuals, especially women, deny the fact that exterior looks play a part in attraction (Baumeister, 1999). However, for Jackson, this is very different. She shows great importance in physical presentation and how she wants others to perceive her. In her website, she does not talk about anyone else but herself or any relationships she has. This shows that although the pressure to look good may be evident in how much she strives for beauty, it is also quite clear that she is doing it for herself.
Culturally, it can be considered shallow to base a relationship just by looks. However, most people know Jackson by how she presents herself and how young she looks. She probably finds acceptance in her beauty and is only comfortable with constant change (Jackson, n.d.). She does, after all, still have a wish list on her blog revealing other types of surgery she wishes to try.
How does the mass media influence Cindy Jackson’s life?
Jackson can be considered a product of symbolism (Baumeister, 1999). She has idolized those who were famous and she has always strived to look like her Barbie Doll. Not only has mass media influenced how she decided she wanted to look, it is also giving her a way to keep doing what she does (Sirgy, 1982). With all the attention she is getting from her plastic surgery, it is encouraging her to keep going.
In her biography, list of surgeries and time line, she would constantly mention celebrities that she wanted to look like and which features she wished to have. For example, she wanted to have a slender nose and a more womanly figure, like Brigitte Bardot (Jackson, n.d.). The things that she sees on television and magazines become these goals and ideals. Jackson even mentioned that at the age of six, she started dreaming to become like her Barbie Doll. She posted a photograph of her “ragdoll” self saying that she never lost sight of her dreams (Jackson, n.d.). This shows that the image of Barbie and how she is marketed highly influenced her decision to get numerous cosmetic surgery procedures in order to change her appearance (Sirgy, 1982).
What do you perceive that the theme of “manufacturing beauty” means?
The theme manufacturing beauty only means that the individual “striving” for some sort of beauty has a different expectation of what beauty really is. In Western Cultures, the idea of surgery in order to aesthetically improve appearance is becoming more and more acceptable. However, in the Korean culture, this was always the norm. The Koreans have this belief that beauty can always be attained, even if you are not born “beautiful” (Yu & Ko, 2012). Since there is a set standard for beauty, there is a need to manufacture it.
Baumeister, R. F. (1999). The self in social psychology. Psychology Press.
Jackson, Cindy. Official website: http://www.cindyjackson.com access on February 16, 2014.
Sirgy, M. J. (1982). Self-concept in consumer behavior: a critical review. Journal of consumer research, 287-300.
Yu, J. Y., & Ko, T. G. (2012). A cross-cultural study of perceptions of medical tourism among Chinese, Japanese and Korean tourists in Korea. Tourism Management, 33(1), 80-88.