The power of image

| July 27, 2013 | 1 Comment

the power of image texted collage

The power of image

As humans we are wired to respond to images. Images are powerful because they are the universal language of how we sort out our emotions. Image is a representation of our emotional impulse in our brains that we are conditioned to since birth. Businesses pay billions on branding a strong image because they know through scientific studies that a good image will help their bottom line. Entertainers have teams of people who help with their image: from make-up artist to fashion consultants. Even on a personal level we brand ourselves through the clothes we wear and how we present ourselves to others. On a professional level: If we are going to a job interview and even if our jobs may not need us to dress up we always do , just to put out a good visual image to our perspective employers. We may even continue this good visual image to help us advance at our jobs. Consider this: Would you show up for work in your most comfortable pajamas? Although it may not hamper your job performance it most certainly will have a bearing on how your employers or clients will see you as image is an important gauge of success . We spend a tremendous amounts of money in branding ourselves for personal relationships too. When it comes to the seduction of a man, some women have the art of imagery mastered. These women know how to display the essence of their femininity and sexuality. Men are no different when it comes to branding themselves , to look powerful , strong and successful. Without question it is very obvious to see the power of imagery at work on a professional and personal level.

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However what is not so obvious is how we use imagery to make thoughts and judgments on a cultural level. It is especially damaging when a specific group is targeted in the media such as the case in the local nightly news where you can get your daily dosage of negative imagery unfairly reporting the faces of minorities committing all types of crimes. Studies have not been done to close that negative news coverage is a contributing factor to police profiling minorities however as we learn the power of imagery more research should be done in this area. What we do know is that on average we see more negative images of minorities on T.V. , in movies and on the internet than non minorities. As a result of these negative images, we may end that it is more likely that a minority could be profiled in a negative way. Such as in the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, where Zimmerman profiled Martin to be a crime suspect when he was only walking home from a friend’s house. The not guilty verdict as well as the profiling by Zimmerman himself was likely the result of negative imagery whether from media sources or his cultural upbringing. We don’t often see the impact of these negative images or their origin.

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The question is….How do we change this perception so that no other innocent children die? The solution is difficult because the images already exist in the minds of individuals. Furthermore as I said before using imagery to represent emotional impulses are a natural thing that we all do. However, WE CANNOT IGNORE THE IMPACT OF NEGATIVE IMAGERY ON OUR CULTURE. In ignoring the impact of negative programming via media and other outlets we are consenting to the character assassination of minorities. What we can do is be proactive in requesting from our entertainment programming that they make a conscious effort in replacing negative images with more positive images or at the very least demand a more balanced positive and negative imagery for all cultures , and not just negative imagery for one culture and positive imagery for others. The other thing we can do is be aware of the power of image. We must know that if you are jogging after dark in timberlands boots and jeans your chances of being profiled increase significantly. One must consider that jogging during the day in jogging gear and running shoes will lower the chance of being the victim of profiling. Or to give another example: Women wearing form fitting clothes such as spandex with a” juicy” patched across your booty in a professional setting may draw attention that would more likely give the impression that you are an easy target for sexual relations. Furthermore as a society we have a personal obligation to teach our youths to take their personal image seriously and show them by modeling the power of image so that we can cut the number of tragedies such as the untimely death of young Trayvon Martin.

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Category: culture & society

About the Author ()

Darnell Moore has extensively studied music and urban culture both academically and professionally for over 20 years. His writings and posts have appeared in many major urban publications. Moore is the founder and creator of Memoirs of an Urban Gentleman. Contact him , or

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