Tuesday, 9 October 2012

All About Me!

by Annie Materna and Hattie Gould

As you may have noticed this week the annual Portsmuthian magazine was handed out to the PGS community; what do you think was the first article read? You may presume that it was the first page of the Portsmuthian, however for many people this is not the case. I know for a fact that the first article I read was not the Headmaster’s address, it was the article that I knew that I was in. Is this subconscious selfishness or just being self-centred?

As a whole, I have witnessed not just pupils but indeed teachers skim through the book of achievements to find a photo or a glimpse of their name among the recent activities --- whether this brings disappointment fat not being mentioned at all or joy for standing out among other pupils/colleagues.

If we are lucky enough to be mentioned in this prestigious magazine, what do we look at first? If there is a photo then we may immediately look to see if it flattering or if our names appear; then we may look to see if they are spelt right and in which context they are mentioned. This may make us feel successful and proud of ourselves as we have been recognised in a well-known book, or these findings may make us feel embarrassed or humiliated from a dodgy-looking photo or our name appearing in the wrong context. Does this mean we are vain or are we just worried about the perception of others?

So we always flick to the page we are on before reading the rest of the magazine because we want to know if we look good in a photo or are perceived correctly in an article… But why?

People like to know that they have been portrayed in a particular light; everyone has an ideal image of themselves that they want people to know them by, or see them in. However, most of the time, that image is not who we really are. We want all pictures of us to look ‘perfect’ and we dispose of images in which we do not look ‘perfect’, but ‘perfection’ is different to everyone, and we are not perfect or flawless all the time so why do we want people to see us in this false light?

Humans naturally crave attention from others, but it has to be the right kind of attention. We want to be seen in a particular light, a falsified vision. This is because approval from others gives us a higher sense of self esteem. We are convinced that their recognition matters to our self- worth and how deeply we value ourselves. But why should we need this ‘approval’ from others just to be confident and happy with ourselves? Naturally, everyone cares about what people think of us, everyone subconsciously wants others to have a feeling of awe, jealousy or admiration towards them because it gives us a feeling of superiority and confidence. This does not necessarily make us vein or self-centred, just normal. Appearance and the way we are perceived are becoming increasingly more important to humans; that is just the way the environment is evolving and so wanting to read about yourself is natural, whether it is seen as subconscious selfishness, or deliberate vanity; we all do it.

All in all, it is up to us to decide whether we care too much what others think. Deep down, one person’s opinion should not change who we are; we should not be embarrassed or shamed by ourselves, because we are who we are, and we should be proud and not falsify ourselves to fit in, nor stand out.

So the next time the Portsmuthian is out and you know you’re in it, what will you do?

Tim MacBain offers 5 reasons to treasure The Portmuthian

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely lovely article here, fascinating. However, if I may be irritating enough to point out, that the Portmuthian has no s in it? Sorry to be so retentive...


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