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Perceptions

May 14, 2012

As a child, Lucy Grealy developed cancer in her jaw. As a result, doctors removed parts of her jaw, which left her with some facial disfigurement. Autobiography of a Face is Grealy’s first hand account of a childhood of looking abnormal with a less than supportive family. She perceived herself as hideous and mocked by everyone around her. She became more introverted as her self-perceptions seemed to grow stronger.

Self perceptions are a funny thing. They grow out of what we are told about ourselves, how we are treated by others, and possibly what we think of our appearance when we look in the mirror. They can be positive or negative depending on these factors. I feel that Lucy Grealy never was able to form her own self-perceptions. She was always hindered by how she thought she looked and how she felt others treated her as a result.

I think my self-perceptions come from what I have been told by others and what I believe about myself. If someone tells me I have a specific quality, I will believe them only if I agree with their opinion. It is difficult to test them against an unbiased reality because there are always biases. No matter the test or process to determine an answer, there is a bias in choosing that test over others or just using an already created process. I think self-perceptions change constantly. My self-perceptions as a ten-year-old are entirely less developed than they are now. As a person grows, learns, and accomplishes more throughout his or her life, self-perceptions change. They can also change by how others treat you or where you are in your life. For example, if you started a new job and end up being terrible at it, then your self-perceptions may become more negative. Then after a few months you get better at your job, your self-perceptions may change once again. This concept of how we perceive ourself is ever evolving and will never be definite until our death.

One of my strongest self-perceptions is that I am practical. I know this through my behavior and people telling me I have this quality. Below is a list of why I have formed this self-perception.

1. I am aware of my body. I stop eating when I’m full, no matter how good something tastes. I go to sleep when I’m tired, even if my favorite T.V. show is about to be on. I do these things because I have learned that the sick feeling after over-eating is not one I like and that being exhausted the next day isn’t worth staying up late.

2. My last purchases on my debit card were gas and bills. These things are where my money goes first. Once I have paid for these, the remaining money I put towards fun things, like going out to eat or to the movies.

3. I enjoy movies that would make sense in real life. Movies that have events that couldn’t happen in real life (i.e. The Notebook because they die in each others arms at the same time) are not practical and therefore I can not believe them. Since I don’t believe them, it is very difficult for me to enjoy them, especially romantic comedies.

4. My closet is organized by color.

5. I really like to read so when a book is really popular or about to become a movie, I have to read it. I bought The Hunger Games for this reason. Two representatives from twelve districts are selected to participate in the games and fight until their death. The last surviving representative is the winner. I really disliked this book for one reason: you know the ending after reading the first page. The is so impractical and takes any enjoyment out of the book. There is no suspense because the narrator of the story competes in the games. Therefore, it is pretty obvious that she survives. I still don’t understand how this book is so popular.

7. Our house has a chore chart. I live with four other girls and it seems reasonable that everyone is assigned one chore a week. (i.e. trash, kitchen floor, etc.)

8. The fact that I am doing this post two days before it is due because I have the free time.

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