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Analysis Of Mai-Anh's Idea Of A Looking Glass

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In the 20th century the social psychologist Charles H. Cooley developed this idea of a looking glass. Basically, this idea of a looking-glass is that people derive value from what others think instead of what you think about yourself. The three fundamental points of this idea are: how one’s image appears to others, how one imagines the judgment of appearances, and how one develops the “self” through the other’s judgments. Mai-Anh Tran’s decision to undergo cosmetic surgery may have been her own decision, but it was guided by how others viewed her. Mai-Anh at the beginning of the documentary, “Never Perfect” speaks about how her mother told her at a young age that she would be more beautiful with larger eyes. This resonated in Mai-Anh who would…show more content…
Personally, we do not believe that “ethnic identity” was the main impact on Mai’s decision. Throughout the video Mai mentions how it was a small issue in comparison to her mother/daughter relationship. But something that also counters this belief is that right before she went into surgery in order to change her eyes, she mentions how she had a huge internal battle about if she should commit to the surgery because she would feel like her “ethnic identity” would be unseen, or forgotten. On another standpoint, her “ethnic identity” does somewhat impact Mai-Anh’s decision to undergo cosmetic surgery because her mom instilled in her at a young age that the bigger her eyes were, the more beautiful she would be. She often could not distinguish between her Asian heritage and American life. Mai-Anh was constantly very insecure and unhappy with her appearance. A few things she had already done to alter her appearance was dying her hair, wearing make-up, wearing contacts, and also even getting breast implants. She also believes that with this additional cosmetic surgery that her…show more content…
She would like to experience new things and new places and believes that she would feel and look better if she had larger eyes, that's how she feels about herself. The looking-glass view, she believes that she will be more successful if she was physically attractive in the American culture. Her aspirational self is to become independent and stray away from her mother. She moved to California to open up a shop and immerse herself into a new place and meet new people. These three concepts on how she see's herself plays together on her decision to undergo the cosmetic surgery. The way to reach her aspirational self she has to change her real self so that the looking-glass self is good enough to
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