Posture: when the image we project is everything

We all know that where there is society, there are people who judge. From hairstyles to the aesthetics of tattoos, through the non-verbal language used and the products consumed, everything that unites us in community life is crossed by a thousand and one labels designed in the most sophisticated. marketing factories.

Yesterday, it was the urban tribes who took it upon themselves to keep these codes of aesthetics and conduct for themselves. Today, these wearable personality pieces have been diluted into a much larger concept: the posture.

Posture: on the poseurs and the ghettos

It is clear that posture is not a concept invented by sociologists or psychologists, but it is a new word which probably comes from the English “to pose”, which in turn is borrowed from French. This already gives clues to the context in which the root word posture appeared.

Originally, the word it was used to refer to pejoratively those people who claim to be what they are not. It was the urban tribes who were tasked with extending the use of this word to refer to people who copied their aesthetics without having previously internalized their musical tastes, values ​​and customs. Not in academic circles, but in spaces of dissent. In the street, far from fixed definitions. A place to express one’s personality is, in part, reinvent.

So showing your posture meant imitate the aesthetics of a given group without doing the same with its ethics, The content that gives meaning to these haircuts, these sensations that the music transmits and this way of dressing to recognize oneself among the comrades.

Today, all of this is behind us. From now on, the posture has become independent of these small ghettos of young people: it is now part of the daily life of many urbanitaa. It consists of giving the desired image, but not just any desired image: precisely the one that allows us to blend in with the crowd, not to stand out. However, this way of showing is a product for all palates, easily marketable and exportable to all Western countries.

The posture is no longer linked to the community, to certain groups. Today, pretending not to mean it means doing it as an individual who wants to pretend to be something much larger, something for everyone, No stridency.

New forms of posture: the personality to wear

The postureo, as we understand it today, appeared in the same culture broths in which urban tribes appeared: outsourcing of signs related to life beyond work. In urban tribes, this “beyond work” in which were born the elements likely to be copied to maintain appearances was linked to spaces of dissent: music, concerts, the world of graffiti and skateboarding in public places, etc.

Today, “beyond work” simply means free time.

Not everyone shares the struggles of the left punk movements, nor of the bikers who claim the right to transgress the rules of use of public space. However, many more people go to concerts, go on vacation, or meet friends every now and then. And many of these people have access to their profile on Social networks.

Everything is social media based

It is in the laboratory of our facebook and twitter accounts that the new posture is given. If before they tried to copy some elements of an easily recognizable local group, today we do the same thing to pretend to be a person of the normal middle class, with aesthetic influences well assimilated by the middle class and typical situations of leisure time. This theme from Sevillian rapper ToteKing sums it up pretty well:

If before the posture was exercised in the street, today it is exercised from the solitude of electronic devices, When selecting photos and give the button to download images. It is something that anyone with access to technology can do, regardless of social dynamics or local customs.

The selfie stick as a paradigm that something is wrong

An example of this is the very rapid popularization of the selfie stick, the function is facilitate the graphic capture of a fact: “I was there”. The new posture is such a refined way of showing that it does not rely, as it did a few years ago, on great artifices. It is based on selective attention. I was here, and for some reason I’m showing you this. I also cleaned the kitchen, but for some reason I’m not showing it to you. I want you to know that I have been there, but not here. And if necessary, I will buy a stick to take a picture of myself when there is no one to accompany me.

Videos can be found on the Internet showing people posing thinking they are going to be photographed. Those are awkward seconds, and it’s that discomfort that makes videos funny. This feeling of being ridiculous is one of the symptoms that manifests itself.

In these moments of discomfort, if we pay attention to the faces of the people who pose, we can see the friction between the image we want to give and what is actually done. It is not an effort to stand out, but to blend in with the abstract image of a person living the life, which is worth the redundancy.

Totalitarianism of normal appearance

The new posture is an artefact born of globalization governed by an all or nothing mechanism. If two years ago people laughed at the first Chinese tourists traveling with a selfie stick, today it is perfectly normal to use them. If, a few decades ago, people claimed to stand out, they do so today to look more like members of the Universal Quarter. Whoever we are, we all have free time and we love to live life, they seem to mean.

More and more, our social life is based on the avatars we use on social networks. More and more, the image we give is similar to the one we want to give through these virtual profiles. We hope that in this desire to prove what we are, we do not overshadow the spontaneous and original lifestyles.

Leave a Comment