1.) What does it mean to have a solid identity? Does it really exist?
According to Identities Through Fashion, “A solid and cohesive identity consists of the following characteristics: ‘(1) a sustained feeling of self-sameness displaying roughly similar charter traits to varied others, (2) temporal continuity in the self experience, (3) genuineness and authenticity, (4) a realistic body image, (5) a sense of inner solidity and the associated capacity for peaceful solitude, (6) subjective clarity regarding one’s gender, and (7) an inner solidarity with an ethnic group’s ideals and a well-internalized conscience. (pg. 143)
Does solid identity really exist though? I do not believe so, there are people who find themselves and know who they are but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a solid identity. You can never know your solid identity because you will always continue to grow and learn about yourself. Through experiences, we can determine who we are as a person in the present, but further experiences will make us who we are in the future. That, we can not determine. Therefore, there is no such thing as having a solid identity because the world is always moving forward and majority of us moves along with it. We show what we want to show and be who we want to be because we truly believe that that is who we are in that moment, even though in the future we continue to change. That is why again I say, solid identity does not exist because we will continue to learn from experiences and as long we are going forward, we will always find something new about ourselves.
*Same person, different identities the more you go through experiences.
2.) ”Normal adults without narcissistic problems know who they are, have a defined life project and follow it and feel comfortable and at ease with their body appearance and style? What is normal? is this a true statement? pg. 152
Normal in my definition: Can relate to others in some way, accepted by society.
Identities Through Fashion, “narcissistic personality disorder: a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), a need for admiration and a lack of empathy beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts. Also, some of the following characteristics must be present: a grandiose sense of self-important (exaggeration of achievements and talents, expectation of being recognized as superior without power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love; a belief that he or she is ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by or should associate with other special or high-status people (or institutions); a need for excessive admiration; a sense of entitlement; interpersonal exploitation; a lack of empathy; envy of others or the belief that others are envious of him or her; and arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes.” (pg. 147)
“The overt narcissists appears as the typical personality who is excessively interested in his/her appearance for praise and admiration, with an almost obsessive worry for the body, health and beauty and an intense anguish associated with aging and finally dying.” (pg. 147)
This statement is not accurate for everyone. Just because you do not have any narcissistic traits, does not mean that you know who you are. Relating to solid identity in question #1, no one will truly know the real them. There are many adults who doesn’t have narcissistic problems, yet some days they feel uncomfortable within themselves. At one point, we’ve all disliked our image. But that does not mean we have narcissistic problems.
3.) Why are diets, exercise and fashion and cosmetics not enough today? pg.151
It can not be enough, for one maybe a certain diet, fashion or cosmetic isn’t for certain people so they keep wanting better. They are trying to find what fits them best and even if they have found something that fits them, enough is never enough. It is just a part of being a human. We always want perfection or satisfaction but we can never fully get that. Not just in diets, exercise and fashion but in other aspects of our life as well (i.e. love, career, family, etc). As long as you see what others have, you will always want to have better or be better. If it is not to be better than others, it is to be better than yourself. That is why these things are never enough today. We can all blame the media or society for making us think that by doing diets or having the latest fashion/cosmetic that we will be a better person but in the end, it is really is ourselves. We focus too much on “perfection” or having the “better” things even if we don’t realize it. As long as new diets are trending, new fashion styles are in and better cosmetics are being produced, we will want it because it is “better”.