‘In order to belong we must know who we are and where we come from.’ An individual therefore must have a true sense of their identity or set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which make them definable and recognisable in order for them to build a sense of rapport with those who surround them, even if they must undergo certain struggles to do so. An entity’s identity can be categorized under many aspects, whether they are based upon their physical, social, cultural or personal identity. Identity can therefore be defined by an individual’s personality traits or by their outward appearance. Duncan Tucker’s film Transamerica alongside Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy of As You Like It explore the concept of identity through not only the physical changes in order to belong, but also the deep emotional identity of an individual who may face many difficulties in their attempts to fit in.
In the 21st Century, looks are perceived as the main identifier of a person’s identity, they are the means by which a person is judged and recognized. Appearances are everything. Many aspects of a person’s physical being are therefore being altered to instill a sense of rapport within a social situation, a cause of struggle comes from the individuals outward appearance. The film Transamerica explores this concept of physical identity change or ‘gender dysphoria’ in an attempt to belong through the journey of Bree Osborne, a transsexual who has undergone multiple surprejudicegeries and treatments in order to completely manipulate her body into that of a woman. Tucker uses a voice over at the commencement of the film to explore the multiple surgeries and treatments which have been undertaken to make this change. These changes are all undergone to help “to blend in, keep a low profile. I believe the slang terminology is living stealth,” not letting anyone know the truth of her true physical identity. After all of these physical changes, Bree still does not want people...
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