Identity Shaped by Personal Choices
People think that identity can be shaped by different things. Some could argue that identity is shaped more by culture or simply by your personal choices. This essay will discuss how identity is shaped by your personal choices. “To understand identity we must examine the choices we make in our daily lives” (Latterell 11). Some characteristics that are made by your personal choices are the music you choose to listen, your overall appearance like your clothing, tattoos, piercings, etc. and your social group. Personal choices are a major part of your identity simply because it defines who you are and how you choose to be as a person in your day to day life. “Identity is not fixed, but shifts over time and in different situations” (Latterell 13).
Music could play a big role in your identity because it could say a lot about how you express or perceive things. Maybe help on how you absorb certain situations, subjects or even how you express yourself. They are many different types of music. There is country, rap, hip–hop, alternative, blue grass, rock, etc. Country music could probably be more for the more redneck, back woods type. There are even sappy love songs in this style of music. You can express themselves more on the love side of things. Rap and hip-hop probably is more for the up-beat portion of the population. This type of music could help express maybe a good mood or even a dancing mood. The rock or alternative side of music could be for the angry or emo portion of the population. Rock can express how someone feels through anger. Some could argue that Rock puts them in a good mood; country music doesn’t necessarily mean they are rednecks or need sad depressing songs and some could say that hip hop, rap doesn’t make them in a good mood. For the most part this is what you see in these different types of music and this how music makes them feel. Music helps define a person because it expresses you they are, and some could say that it helps them get through major obstacles in life. Music is made by someone personal choice because it is what they choose to listen to.
Overall appearance can say a lot about a person. Sure while you are a child the majority of the time our parents choose what we wear when we wear it. As an adult though you get to choose what type of clothing to purchase and wear. People could even express themselves through what they wear and how they wear it. Maybe someone wearing a t-shirt and jeans may be more laid back. Or maybe someone wearing slacks and a blouse look more professional. Some may say when you see a person wearing boots and a flannel t-shirt that person would be more on the country side of things. Then you have the type of person who will wear nothing but black and dark colors, this person may be more emo or depressed. Your personal appearance says a lot about much you care about yourself and how you carry yourself. Some could say that it could even show what kind of attitude you have. Another major part of personal appearance that helps people identify themselves is tattoos and piercings. This helps people show what they are passionate about. It gives people the chance to express themselves through art on their own bodies. It could make some people look spontaneous or even fearless.
The last characteristic that will be discussed in this essay will be your social group. This says a lot about who you are as person. Just like the saying you are known by the company you keep. Usually people that are in certain social groups will consist of people that have common interest or maybe are in the same class. Common interests are like the same hobbies, music, work, or even the same obstacles in life that they deal with. This simply defines who you are because all these common interests deal with personalities of people. People usually are around others that are the most like them. This helps identify who you are because you are who you accompany yourself with. This is a personal choice simply because you choose who you want to be around. Nobody can choose who accompany yourself with, only you can decide that. Just because you live in certain area doesn’t mean you have to be in the same social group as those who you are around.
Some could argue that these are mainly characteristics that fall into the culture aspect. These characteristics that are discussed in this essay just says that everybody is not the same and these are things that are definitely personal choices. For instance just because you were born and raised in the more Southern part of the world doesn’t mean you going to be a redneck who wears work boots every day and listens to country music. Granted there are many different groups of people in the same communities. Mainly these are personal choices because that is what you choose to do and how you want to be identified as a person. Only you can be responsible for your actions (Olson).
Latterell, Catherine. Remix Reading and Composing Culture. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. Print. Olson, Eric T. “Personal Identity.” Stanford Encyclopedia Philosophy. Edward N. Zalta, 28 Oct. 2010. Web. 2 May 2013.