Reading Bodies

In class we talked about Homographesis or “reading queerly.” I found this new term intriguing because it was something I had never heard before and I really liked the break down of each word. I also found it interesting when we talked about ways we read bodies. It’s something you can’t help doing, is ingrained in our DNA or something like that so we can find healthy good people to mate with or be around. I think its pretty neat how an instinct so primal has transformed. An example is: the way we dress turns into a status symbols, higher status means more wealth, a.k.a. more health benefits. So it also has to do a lot with the social climate of the area you’re located and cultural differences that make either who you are “normal” or “threatening.” Individuality and a persons identity also have a big part to play in this. Reading bodies is somewhere between a blessing and a curse to human kind. Just think of how much people would be judged more on character and not the color of their skin, or for wearing “different” clothes, or their illnesses. However, the instinct does help us distinguish a threat/foe from friend or sickness/sense danger, losing judgment in that way could become negative in tight situations. Anyway I don’t know if any of what I’m “putting down” makes any sense right now but please comment if you actually know the scientific reason for all this,  unlike me, or anything else that you’d like say.


4 thoughts on “Reading Bodies

  1. Reading bodies is something I have never heard of before this class, yet it is something that everyone implements in their everyday life unconsciously. I really liked that you focused on the pros/cons of this concept. Like everything in life, there is always both sides. Although I don’t know the scientific reasoning for all of this, I would like to make an argument it may be easy to assume this is a bad thing, but I believe there are more benefits than downfalls (within specific guidelines). These guidelines are as follows: 1. People keep an open mind in every situation they walk into and 2. People actively work against stereotypes and educate themselves about different cultures. I believe if these two things are in place, it ultimately benefits everyone because they are able to not focus on reading differences, but similarities, which is what ultimately connects people. For example, one could read that someone else also enjoys playing soccer by their wardrobe, but does not focus on the different skin colors or sexualities.


  2. I agree with the fact that people need to keep an open mind and need to be educated on different ways of life and cultures. While reading this post it made me think of a movie called “Shallow Hal.” It’s about this guy who for a long time was only talking to women who looked pretty, but then he was put on some sort of spell/hypnotized, that showed him women’s inner beauty, such as personality, instead of looks. It allowed him to see beyond the way they looked, which is what I think reading bodies is all about. If everyone could look past how someone looks and focus on peoples interests, personality and uniqueness about them, it would be better.


  3. When we first began talking about the way in which people read other people in a negative fashion I immediately thought that there was no way i would ever read people, but as the discussion went on i realized that it would be all but impossible for anyone to go about there lives without reading people. Whether it is something small such as decided who wouldn’t mind you sitting next to them on a crowded bus to something larger as being scared of a person walking down the street at night because they look intimidating, the majority of our interactions with others had been based on some sort of read we got off of the person. Granted, not all reads are bad, but it is important to recognize the fact that we do read people on a daily basis, and be cautious of the reads that could lead to stereotypes.


  4. I agree that these new words caught my attention. I was also interested when he brought up the idea that we read bodies without even noticing. He mentioned a queer method of reading, meaning what looks society often associates with a gay male. Gat males often have feminine styles such as certain hairstyles, walk, clothing, and body language. In class we mentioned that society can easily tell the diff between someone who works out vs someone who doesn’t. We are always reading bodies and try to match physical looks to what we want in a significant other.


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