Body-language and nonverbal communication

Tag "skin"








The skin is the message – 9  – to be a stranger in oneself

Some weeks ago I wrote about tattoos and the understanding of this skin-message. Today I want to pick up a special kind of tattoo and the effect of irritating marketing. More and more people switch their bodies to unpaid marketing-tools. Especially in summer you’ll be aware of a “Coca-Cola-Shoulder” or a “Lacoste-neck”.

One could think that it’s no longer sufficient to wear some special clothing and to demonstrate your new logo-identity. Doing this you could slip into a Coca-Cola-Identity during the evening or a Lacoste-Indentity on Saturday afternoon while going out for shopping. This is possible by wearing somew clothing Lacoste or another label.

You could change your identities in the way you need it, in the way your mood was like. Or you could change your identity related to the people you want it to communicate with.

Having the Logo-Identity engraved on your body by a tattoo you incorporate this identity.

You are Coca-Cola. Or you are Lacoste. Or you are….

And I ask myself about the meaning of this shift in sheltering under such a Logo-Identity and I ask myself why people choose tattooing in order to live this Logo-Identity. To be this identity.

And sometimes this question becomes even more difficult to answer when you have different Logos being tattooed on your skin. So a part of you is Coca-Cola, a part of you is Lacoste and part of you is…

But who are you then at the end?


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Here is a link to some little subgroup in Germany where they discuss Chinese tattooing. They are interested in the meaning of various tattoos, argue about the corect writing of the graphics andsoon. It`s of course not an important subgroup or action in which they are engaged.

I pick up this link and communicate it, not in order to invite you to get your own tattoo. ( You must know I come from the times where only sailors or criminals had their tattoos ;-)) No I want to underline that there can be some activity group in the one culture w ich is totally engaged in some cultural practice of a totally different culture.

Maybe you know about those littel cultural islands. I once heard for example that there is an Austrian or Bavarian village totally rebuild in China somewhere. Or that they celebrate the German carneval in some Chinese Metrople. Or that there is Chinese Carneval Club in Bonn / Germany.

I wonder how those little islands will develop and build up some kind of grass root integration. 😉

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Body-painting and ritualisation

There’s a long tradition in body-painting in almost all cultures. Still nowadays you find body-painting connected with important cultural rituals, special dance performance, in theater and so on. Insofar body-painting is an official, socially and culturally accepted habit for special purposes and with a special meaning. And it is necessary for those cultures.

People who are part of those rituals know what they do, that they do it and they know about the meaning of what they’re doing. They feel integrated in society and in the culture and often they are proud of being part of this. Even if they do not know consciously there is a social knowing, a social unconscious knowing.

Each person feels being part and this helps to feel being accepted also on the very personal level of self-expression. One could think that there is not such a shame which I felt in the man’s reaction I talked about some days ago in my blog.

Body-painting and body-language related ……………..

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Tattoo and shame

It happened about two weeks ago when I travelled by underground in Berlin. It was a hot summer day. People wore light clothing so that I could see very clearly that someone sitting opposite to me had a tattoo on his shoulder. The man sitting together obviously with his girlfriend, arm in arm, had many very colourful and artificial painted tattoos on his shoulder and his neck. I began to look more intensely to those tattoos and tried to find out what they symbolised, and what the symbols were saying to me.

When it happened just on a sudden that this man addressed me obviously quite aggressive with the words: “Why are you staring at me? What are you looking for?” Meanwhile his girl-friend tried to cover her own tattoo. You can imagine how astonished I was about this reaction. I felt very friendly looking, I felt in a good mood admiring those paintings on the body. And I felt very interested in trying to decrypt the shown symbols.

Of course I right away realized the slightly aggressive tone in the man’s voice. Of course I felt rejected ………….

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Western body painting

Last week there was the world bodypainting-festival with the world championship in different categories in Austria. The world awards were presented to more than 40,000 visitors. Artists from more than 40 nations joined the competition for the world champion titles.

Body-painting is body-language and nonverbal communication! Body-painting also is a kind of fashion, a kind of self-presentation. Body-painting also is some kind of art.

To be honest I feel much more familiar with this kind of skin-message than the message of……………………

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Chinese sun bathing 

 since some years you will find more and more masked faces, probably women`s faces, along the beaches in China. The Austrian media “Standard” notes this today. Chinese women tend to cover their faces in order to keep their white skin safe. That means: white. And only a white face. The rest of the body can get coloured by the sun.

Why do Chinese women do this since some years? How can you explain the growing trend to cover the faces with such a plastic mask? Why only the face, and not the rest of the body?

In Western countries their was such a habit ………………….

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