Berger – “Publicity”

In this fourth episode of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, Berger examined three main concepts in today’s society and that is glamour, publicity, and advertising. With glamour, he mentioned that publicity has manufactured our idea of glamour and that some people would do purchases to get a different life than what they currently have. However, I feel like in society nowadays things do not necessarily represent a person’s social position. Looks may be deceiving at first, but people in the higher society cares more about one’s wealth and one does not have to be dressed or look a particular way to be considered as them living in a glamorous lifestyle. This is because usually in the higher society people have knowledge over other people’s social rankings and although being glamorous could act as a perfect escape into a higher society, the escape could only be temporary.


If one, however, does not belong in the same country as the person who dresses “glamorously”, the person may be envious and curious as to what one does to be who they are now. In Malaysia, people in higher society are being separated into two sections, people who are born into a rich family, and people who became rich through hard work. People who are born into a rich family is usually not into the idea of dressing glamorously and they tend to be more modest and people who became rich in our society now is more appreciative towards glamorous, expensive items, and in another word, they are more materialistic.


Things that I do agree about in this video is that “for those who once lived in the country houses and owned the classical oil paintings, the idea of glamour did not exist.” Personally, I do agree to this statement. The idea of glamour, this state of being envied does not exist to people who once lived in the country houses because they truly appreciate the meaning behind each art and that they have the art solely for its beauty and not because of the urge to make someone envious. In our society nowadays, having a piece of art drawn or painted by a famous artist is not solely because of the meaning and beauty behind it, it is also a way of managing their wealth, or a way of making other people feel envious.

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