Semiotic Analysis of a Image

Semiotics is a very simple theory of how we communicate data and how we can receive data.

When I searched for an image to talk about I looked at some very interesting photographers work. However stumbled across an image, but it didn’t state who the photographer was. The reasons for picking this image is that I believe is really relevant to the society in which we live in today. The image that I will depict and analyse from a connotation and denotation point of view is a woman looking in the mirror and not seeing her true self staring back. You can’t tell the emotion of the woman due to her face not been in show (this doesn’t show any non verbal communication)

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Got Body Issues? Blame Straight Women And Gay Men For Hurting You

At a first look at the image, the denotations from this image is a very skinny, half naked woman looking into a mirror, however in the mirror the reflection is juxtaposed by a the image being more of the heavier build. Over weight or of the healthier weight. The mirror that shows the overweight and the girl looking into the mirror are also shown in the iconic way that represents mental and physical destruction. This image could suggest that the woman has issues with body identification, body image dysmorphia. In todays society this is seen all to often, around one in 100 people in the UK are affected by a Body dysmorophic disorder and can drive its sufferers to suicide.

The image is very minimal, with the background blacked out means that the focus is purely on the mirror and the woman. This helps to draw the viewers eyes straight to to issues at hand within the image. This image helps to promote; illnesses, injects fear, makes people aware of the issues surrounding body and weight issues. The colours are really natural, for instance, the skin colours and the wood affect on the mirror frame however, I believe that this has been done to juxtaposed the unnatural body issues that are clearly present. It makes the viewer more worried about the health of the women and the mental state the woman must be in.

This image also could suggest that the woman is unhappy and trying to hide true feelings. This image has the shock (eye opening) and emotive factor on the audience, as they may feel sorry for the young woman. It could also have significants to other people and how they see themselves. The image could  be symbolic to the pressures we face in society to look (perfect) and how it has a knock on effect if we don’t appear a certain way. what is the perfect look, everybody has there own ideologies when it comes to there ideas of perfect. Even media uses technology to create a hyper real human for things such as print and magazines. In my opinion i believe this doesn’t help young people as they see what is in the media and aspire to be like the image they see. This has knock on affects as it makes people feel worse about there own body image and may lead more individuals to having body issues. Some people may see the image as its the young woman’s fault the ways she is and it is her choice to be that skinny and her body so therefore if she is unhappy then she will have to do something about it. Other people may feel sympathy for her or may be able to relate to what she is going through. These readings are what we call the preferred, oppositional and alternative readings these look at how people translate and take in the data they are given.

From personal experience,  I believe I took the dominant and preferred reading behind this image as i was able to understand the connotations and denotations associated with the image. also know to look for warning signs as my sister went through a similar thing with body image.

Finally from analysing and deconstructing a image, I now realised that it is down to us how we interpret the data been given. As a journalist, I will have to consider how I can produce data to follow these techniques. If I take an image not everyone will take the preferred meaning behind the image, so I will have to consider opposed views. Also, it is important that I can identify the Connotations and denotations of data that i see because media producers use these skills, to manipulate and sway an individuals views on something.


The Telegraph . 2012. The ugly truth about body dysmorphic disorder. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 December 15].

Got Body Issues? Blame Straight Women And Gay Men For Hurting You | Thought Catalog. 2016. Got Body Issues? Blame Straight Women And Gay Men For Hurting You | Thought Catalog. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 04 January 2016].


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