Body Self-Image
By Steve Portigal at 6:38 am, Friday March 07 2008

Photos from my various travels depicting global cultural variations of the fundamental person icon.

Bali, Indonesia. They’re some pretty small people, so why does that first person seem so hulking and Cro-Magnon-y?

Taipei, Taiwan. Note the hip chapeau the stroller is sporting, and the protective headgear (?) worn by the worker.

London, UK. This fellow toils as above, but without the benefit of a helmet. Less chance of sunburn, maybe?

Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese cute aesthetic shows up in the large head and even larger cigarette.

Bangkok, Thailand. Who takes care of children?

Providence, RI, USA. Not just walking, but actively moving forward, dancing, and exuding joie de vivre.

And Karrie Jacobs has a nice example here.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Body Self-Image”

    Steve, One of my favorites of the 1000’s you’ve shared with us over the years. Right on target for those of us who sometimes research-design-build in healthcare and medicine, where the body (cognition and affect) are so critical for design success. Thank for the human centered, empathic inspiration. – Andrew (

    Comment by Andrew Schechterman Ph.D. 03.08.08 @ 8:35 am

    Andrew – thanks for the feedback – I love the context you added to the post!

    Comment by Steve Portigal 03.08.08 @ 10:35 am

    […] Previously: body self-image around the world […]

    Pingback by All This ChittahChattah » Body Image Norms: Miami 07.07.08 @ 11:47 am

    […] image norms around the world and in […]

    Pingback by All This ChittahChattah » All This ChittahChattah 2008, a look back 12.24.08 @ 2:09 pm

    These are great! For lots more, check out these Flickr groups: Stick Figures in Peril and Stick Figures Who Have the Situation Under Control.

    Comment by Lizzie 05.18.09 @ 9:22 am

    Thanks, Lizzie – I’ve been a fan of Stick Figures in Peril for a while now…

    Comment by Steve Portigal 05.18.09 @ 10:15 am

    links from TechnoratiFollowing up on our recent posts on representations of “person” ( here and here ),¬†I foundthis postat All This Chittah Chattah where Steve Portigal is collecting images of signs with stick figures that represent person (men at work, walk/don’t walk, etc) from around the world.¬† He has some observations on variations.¬† From a gender perspective, however, th

    Pingback by Sociological Images 05.18.09 @ 4:10 pm