In my country if a person drives an expensive car, most people think he or she is rich. I never make the assumption that such a person is a supermarket clerk who inherited a lot of money because my thought is that people who have money do not work at a supermarket. That is a common thought when people see others’ possessions. As such, my packaging is based on what I want to show others. My packaging is intentionally superficial.
Packaging is a broad term that includes clothes, possessions, manners, vocabulary and conversation. All these are related to what we see as valuable and to the ability to make a connection with social status through our entire lives. We have a situation everyday that involves packaging. For example, when I went to my first job interview seven years ago, the interviewer asked me what my dream was. I answered that my dream was to have the ability to fly without wings. Yes, this is a childlike dream. But I am an educated person who wants to find a job in the field of creative design. In my answer, I wanted to express that I was not a person who focused on materialism. Generally, people who want to be designers think designers make a lot of money. I did not want to give a wrong impression to the interviewer saying I wanted to make a popular product that would sell well. There could be arguments about whether my answer gave the right signs or not, but the reason I made that answer was because I wanted to say something about character.
My education teaches me that I should do things and package myself in a certain way. I know that this is my choice to package myself, but our whole society has a universal system of signs in terms of our packaging. The interpretation can be different, but the core signs are the same. I am an individual. However, my packaging has to be understood and approved in our society regardless if I am unique. If my packaging is to be true to myself, I have to change from head to toe. My packaging shows who I am to the public. But if someone asks if my packaging really shows my personality, the answer is no because I control my packaging. Sometimes, I intend to be inaccurate, as in the example of my first job interview when I had to show who I was in order to get the job.
I package myself in order to fit into society. Even as a student, as a designer, as a family member, and as a teacher, I package myself in order to give the right and accepted signs to others of each different community I belong to. I learn who I am through my education, and ultimately it gives me the ability to know what is real beyond what I see. I think this is the beautiful aspect of my education. But as an educated person, I know my packaging is one thing, showing myself is another.