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Are You Rea?

I found this image from the 60 from the 60s exhibit at the George Eastman House to be particularly interesting and demonstrate many concepts from, Practices of Looking by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright.

When I first saw this image, I immediately thought of the X ray section of Practice of Looking. Sturken and Cartwright describe scientific images as “providing the capacity to see the truths that are not available to the human eye.” Rather than looking inside to gather images of bones, we are looking inside to see the truth about the girl that we cannot see from the outside.

In the image you can see the text has been cut off. I would assume the text says ARE YOU REAL. The X ray like photo leaves the viewer to answer is this person real? Is what on the outside the same as the inside? Although the over lapping images are difficult to determine (to me at least, I think I see a lamp) they are beneficial for creating a strong sense of the meaning of the image. (Are You Rea?)

An additional concept from Practices of Looking in that can be applied to this image is gender portrayal. The girl has her shirt open showing her bra. Is the somewhat nakedness of the girl to show inside her? Or to portray her (or women in gender) in a sexual manner? This also leads me to wonder if the image of the girl is supposed to be seen as an individual or as a subject? I am interested to continue a discussion to hear what others individual interpretations are!






Larissa I almost used this image myself for my post. It reminded me of the quote from the Sturken & Cartwright reading “scientific images are thus understood as providing the capacity to see ‘truths’ that are not available to the human eye”. I think the photographer captured just that by leaving it up to the viewer to believe if this girl is the same on the inside as on the outside. Nice job.


Really good Analysis Larissa. You make some good points, especially about the Are you rea… message. I find myself saying it over and over trying to decide what it is :p Its a really cool image too.


Great post, Larissa. I really enjoyed these images but on the spot could not figure out how to relate them to the readings like you did with the X-ray.


I’m now wondering if it was supposed to say “Are you ready?” and my interpretation is totally wrong. Ha!

Scott Howard

I found this image interesting as well, you make some interesting points about the statements this image is making.


I thought these images were super interesting when I viewed them too, the title ‘Are You Rea[l?/dy?/lly doing that with sunglasses on?],’ seems to form a question and makes me consider the opposite questions. What sort of impact does asking the question ‘are you fake/artificial/phony?’ have on someone?

I think there’s some connection between the introduction of sex and women as sexual objects in pop culture and its effects on the younger female population.

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