How does one describe an icon

How does one describe an icon - Felton 1 Leea Felton...

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Felton 1 Leea Felton English 802 October 29, 2009 Assignment 3 What’s in an Icon? How does one describe an icon? To answer that question it’s best to understand that no one person can define an icon, it is culture that creates it, gives it its meaning and significance in the society where it exist. Whether it’s the golden arches of McDonalds, or the Wal-mart logo, an icon is what society makes it. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon say “a culture’s icons include those figures [which] have been mythologized into larger-than-life symbols that capture our imagination by embodying our deepest values and desires” (722). Nothing displays this better than the Breast Cancer ribbon. This well packaged idea is now sold in retail stores, large corporate franchises, and even printed on the boxes, and wrappings of other products. Thomas Hine author of “What’s in a Package,” would credit the ribbons success to its packaging. According to Hine, a package can “record changing hair-styles and changing lifestyles. Even social policy issues are reflected” (111). With that being said, the Breast Cancer ribbon has evolved with American culture, to become not only the National symbol for the disease, but an icon for unity and support in women, while addressing one of the largest social issues women are having in society today. If you are living in America today, there is no way to not know what the breast cancer ribbon is, or to see a pink ribbon and not note to yourself that whoever is wearing the ribbon, is a
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Felton 2 supporter of the breast cancer movement. Even the NFL, a league which represents one of America’s favorite pastimes has used the month of October to display their support of the breast cancer movement. The Arizona Cardinals for example worked with the Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority to pass out pink ribbons at their Oct. 12 game. Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals goes on to say “raising awareness and getting people tested and giving them information early in the process, we can definitely save a lot of lives.” Susan Komen of the “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” foundation agrees by telling supporters, the more information they have, and the faster, helps “ find breast cancer early, when it's most treatable.” The production of so many ribbons and the advertisement of them have helped the ribbons success. In a society like the one we have today, it is extremely important that the breast cancer ribbon get so much attention, because it raises awareness in people, and gives them the motivation to donate, support, or at least promote awareness to others. In order to have become so successful, the ribbon, as does any other icon, must to connect with the needs of the society it is designed for, it must also, like Maasik and Solomon explain, “change its meaning if something else comes along to change the environment in which it originally appeared.” In 1979 Penney Laingen an “army wife” began to use yellow ribbons as a way to signal her desire to have her husband home with her again and the uncertainty she felt
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How does one describe an icon - Felton 1 Leea Felton...

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