By Deborah Caslav Covino
Examines the consequences and meanings of the makeover and aesthetic surgical procedure in American well known culture.
Feminist theorists have usually argued that aesthetic surgical procedures and physique makeovers dehumanize and disempower ladies sufferers, whose efforts at self-improvement result in their objectification. Amending the Abject Body proposes that even though objectification is a vital point during this phenomenon, the explosive development of "makeover tradition" may be understood as a technique of either abjection (ridding ourselves of the undesirable) and identification (joining the neighborhood of what Julia Kristeva calls "clean and correct bodies"). Drawing from the commercial and advocacy of physique makeovers on tv, in aesthetic surgical procedure exchange books, and within the print and Web-based advertising of face lifts, tummy tucks, and Botox injections, Deborah Caslav Covino articulates the connection between objectification, abjection, and identity, and provides a fuller figuring out of up to date beauty-desire.
"Looking at plastic surgery and, extra typically, aesthetic changes of the physique throughout the lens of abjection is a unique method that yields a fascinating and profound knowing of the sweetness tradition. Covino skillfully and effectively applies this attitude to a large choice of phenomena inside medication and pop culture. She uncovers our culture's deep-seated fears of the abject physique and provides an excellent imaginative and prescient of a tradition the place we would dwell with—or enhance partnership with—abjection. this can be a tremendous contribution to cultural reports at the physique and physique modification." — Kathy Davis, writer of Reshaping the feminine physique: The difficulty of beauty Surgery
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Additional info for Amending the Abject Body: Aesthetic Makeovers in Medicine and Culture
Though Yaeger and Russo do not write explicitly about aesthetic surgery, they are thinking about conformity with the cultural beauty ideals to which the contemporary aesthetic surgical clinic is highly responsive. For both, the abject woman becomes a subversive trope of female liberation: she speaks an alternative, disruptive language, immersing herself in the significances of the flesh, becoming willfully monstrous as she defies the symbolic order. She abandons her oppressive confinement to the category of the beautiful, reforms her association with the grotesque, and contests her expulsion from the sublime.
A significant difference between Plato’s concept of the chora and Kristeva’s use of it is that Plato goes on to describe the chora as a kind of nonthing with reference to being: [W]e shouldn’t call the mother or receptacle of what has come to be . . either earth or air, fire or water, or any of their compounds or constituents. But if we speak of it as an invisible and characterless sort of thing, one that receives all things and shares in a most perplexing way in what is intelligible, a thing extremely difficult to comprehend, we shall not be misled.
This is a thetic moment, in which the child “attribute[s] to [an entity] a semiotic fragment, which thereby becomes a signifier” (43). A significant difference between Plato’s concept of the chora and Kristeva’s use of it is that Plato goes on to describe the chora as a kind of nonthing with reference to being: [W]e shouldn’t call the mother or receptacle of what has come to be . . either earth or air, fire or water, or any of their compounds or constituents. But if we speak of it as an invisible and characterless sort of thing, one that receives all things and shares in a most perplexing way in what is intelligible, a thing extremely difficult to comprehend, we shall not be misled.
Amending the Abject Body: Aesthetic Makeovers in Medicine and Culture by Deborah Caslav Covino