Download Amending the Abject Body: Aesthetic Makeovers in Medicine by Deborah Caslav Covino PDF

By Deborah Caslav Covino

Examines the results and meanings of the makeover and aesthetic surgical procedure in American renowned culture.

Feminist theorists have frequently argued that aesthetic surgical procedures and physique makeovers dehumanize and disempower ladies sufferers, whose efforts at self-improvement bring about their objectification. Amending the Abject Body proposes that even supposing objectification is a vital aspect during this phenomenon, the explosive progress of "makeover tradition" may be understood as a means 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 alternate books, and within the print and Web-based advertising and marketing of face lifts, tummy tucks, and Botox injections, Deborah Caslav Covino articulates the connection between objectification, abjection, and id, and gives a fuller knowing of latest beauty-desire.

"Looking at plastic surgery and, extra commonly, aesthetic variations of the physique during the lens of abjection is a unique procedure that yields an attractive and profound realizing of the wonder tradition. Covino skillfully and effectively applies this attitude to a wide selection of phenomena inside of medication and pop culture. She uncovers our culture's deep-seated fears of the abject physique and offers a superb imaginative and prescient of a tradition the place we'd dwell with—or advance partnership with—abjection. this is often a major contribution to cultural reviews at the physique and physique modification." — Kathy Davis, writer of Reshaping the feminine physique: The drawback of beauty Surgery

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Extra resources for Amending the Abject Body: Aesthetic Makeovers in Medicine and Culture

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Like the sagging breast that tells my age, or the bulging fat deposits that resist diet and exercise, the aesthetic scar is the improper body in a state of uprising against beautification. As Gilman observes, scars “are the shadow presence of what the patient wished to hide” (Making the Body Beautiful 48–49); what she would hide are the places where desire and the desirable are breached, marks of the eruption of discontinuity that provokes “horror and abjection” (Tucker 1). BODY LOATHING As the healthy body becomes the corollary of the beautiful body (note the now well-established practice in most department stores of stocking “health and beauty” supplies in the same section, thus teaching us that you can’t have one without the other), medical treatment becomes the corollary of aesthetic treatment.

Russo argues that the female grotesque and the abject woman are related, since the maternal body has long been associated with the grotesque. The “cave—the grotto-esque” (1) she notes, may be compared to the cavernous anatomical female body. Russo makes this connection through Bakhtin’s “senile, pregnant hag,” and through “a vein of nonacademic ‘cultural feminism’” that valorizes the earth mother, witch, crone, and vampire, arguing that these figures “posit a natural connection between the female body (itself naturalized) and the ‘primal’ elements, especially the earth” (1).

That tendency, on a biological level, is essentially constructive: it makes life, it assures growth. For Brennan, physiological growth is logical: a chain of interconnected events that takes us from one state to another. Acknowledging Lacan’s positing of a psychological world that is structured as and by language, Brennan wants to locate this in the body, in the flesh: If, as I have argued, some part of the structure of language is based on an original form of intra-uterine communication, then the question had to arise as to why language works in ways that either facilitate or hinder connections.

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