Cosmetic Surgery: Consumer Culture

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whereby potential recipients are shown a preview of how they would look after a nose job, face lift or breast augmentation.
Cosmetic surgery is the cultural product of modernity and of a consumer culture which views the body as a form of self-expression. Bodies no longer have to be damaged or impaired to merit surgical alteration. Growing older, gaining or losing weight or simply failing to meet the cultural norms of beauty are now reason enough for surgical improvement procedures. Cosmetic surgery allows an individual to transcend age, ethnicity and ever sex itself.
Cosmetic surgery has increasingly become a mass phenomenon, with the media playing a pivotal role in making it acceptable for an ever increasing population. Intitially, it was
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The cost, pain or terrible bruising does not deter those who are pathologically addicted to having their bodies remade or beautified through cosmetic surgery. They are unstoppable. Although such cases receive repeated media attention, the addiction of these recipients tends to be normalized in such a public discourse. In her discussion of TV’s treatment of the cosmetic surgery boom, Dull (1989) shows how plastic surgery junkies may be used to promote the advantages of cosmetic surgery to the general public. For example in 1986 Oprah Winfrey invited on her show people who had as many as nine cosmetic surgery operations to share their surgical resumes with the…show more content…
Blum (2003), Blum discusses her own experience with cosmetic surgery. Her first nosejob was performed by an otolaryngologist (a nose, ear and throat doctor) who in coalition with her mother encouraged her to have surgery. Her mother made an appointment and convinced her to go with her without consulting her – just to see what the doctor had to say. He had earlier operated on a neighbour’s nose and her mother had liked the result. For Blum, having your parent criticize a physical feature is a complex emotional experience which induces both guilt and anger. It feels as if they have let their parent down, and did not come out right. At the same time, the pervasive mythology of parent-child relations tells you that parents think their children are perfect, no matter what. From the perspective of her mother, however, criticism of her nose didn’t seem harmful as it was not permanent, and such problems could be resolved or fixed. Ballerina Allegra Kent also writes about the nose job that was imposed on her in a similar way by her mother who believed in ‘conventional beauty’. “Allegra (said her mother), if you had a little more chin and a little less nose, you would be so much prettier”. And then “Aren’t you interested in a face that would be closer to perfect proportions? Then you would be
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