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 girls sufferers, whose efforts at self-improvement result in their objectification. Amending the Abject Body proposes that even supposing objectification is a crucial point during this phenomenon, the explosive development of "makeover tradition" should 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 realizing of latest beauty-desire.
"Looking at plastic surgery and, extra as a rule, aesthetic variations of the physique throughout the lens of abjection is a unique technique that yields a fascinating 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 provides an excellent imaginative and prescient of a tradition the place we'd stay with—or improve partnership with—abjection. this can be a massive contribution to cultural experiences at the physique and physique modification." — Kathy Davis, writer of Reshaping the feminine physique: The hassle of beauty Surgery
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Extra info for Amending the Abject Body: Aesthetic Makeovers in Medicine and Culture
Brennan argues that subjects are not autonomous entities, but exist in a lived relation to and exchange of psychic energies with other subjects. The “imprint” of one’s own psychic energies—desires and demands—is always potentially transferable to the other, and this dynamic defines the process of masculinization and feminization. Brennan returns us to Freud by establishing the body as structuring a language fundamental to psychological subjects. She argues, in phylogenetic terms, that beings in utero speak a language that is both logical (allowing for a communication with flesh that facilitates growth and development), and affective (in a dependent relation with the flesh of another).
L]ogical thought, the connections made through words, is a kind of mimesis of a hypothetical original form of communication which was both mental and physical. (223) Yet the constructive power inherent in human language suffers because at some point language becomes disconnected from the affective feeling that once made up a part of its character. 26 Amending the Abject Body This process has, for Brennan, gendered significance, so that the male subject’s language typically disengages from its affective part, displacing it onto an other, while it is the female subject that typically accepts this imposition, and loses some capacity for transforming feeling into speech.
The line between this group and the former is almost imperceptible; both share many similar traits. However, for this group, the bothersome feature gains psychological importance over time. Fat thighs, for example, keep them from going to the beach with friends. Occasionally, they may perceive rejection when there is none. This low self-esteem, however, does not govern their daily lives. After cosmetic Normalizing the Body 41 surgery, the majority enjoy good results. Their adjustment may be slower; building confidence usually involves time.
Amending the Abject Body: Aesthetic Makeovers in Medicine and Culture by Deborah Caslav Covino