Amending the Abject Body: Aesthetic Makeovers in Medicine and Culture

Amending the Abject Body: Aesthetic Makeovers in Medicine and Culture

by Deborah Caslav Covino
     
 

Feminist theorists have often argued that aesthetic surgeries and body makeovers dehumanize and disempower women patients, whose efforts at selfimprovement lead to their objectification. Amending the Abject Body proposes that although objectification is an important element in this phenomenon, the explosive growth of "makeover culture" can be understood as a process… See more details below

Overview

Feminist theorists have often argued that aesthetic surgeries and body makeovers dehumanize and disempower women patients, whose efforts at selfimprovement lead to their objectification. Amending the Abject Body proposes that although objectification is an important element in this phenomenon, the explosive growth of "makeover culture" can be understood as a process of both abjection (ridding ourselves of the unwanted) and identification (joining the community of what Julia Kristeva calls "clean and proper bodies"). Drawing from the advertisement and advocacy of body makeovers on television, in aesthetic surgery trade books, and in the print and Webbased marketing of face lifts, tummy tucks, and Botox injections, Deborah Caslav Covino articulates the relationship among objectification, abjection, and identification, and offers a fuller understanding of contemporary beautydesire.

Author Biography: Deborah Caslav Covino is Assistant Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900791462323
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Series:
SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
162

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Objectification and False Consciousness
Abjection, Agency, and Identification

1. Abjection

Pain
Communication and Expulsion
Transgression, Identification, and Community

2. Normalizing the Body

The Scar
Body Loathing
Industry Success

3. Outside-In

4. "I'm Doing It for Me"

"Ana’s Aloha Body"
"Fatima's Flawless Nose"
"Light in Jodi's Eyes"

5. Making Over Abjection

Positive Thinking
Updating and Upgrading
Freedom of Choice
Passing
Happy Aging

Conclusion

Notes

Works Cited

Index

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