Flesh Wounds: The Culture of Cosmetic Surgery

By Virginia L. Blum | Go to book overview

EIGHT
Addicted to Surgery

When you look in the mirror and begin to imagine the imperfect part traded in for the improved version, you cannot help but see your body as in need of or lacking the pretty jawline or upper eyelid. The economic aspect only underscores the flows of exchange, deficit, possession. You buy a nose.

What did it cost you?

Did you get what you paid for?

Did you find love through the new body part? A partner? Does your mother love you now? Your creator?

Your surgeon?

So what are the consequences of becoming surgical? The lifetime effects? These are questions I have asked myself throughout this study. Some people have a few carefully spaced surgeries—say, a teenage rhinoplasty, a thirty-something eyelid lift, a fifty-something full facelift. Others may start much later but then pursue it with intensity—like a patient I interviewed who began with her eyes in her late fifties and took it from there. What are the combined circumstances that might lead to a “plastic surgery junkie”? Or is there any difference, really, between the person who undergoes repeated procedures and the one who simply has incorporated a moderate surgical schedule into her or his life?

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Flesh Wounds: The Culture of Cosmetic Surgery
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • One - The Patient's Body 1
  • Two - Untouchable Bodies 35
  • Three - A Slow Dance 67
  • Four - Frankenstein Gets a Face-Lift 103
  • Five - As If Beauty 145
  • Six - The Monster and the Movie Star 188
  • Seven - Celebrity Culture and the Wages of Love 220
  • Eight - Addicted to Surgery 262
  • Notes 291
  • Works Cited 315
  • Index 341
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