Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Post Modern Body

Sturken and Cartwright discuss the postmodern body in Chapter 7, and how it is one that can be easily transformed. The post modern body has definitely become one that can be easily “resculpted into new shapes and forms.” Besides conventional, cosmetic surgery, doctors are now providing facial reconstructive surgery for people who have been in terrible accidents or have severe disfigurements on their face, allowing them to alter their facial structure completely. Furthermore, new discoveries regarding stem cells which develop into various tissue may soon provide amputees with the possibility of getting their limbs back, which is probably the ultimate form of human malleability.

Due to the accessible nature of plastic surgery “the loss of identity” has definitely become a severe side effect as everyone strives to attain the conventional, ideal form of beauty.In Asia, it is increasingly common for girls to get plastic surgery according to the same formula; they all want double eyelids, pointier, higher bridged noses, smaller faces, and sharper chins. In the future everyone will probably have the same features, reducing the authenticity of the appearance of the face.

I don’t know if the ability to change one’s appearance is a positive or negative phenomena; it is positive in the sense that it allows one to raise their self esteem but it is negative in the sense that it places so much more emphasis on the importance of beauty. I found Orlan’s work extremely fascinating as she is actually defying the conventional standards of beauty and disfiguring herself in order to highlight the extreme degree “to which we have taken choice and self fashioning to a limit that has surpassed notions of self unity and the rootedness of the human subject in the natural and biological body.” She even put implants in her forehead to emulate horns. Here is a picture of her:

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