Search for Identification through Body Modification

Title: "Judging from Performances: The Seek out Personal information through Body Changes"

I. Introduction

Body modification has been applied in several ways and for a number of reasons since ancient times; it includes been around on some level for a large number of years. Historical research suggests that red dye extracted from hematite was used to paint the body as much as 20, 000 years back. Archeological evidence demonstrates that as much as 10, 000 years ago, parts of pet animal bones, animal teeth, and colorful rocks were used to beautify the body. Wild hair combs date back to nearly 5, 000 years back. Water served ancient peoples as mirrors until 4, 500, when the first reflection is thought to have been invented (Ehsan, 1999, 49-52).

Society has advanced since those start. One need only start the television set or leaf via a mag to be bombarded with all sorts of adverts for body adjustment. Substance treatments can straighten locks and change skin tone and texture. Surgical treatments can reduce or (more regularly) augment breast size. Penile implants lay claim to enhance performance. Unwanted fat can be removed in virtually any number ways, ranging from eating changes to liposuction. Some signals of ageing can be briefly reversed with shots of Botox; others can be entirely altered, again through surgery.

Today in the western world, body modification is widely utilized in every classes of modern culture. Often it's the result of societal pressure to attain perfection. Sometimes it is just a ritual or rite of initiation within a group or cultural hierarchy. Less often, although this is gradually increasing, your body is modified to change its gender; this is performed through surgical procedures supplemented by hormonal and similar supplementary treatments.

Women are the most frequent focuses on of the pressure to accomplish somatic perfection, and therefore they will be the most frequent experts of body adjustment. However, this pressure impacts men as well. This paper will take a look at four specific types of body changes: tattooing and scarification; piercing; diet and exercise; and cosmetic surgery.

Although they are by no means the only ways of body modification, they are simply being among the most widespread plus they cover a wide spectrum. Still, whether it takes the proper execution of a dietary changes or an extreme makeover, it is clear that a lot of individuals in the western world practice some kind of body changes. For this reason, this is a practice which merits close review and consideration. What lengths will some individuals use this quest for perfection? How much of the will society sanction? What are the implications for our future and that of future generations? They are the questions to be explored throughout the span of this research.

Tattoos and Scarification

The expression "tattoo" is derived from a Tahitian word meaning "to recognise. " The action of tattooing is believed to be over ten thousand yrs. old, and it has already established a number of uses throughout history. Tattoos have played an important role in various tribal and cultural rituals. For instance, historic Greeks used them as part of a sophisticated espionage system. Romans used tattoos to clearly indicate criminals and slaves. In Borneo, women could have symbols of special skills or abilities tattooed on their forearms, thus alerting potential marriage partners with their marketability.

Although tattooing has flourished regularly in many ethnicities, its acceptance in western civilization has fluctuated broadly. After waning for many centuries, it was reintroduced in the later seventeenth century, but it was not until the late eighteenth century it once more became widespread, However, it often acquired negative organizations and tattooed individuals were usually relegated to the fringes of modern culture, such as freak show oddities and carnival individuals.

In the 20th century, the artwork of tattooing waxed and waned as culture rapidly evolved with the proliferation of new and better technology. By the overdue sixties it was still generally an underground procedure, often the provenance of biker groups and criminals. Through the later twentieth century until today, however, tattooing has relished renewed attractiveness as body beautification, and sometimes appears in a more positive light, often as a skill itself. As well as the more traditional ink tattoos, there are those caused by puncturing and/or using the skin. In this technique, known as scarification, scalpels or cauterizing tools are applied to selected regions of your skin, and the resulting scar tissue formation is the required result.

Better technology has improved upon technique and ease of application for all kinds of tattooing; in addition, more sanitary conditions have lessened the risk of diseases such as hepatitis. These two points have no doubt added to the revival and renewed respect for the practice of tattooing. However, as it will be reviewed, changes in behaviour toward the body have also performed a part in its reawakened attractiveness.

Body Piercing

Body piercing also offers a long and varied background, dating back to ancient times. You will discover mentions of body piercing in the Bible. In addition, it was a consistent practice of traditional Romans. Roman warriors often pierced their nipples, considering this to be a sign of strength and masculinity; it was also a useful measure, a way of attaching cloaks to your body.

Roman gladiators, who usually placed the position of slaves, also underwent body-piercing, though as slaves that they had little choice. Often gladiators would be subjected to genital piercing, primarily through the top of the manhood. This was partly a protective measure, allowing the ringed penile suggestion to be attached close to the body during battle, protecting it from accident. Nonetheless it was also a territorial strategy, since they were considered property with their owners. Keeping a larger diamond ring through the penile suggestion may possibly also prevent sex, rendering it essentially a guy chastity belt, to be removed at the discretion of the gladiator's owner.

Aztec and Mayan Indians were known to have pierced their lips as part of religious ritual, thinking this helped bring them nearer to their god. They also pierced the septum, thinking this gave them a fierce, intimidating appearance during fight. Aztecs and Mayans were also keen on lip labrets, that have been often made of valuable metals and dished up highly decorative purposes.

During medieval times the artwork of body piercing lost favor, regaining popularity through the Renaissance period. It relished unprecedented popularity through the Victorian Era, because of the erotic pleasures it was recognized to enhance.

Until just lately, body-piercing, like tattooing, was primarily associated with fringe communities in western modern culture. However, today it no more exists exclusively in the realm of punk rock and roll and fetish moments. Nasal area-, nipple-, and navel- piercing is now common in modern-day western world, alongside the more traditional pierced ears and the less visible genital piercings.

Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise-often used together-are another form of body modification.

The diet industry is huge in european countries. Appetite suppressants, both prescription and over-the-counter types, are really popular. Crash diets like the South Beach Diet or the Atkins Program attract and preserve many followers. Health clubs and gyms are another large part of this industry, advertising memberships which promise buyers a new life-style and a fit-and thin-future. To people of a world who desire this above all else, it isn't a hard sell.

Excessive dieting can lead to life-threatening eating disorders. The principal disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia, plus they primarily afflict women, mostly in their young adults and twenties. Although "anorexia" itself actually means "loss of desire for foods, " this disease often has more regarding a denial of cravings rather than loss of desire for food.

Its sufferers should go for extended periods of time without eating, or will eat just the barest amounts of food, in order to become and/or stay thin. The best tragic facet of anorexia is the fact often the sufferer loses a feeling of her own body, refusing to acknowledge that she has gone way beyond "thin"-anorexics are often emaciated.

Bulimia is a disorder which is characterized by ingestions of huge amounts of food-binging-followed by a period of purging, to clear your body of the unwanted calories from fat. Purging may be achieved by vomiting, either self-induced or through chemicals such as syrup of Ipecac. Excessive laxative use is also associated with this disorder. Often bulimics will have a low-to-normal body weight as compared to anorexics, but victims of both disorders face similar health problems scheduled to electrolyte imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, and related issues.

Susan Bordo considers eating disorders as complex, multi-layered disorders where the sufferer considers her body as alien, as a hazard to regulate, as an adversary. She also sees it as a gender/power concern and a protest resistant to the confines of femininity.

Exercise, on the other side, can be seen as a means of positively asserting control instead of passively denying oneself. It could be argued that exercise is considered by some for the sake of exercise, but there is absolutely no doubt that it is also an activity that is carried out to combat corporeal excesses and also to exert control over the body.

Some forms of exercise-for example, body-building and weight-lifting, can be a kind of exerting control minus the concomitant existence of the eating disorder, and are more commonly carried out by men, though women get excited about this as well.

Surgical Modification

Surgical adjustment can be called many brands, among them: plastic surgery; reconstructive surgery; or, as Sander Gilman prefers to refer to it: aesthetic surgery. Indeed, this type of surgery carries a wide selection of methods, from surgically fixing a birth deform such as a cleft palate, to disfigurements scheduled to crash or harm. . . or from a subtle removal of "crows' lines" or other signs or symptoms old, to more remarkable changes to a too-large nose area or an unacceptably sharpened chin. Probably the most extreme result of this kind of surgery will involve gender adjustment.

Surgical body adjustment differs from almost every other forms for the reason that it generally signifies an even of secrecy that the others do not. The task and the recuperation period that comes after both take place behind closed doors, sometimes even in foreign lands. Furthermore, the reappearance of the average person after the treatment is not combined with any sort of fanfare; there can be an implicit assumption that the individual has always appeared thus, or if the change is remarkable, that it's never to be spoken of.

Discussions of surgical body modification in this paper will focus primarily on elective surgery carried out for purely aesthetic purposes, so that it could be explored and evaluated within the larger societal style towards accomplishment of physical perfection no matter what.

II. Books Review

Sander Gilman's thorough body of research is really worth exploring, specifically two of his literature: Creating Beauty to Treat the Spirit: Contest and Mindset in the Shaping of Cosmetic Surgery, and Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural Record of Cosmetic Surgery. His works give a broad and thorough base for just about any analysis of body adjustment, though his key target is on operative enhancements.

Yet while Gilman thoroughly addresses the main topic of visual surgery, the concentration is on the surgery itself, as well as after the need for this and what that require signifies. Discussion of your body itself is limited in Gilman's work; it sometimes appears only in terms of its prospect of surgical alteration. In addition, other types of body modification-such as piercing, tattoos, weight-loss regimens, exercise-are only briefly protected in his work. While he speculates on the importance of aesthetic surgery thoughtfully and articulately, his ideas do not go beyond operative issues (though, to be good, they don't pretend to; he is very clear about the opportunity and constraints of his research).

For broader talks about the concept of the body and the many modes of modification now widespread in world, we can change to other researchers. Much of the existing literature looks for to approach the concept of your body from another angle, concentrating on the body itself. Oddly enough enough, several researchers find value in the fact that concentrate on the body appears to be missing in a lot of the earlier literature, or, if not absent, submerged.

Bryan Turner starts his book The Body and Population by immediately producing the duality of your body, opening with what is at once a apparently simple yet highly complex declaration: "There can be an obvious and prominent fact about humans: they may have bodies and they are systems (Turner 1996, 37). He goes on to point out that not surprisingly very obvious simple fact, there's a seeming insufficient information about your body in sociology; he clarifies that beyond a wealth of historical and mathematical data, there is absolutely no actual research of the body in and of itself-or, alternatively, that information is there, but deeply encoded: "on paper about sociology's neglect of the body, it might be more exact to refer to this carelessness as submergence alternatively than absence, since the body in sociological theory has already established a furtive, top secret history alternatively than no record by any means (Turner 1996, 63).

Joanne Entwistle cites Turner several times in her own work, though her perspective is clearly aimed at the significance of clothing and fashion. In "The Dressed Body, " she addresses, as the name of her article implies, the symbolic meaning of clothing. She highlights that there is an abundance of straightforward description regarding the particulars of style: colors, hemlines, slice, accessories-but this hardly ever goes beyond details of style. There is very little literature that looks at the very understated and complex romance between your body and clothing. Since communal norms demand that body must (almost) always be dressed, she detects this lack telling: "dress is fundamental to micro public order and the vulnerability of naked flesh is, potentially at least, disruptive of interpersonal order" (Entwistle 2001, 33-34).

In truth, Entwistle, like a lot of her contemporaries, views the body as an entity in and of itself, asserting that "we experience our bodies as distinct from others and progressively more we identify with this bodies as containers in our identities and places of personal appearance. (Entwistle 2000, 138).

Chris Shilling echoes both Turner and Entwistle about the seeming insufficient focus on your body itself. However, Shilling highlights that this is now changing, which academic interest in the body itself is steadily growing: "the sociology of the body has surfaced as a definite area of research, and they have even been advised that your body should provide as an arranging theory for sociology (Shilling 1993, 1).

As for what has taken about this new and much-needed switch in perspective, Shilling while others agree that it seems like based on discord. It is perhaps Shilling who best represents the paradox at the core of this change: "We now have the methods to exert an unprecedented amount of control over bodies, yet we could also moving into an age which has tossed into radical hesitation our knowledge of what bodies are and how exactly we should control them (Shilling 1993, 3). This paradox is a continuing theme in the books, both in the writings about the body as well as the multitudinous passages about the many methods to which it is subjected to in today's world.

There is, however, an over-all consensus that surgery is the most remarkable form of body modification-in particular, plastic surgery (Gilman consistently identifies it as "aesthetic surgery, " which seems a much softer and much more positive term). Cosmetic surgery for most of these research workers includes any kind of surgical development that is performed solely for aesthetic ends, although this is of "aesthetic" can vary widely.

Other types of surgeries are believed as well, including those relating gender adjustment. However, almost all of the literature researched for this newspaper has tended to give attention to the more mainstream applications of visual surgery. Transsexual procedures, and the countless issues therein, are acknowledged by virtually all analysts, but they aren't explored in any depth in the resources considered because of this paper. Considering the many procedural and honest issues involved with transgender procedures, this isn't surprising. It really is a rapidly changing surgical sub-specialty, and one with wide-ranging sociological and psychological issues, none of which is often adequately handled in a footnote to a far more general piece of research.

The Body as Object

Indeed, your body appears to have turn into a thing distinct from the self, a continual work-in-progress with a growing number of options and "improvements" to choose from.

The theme of body-as-object is echoed throughout the existing sociological books and in other disciplines as well. Talking about your body as skill, Lea Vergine posits that

The body is being used as an art terms by an ever before greater volume of modern painters and sculptors. . . . It always requires, for example a loss of personal personal information, a refusal to allow the sense of reality to invade and control the sphere of the feelings, and an enchanting rebellion against dependence upon both people and things (Vergine 2000, 1).

Entwistle explores the partnership between your body and societal pressures, asserting that there are "two systems: the physical body and the sociable body" (2001, 37).

To understand the role of dress, she further records, "requires adopting an approach which acknowledges your body as a communal entity and dress as the results of both social factors and specific actions" (2001, 48).

Entwistle clarifies that in modern-day culture, the body is among the most "site of individuality": "We experience our bodies as split from others and ever more we identify with this bodies as storage containers of the identities and places of personal expression" (Entwistle 2000, 138). However, when we consider that world pressures us to achieve a single, steady ideal of excellence, it appears a contradiction to accept the idea of body as a car for personal appearance. What personal appearance is there in sameness?

Vergine reconciles this seeming contradiction by perceiving the body as a vehicle for art work and words

The use of your body as a language has came back to the scene of the world around us in new and different forms, and it talks through transformed declinations. . . . By using tattoos, piercings, and citations of tribalism. Through manipulations of its organs. The tool that speaks and communicates without the term, or noises, or drawings. The body as a car, once more, for declaring opposition to the dominant culture, but also of anxious conformism. (Vergine 2001, 289).

Shilling explores the concept of the body as machine, particularly in the wonderful world of athletics: "The 'body as machine' is not only a medical image, however; one of the areas in which the body is mostly perceived and cured in this manner is in the sphere of sport" (Shilling 1993, 37). He points out that the vocabulary found in the field of activities functions to depersonalize your body, to transform it into an object whose sole purpose is perfect performance: "the body has come to be seen 'as a means to an end. . . a factor of productivity and creation. . . as a machine with the job of producing the maximum work and energy' (Shilling 1993, 37).

Turner also addresses the concept of body mutilation as an effort to say control in a chaotic world, relating it back again to Christianity. He describes the body as "an authentic object of your sociology of knowledge. " (Turner 1996, 64). He explains that the Girl customarily treats your body as "the couch of unreason, enthusiasm and desire, " and goes on to discuss the fight of the flesh with the soul: "flesh was the mark of moral corruption which threatened the order of the world: the flesh needed to be subdued by disciplines, especially by the strategy of diet and abstinence" (Turner 1996, 64).

Chaos vs. Order

The idea of chaos is another recurrent theme in recent discourse on body changes. Entwistle recognizes fashion as one manner in which individuals attempt to assert control over the ever-increasing chaos of the modern world" "If nakedness is unruly and disruptive, this would seem to point that dress is a fundamental aspect of micro social order" she asserts (2001, 35).

This is echoed by Armando Favazza in Bodies Under Siege: Self-mutilation and Body Adjustment in Culture and Psychiatry. "Chaos is the foremost danger to the stableness of the world, " he writes (1996, 231). He continues on to explain how we need social balance to co-exist, that it offers us the construction for appropriate erotic behavior, the capability to recognize and work out among various cultural hierarchies, and the tools necessary to effectively make the changeover from youth into adult adulthood. "The alteration or devastation of body cells" asserts Favazza, "really helps to create control of things and to preserve the cultural order" (1996, 231).

Favazza perceives self-mutilation as an effort on the part of the self-mutilator to regulate the chaotic world around her or him. He also highlights that self-mutilation is often culturally sanctioned. If a practice falls under the group of "mutilation, " regarding to Favazza, is determined by whether or not there's a change to or eradication of body muscle. Obviously tattooing, scarification, body-piercing and surgery meet this criterion.

This give attention to the body is specially significant, as Shilling points out, questioning why, "at a time when our health and wellness is threatened increasingly by global risks, our company is exhorted a lot more to take individual responsibility for our anatomies by engaging in rigid self-care regimes" (Shilling 1993, 5). As he and other experts explain, our inability to regulate outer chaos seems to have led to our focusing on our anatomies as disparate elements of our selves and of our universe: this is one small way we can assert control, or at least feel as if we are.

Surgical adjustment can be called many brands, among them: plastic surgery; reconstructive surgery; or, as Sander Gilman prefers to make reference to it: visual surgery. Indeed, this kind of surgery includes a wide variety of types of procedures, from surgically correcting a beginning deform like a cleft palate, to disfigurements due to mishap or injury. . . or from a refined removal of "crows' lines" or other signals of age, to more dramatic adjustments to a too-large nasal area or an unacceptably sharp chin. Essentially the most extreme consequence of this kind of surgery entails gender adjustment.

One point that needs to be reiterated here is that operative body modification is exclusive. It is not the same as most other varieties in that it generally means a level of secrecy that others do not. Both method and the recuperation period that uses both take place behind closed doors, sometimes even in foreign lands. Furthermore, the reappearance of the average person after the process is not associated with any sort of fanfare; there can be an implicit assumption that the individual has always appeared thus, or if the change is dramatic, that it is not to be spoken of.

III. Body Adjustment: History, Relevance, Implications

Sander Gilman supplies the most comprehensive background of visual surgery, plus a broad and different point of view. In his literature Creating Beauty to Cure the Soul: Race and Psychology in the Shaping of Cosmetic Surgery, and Making your body Beautiful: A Cultural Record of Cosmetic Surgery, he addresses the sophisticated reasons for the growth of visual surgery, and explores its value and complexity. Within the first quantity, he clearly targets it generally as a kind of psychotherapy. The second work is rich in historical detail and completely traces the development of aesthetic surgery from its earliest days to contemporary times.

Gilman follows the introduction of aesthetic surgery during the period of the nineteenth century, and notes that during this time "the idea that you: could cure the illness of the character or of the psyche through the altering of the body is introduced within specific ideas of what's beautiful or awful (1998, 7).

He also asserts that the lessening of the stigma of mental disease is immediately related to the actual fact that in the current population, the view of visual surgery as a kind of psychotherapy is little by little becoming accepted. Relating to Gilman, "psychotherapy and cosmetic surgery are strongly intertwined in conditions with their explanatory models" (1998, 11).

He explains that the lessening of the stigma of mental health issues has resulted in healthier attitudes towards psychotherapeutic treatment as well as a growing popularity of aesthetic surgery, and he discusses the issue from a variety of viewpoints: the individual, the physician, modern culture at large. Responding to the concept that "happiness" is the principal motivation that spurs individuals to go after this avenue of change, he is careful to study the various explanations people offer for "happiness" and discusses these within the bigger societal context. "Aesthetic surgeons are powered by the body to repair the psyche, " asserts Gilman. "Being miserable is recognized in American culture with being suffering. In our estimation only the medical doctor can truly 'cure' our spirits and our souls' "(1998, 25).

According to Gilman, it was through the Enlightenment that the concept of pleasure ceased to be one of an collective morality. During this period, he creates, "the health of your body became the cleanliness of the soul which of the state" (1999, 21).

Today, he asserts, the "pursuit of pleasure" is no longer a collective goal but an individual desire" (1998, 27). This equating of unhappiness with pain is an idea that started to be designed in the second 50 % of the nineteenth century, which is closely tied to social and ethnic attitudes toward the body and the blurring of the differentiation between "somatic and mental pain, " as he phrases it.

Indeed, it is exceptional how often cosmetic surgeons cite "happiness" as the purpose of the surgery. "Happiness" for cosmetic surgeons is a utilitarian notion of happiness, like this espoused by John Stuart Mill, who put the idea of happiness within the definition of specific autonomy. . . Joy, the central goal of cosmetic surgery, is described in terms of the autonomy of the individual to convert him- or herself (Gilman 1999, 18).

In Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery, he suggests that "body imagery uses the lines of political and cultural vitality, " and he offers a specific, in-depth history of aesthetic surgery under western culture, carefully noting its connection to social, political and technological changes (Gilman 1999, 105).

He also carefully traces the history of aesthetic surgery, explaining its strong affiliation with syphilis. Obviously, one of the results of a syphilitic illness was harm to the nose, and this attempts to surgically reconstruct the nose were therefore highly and inextricably linked with venereal disease and the concomitant loose morality. The connection made between nasal area surgery and syphilis was so deeply ingrained that it continued to taint visual nose surgery for quite some time: "The climb of aesthetic surgery by the end of the sixteenth century is rooted in the looks of epidemic syphilis. Syphilis was a highly stigmatizing disease from its original appearance at the close of the fifteenth century" (Gilman 1999, 10).

Gilman also talks about the impact of important historical incidents on the introduction of surgery in general and on reconstructive surgery in particular; he describes the result of the American and People from france Revolution and the American Civil Battle on body image and on the role of visual surgery in restructuring it. Significant changes in cosmetic surgery took place following upheaval that resulted from these politics revolutions. In a very contemporary society thus destabilized after many years of repression, radical changes in considering occurred, including changing principles of the body: "It is not that the reconstructed body was developed at the end of the nineteenth century, " explains Gilman, "but instead that questions about the power of the individual to be transformed, which had been articulated as communal or political in the framework of the state of hawaii, came to be defined as natural and medical" (1999, 19).

Later advancements, such as globalization, have had a huge effect on visual surgery. For reasons of level of privacy, availability, and/or cost, many people will happen to be overseas surgery sites. Given that they often spend considerable amounts of amount of time in these locations, they often times end up bolstering the overall economy as travelers, hence spurring an completely new and growing industry of medical tourism. Gilman represents medical tourism as a flourishing business because of the popular and increasing recognition of elective visual surgery.

"Fitting In"

"You may become someone new and better by modifying the body, " Gilman tells us as he plunges into an extended examination of the role body changes has performed in contemporary society. He begins by talking about the assimilation of foreigners into society, and the steps to which people is going to achieve the goal of "fitting in" or "passing" for something they aren't: "the transformation of the average person, including the immigrant, into a healthy member of the new polis" (Gilman 1999, 20).

According to Gilman, contentment may be wanted through visual surgery because it offers individuals the opportunity to redefine themselves. Categories of inclusion and exclusion, whether tacit or broadly delineated, impact firmly on societal hierarchies. "Happiness in this instance is accessible in crossing the boundary separating one category from another, " talks about Gilman. "It really is rooted in the necessary creation of arbitrary demarcations between the perceived actuality of the home and the perfect category into which desires to move" (Gilman 1999, 22).

The categories are described so that there is no question about which category is most beneficial. Obviously, the benefits of each constructed category are subject to change as population changes. The perfect is to be to go from the negative category to the positive category; the "catch" is that categories are at the mercy of repeated change.

Gilman and other experts make reference to "the discourse of 'passing. '" This discourse came into existence through the racially incurred nineteenth century, and is, regarding to Gilman, "the wellspring of cosmetic surgery. "

Citing the research of sociologist Max Weber, Gilman discusses the idea of validity and acceptance, which are just gained when some may be identified and accepted by the prevailing sociable group: "validity through group consensus. " Within this light, Gilman posits, we can easily see "passing" as a type of "silent validation" (Gilman 1999, 26).

Race and Feature

In Customizing the Body: The Fine art and Culture of Tattooing, Clinton Sanders creates that "in european societies body sculpting to achieve beauty or even to avoid identification with disvalued organizations is a common practice" (Sanders 1989, 7). He then goes on to spell it out the many ways that people make an effort to merge in to the desired communal group. Kinky wild hair is chemically straightened, while "ethnic" noses are completely reshaped through cosmetic surgery. Less invasive steps are dietary changes and exercise routines, that may reduce or increase body measurements commensurate with the design of enough time.

Richard Dyer echoes and expands upon this in White. He talks about the utilization of pores and skin lighteners on black skin, directing out that "a black one who uses lighteners will not succeed in moving him or herself off as an associate of another contest" (Dyer 1997, 50). He compares this to tanning, which is the reverse, but highlights that the two are very different. The purpose of substance lighteners by blacks is to "pass" themselves off as members of a different competition, or of an different hierarchy within their given race. This is a much different goal rather than the one that is desired through tanning.

Dyer also highlights that the ultimate goal of the procedure of lightening the skin is, as mentioned earlier, to "move, " and that there surely is no better ridicule than when this fails: "the failure to do this goal is a source of ridicule. . . " He also talks about the pop icon Michael Jackson, whose changing complexion has given surge to rumors over the years. Records Dyer: "Few things have delighted the white press as much as the disfigurement of Michael Jackson's face through what have been supposed to be his attempts to be white (Dyer 1997, 50). "In america, there was an explosion of locks straightening and epidermis lightening among African Us citizens at the beginning of the twentieth century, " Gilman adds (1999, 111).

The "Ethnic" Nose

Gilman, Dyer yet others spend a great deal of time discussing the nasal. No other body organ appears to have caused a lot anguish nor received a great deal attention throughout the course of the introduction of aesthetic surgery. Its primary and unfortunate association with syphilis accorded this organ a significant amount of electric power as a interpersonal marker, much of that was unmerited.

Gilman points out that "the difference of the too-short nasal is a racial difference and racial distinctions" in the nineteenth century were seen as "signs or symptoms of character" (Gilman 1999, 85). Furthermore, he explains that in the eighteenth and nineteenth generations the noses of. "the dark and the Jew" were regarded as "signs of their 'primitive' mother nature. " He relates this back again to syphilis: "this was mostly because the too-flat nasal area had become from the inherited syphilitic nose" (Gilman 1999, 85).

In the later nineteenth century there arose the new issue of the "pug" nasal area, which was associated with Irish ethnicity rather than with syphilis. Thus visual surgery commenced to progress into ways to "create new People in america from the noses of Irish immigrants" (Gilman 1999, 91). "Their new noses did not mask the sexual sins of their parents, " clarifies Gilman, "but the simple fact that their parents came from elsewhere, regarding the pug nasal, from lreland" (Gilman 1999, 91).

When politics and cultural climates change, body imagery is soon to follow. This was plainly observed in Vietnam. After American troops left the country, notes Gilman

a precise physiognomic study determined the relative facial sizes of the Vietnamese in order to provide an satisfactory, non-Westernizing model for the relationship among the features, like the form and condition of the eye, for visual surgeons. This was evidently in response to the explosion in aesthetic surgery, which remade the encounters and chest of the women of Vietnam into 'European' encounters and systems (Gilman 1999, 105).

In a similar vein, Asian-American women came to thought as creating a "'blank' look that is equated in American population with 'dullness, passivity, and insufficient feelings. '" To cure this, clarifies Gilman, visual surgery again arrived to play. Asian-American women started out to obtain their eyelids restructured to complement more accepted Caucasian features. In addition they acquired their noses restructured, specifically by getting the bridges heightened and the tips made less prominent. "Whether black, Irish, or Asian, the nose that is too small or too smooth has been altered by the visual surgeon because of its "otherness" with regards to Western ideals, creates Gilman (1999, 117).

The anxiety from the Jewish nose commenced to be matched up at the beginning of the twentieth century by another anxiousness about the penis. "The nose and its surgical repair looked an all natural analogy to myths about Jewish sexuality, which haunted the medical literature of Europe. Jewish sexuality, as represented by the practice of child guy circumcision, became the touchstone for the belief that Jewish social practices were the reason for the biological dissimilarities of the Jew. (Gilman 199, 137).

Today in the U. S. and other european nations, body adjustment is widely used in every classes of population. Often body changes is the consequence of societal pressure for excellence.

It is seen, however, that the complete social significance of the body has definitely started to switch. Shilling records that in the past, your body was described by national administration, but that just lately women-and men-have begun to "reclaim" their physiques, and to evaluate their self-identities in new and different ways (Shilling 1993, 30). Along with this, however, you have the development of a new technology, one which offers a variety of surgical enhancements that have until now been the stuff of research fiction. Thus arises the paradox: we can remold and redesign our anatomies, can surgically change them into anything we want those to be-however, we aren't quite sure what it is we wish them to be.

In addition to the dilemma of our own self-identity issues, there are cultural and demographic changes in american society which can't be ignored. The elderly population is now larger than ever before: there are more folks, and we you live much longer. The needs of older people will without doubt impact societal attitudes and affect just how we look at ourselves as humans and as individuals.

Methods of categorization have been shifting even as seek to redefine gender and gender, characteristics and culture, biology and contemporary society. Boundaries have started to combine and merge, and resulting distress is even more problematic. Change is both continuous and quick, welcomed and feared. The necessity to exert control over our bodies seems stronger than ever before, yet it is accompanied by a turmoil in their meaning.

Additional concerns are improvements in such areas as transplant surgery. These exacerbate our uncertainty about your body by intimidating collapse the boundaries upon which we have come to count. The lines which separates body from technology has started to shift, resulting in issues of legal and political importance. "The idea that the body is the location of anti-social desire is thus not really a physiological fact but a social construct which includes significant politics implications" (Turner 1996, 65).

It has also been suggested that excessive dependence on reality, coupled with the obsessive need to control our anatomies, is one way in which we respond to a chaotic world. Huge global issues menace our futures, and we react to this by looking inward, but in the most superficial of ways.

The concept of chaos is another recurrent theme in recent discourse on body changes. We've seen that fashion is one manner in which individuals attempt to assert control over the ever-increasing chaos of today's world. As Entwistle posits, "if nakedness is unruly and disruptive, this would seem to indicate that dress is a simple aspect of micro communal order (Entwistle 2001

Symmetry, too, became a thought, as seen by the expansion of dental aesthetics during this time period. Even, symmetrical teeth became the standard form, and display a perfect teeth was a solid social advantage. "No better marker for contentment can be found in Traditional western culture than the look (Gilman 1999, 153).

With the passage of time, the demands put on cosmetic surgery grew and became more technical: it was no longer enough just to "pass. " What mattered now was to

"move" into that one group of world that was tacitly understand to be erotically attractive. It appears that relating to this time there was much conjecture about the shape and size of the feminine body. Take, for example, the buttocks

The buttocks have ever-changing symbolic value. They can be from the organs of duplication, with the aperture of excretion, as well much like the mechanism of locomotion through discussions of gait. They never stand for themselves (Gilman 1999, 215).

Various "ethnographic studies" were carried out of the female body-primarily by men, of course. Among these ethnographers was Hermann Heinrich Ploss, whose comprehensive writing on the feminine anatomy gets quite specific. He yet others wrote web pages and web pages about the subtleties of breasts form and size, categorizing them relating to contest, ethnicity, and undoubtedly, the prevailing erotic criteria of the time. One authority on the subject described the chest of "white" and "yellow" races as virginally compact, while those of the "black" race were considered to resemble a "goat's udder" (Gilman 1999). Even the measurements of the areola are described as having been determined by race.

It is no real surprise, then, to discover that about this time the breasts became the recurrent subject of the surgeon's scalpel. Augmentation arrived to vogue. There seems to have been little discussion about the importance or value-or even the safety-of surgically increasing female breast size. Rather, the problem became a controversy of what materials should be utilized to do this (Gilman 1999, 248).

Men, though with less regularity, also seek out aesthetic surgery, which is on the increase. "By the increasing rates of which they are experiencing aesthetic types of procedures, men, too, are susceptible to the fear that without the help of cosmetic surgery they will be condemned to live in the incorrect body (Gilman 1999, 257).

IV. Case Study: Television

The period to which individuals is going in the pursuit of perfection could very well be best exemplified by popular television set shows such as "Extreme Makeover, " "The Swan, " I Want a Famous Face, " and "Nip/Tuck. " "Extreme Makeover, " "The Swan, " and "I'D LIKE a Famous Face" all fall under the category of "reality"-unscripted, true-to-life television. Each of these shows is targeted at changing the lives of people by changing their appearance.

"Extreme Makeover" comes after the progression of individuals who are selected to be completely made over, including plastic surgery. This consists of, but is not limited by: rhinoplasty (nostril reconstruction); breast enhancement or reduction; liposuction; lasik surgery (which surgically corrects eye-sight and eliminates the necessity for glasses and/or contacts); plastic dentistry (including teeth whitening, styling, and implant technology); diet; attire; and undoubtedly, makeup.

The show begins by requesting contestants-male and female-to state the things they most dislike about their bodies. After this they are really whisked off to have these blemishes removed or improved, hidden or increased.

Unspoken, but recognized, is this: that new outward personal will improve their lives. Nobody doubts this. No-one even questions it-this is how deeply etched it is on the North american psyche. Indeed, it is the same in a lot of western civilization: we should never be good enough; there's always room for improvement; a nip here, a tuck there, and voila: efficiency, happiness, success! The effect this message is having on more radiant generations, who constitute the majority of this show's audience, is actually frightening.

MTV's "I Want a Famous Face" can be an even more troubling variation upon this theme. Within this show, contestants will do just about anything to bodily resemble their favorite celebrities. It is a unfortunate and empty idea for a show-even sadder when one considers the young and impressionable people who are likely to be enjoying. The type of announcements can they be getting from a tv show that encourages people to actually reconstruct themselves in the image of pop icons?

Things get even more bizarre with "The Swan. " This show appears to be the most vicious variation with an already-sad theme: the contestants are people who have been transformed atlanta divorce attorneys way possible. The before-and-after version of the individual contestant means little or nothing here: it isn't about anyone's "personal best, " but rather about the ultimate product. Subject matter: you are just as good as your plastic surgeon. Or: your cosmetic surgeon is only as effective as the materials s/he had to work with-namely: you. Again, all this is subject to the constantly vacillating norms of contemporary society.

It is significant to point out that these "reality shows" aren't based in simple fact at all. There exists nothing realistic about a person being drastically altered through manufactured techniques, then miraculously and seamlessly re-integrated into mainstream life.

This so-called "reality" costs thousands of dollars, but the "lucky" contestant doesn't have to foot the expenses. Furthermore, this change process trumps everything else: whatever life the "lucky" contestant has led up up to now is now forever altered, for better or for worse.

Of course, those of us seeing the show will be convinced-as long as you want to be convinced-that all this change is perfect for the better. We've no concern about costs. We will gloss over health threats. We will consider, if you want to believe, that this fresh person, who is not only blemish-free, but beautiful, is living a life of excellence.

Which makes us ready for "Nip/Tuck, " which is not really a reality show, but could very well be more lifelike than many truth shows.

"Nip/Tuck" is defined, somewhat fittingly, in Miami, Florida, a favorite holiday site with a relatively cheap reputation. The series uses the each week exploits of two clear plastic surgeons as they minister to the needs of patients in their search for physical efficiency and the presumed happiness this provides.

A typical episode of the show starts with an innocent-sounding question: "tell me what you do not like about yourself"-this fits quite beautifully into Gilman's assertion that cosmetic surgery is the new psychotherapy.

"What not like about yourself?" The repetition of the opening reinforces to the audience the actual fact that there surely is something "wrong" with most of us; that "wrong" thing can be surgically removed, advanced, enlarged, or reshaped-through surgical treatments.

The show features two main character types, Doctors Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), who work as sort of good doctor/bad doctor team, not unlike the nice cop/bad cop pairings so familiar to us from criminal offenses shows. In an arguably lame try to cast plastic surgery in a confident light, one of the doctors expresses a pastime in doing pro bono improve victims of crime, in this case the victims of the serial rapist who's known by the suggestive and horrifying moniker, "The Carver. "

That rape and mutilation are indeed violent, heinous crimes, no-one will dispute. However, the advice that aesthetic surgery-even as it masquerades under the lofty aegis of pro bono work-will erase the destruction done by this act is completely misleading. To anyone who has have you been the sufferer of rape and/or disfigurement, it is callous and insensitive.

It is plainly evident these programs do inform watchers about some areas of cosmetic surgery. Though often under-played, the real aspect of surgical risk is actually present. With the other end of the spectrum are the horror stories of those who skipped a step or two, or who skimped on the price and opted for a cosmetic surgeon who was not "board-certified, " only to have their dreams of a efficiency dashed, but to have their natural looks, however imperfect, only worsened.

Again, what's remaining unsaid: board-certified surgeons are only that: board-certified. In this gamble with beauty, there are no guarantees.

Some plastic doctors bemoan the fact that shows like "Nip/Tuck" denigrate their professional position, portraying them as only "glorified beauticians"; however, most seem unperturbed by the comparison-and why as long as they, when their services will be more sought-after than ever?

Most practitioners consent, though, that the sophisticated, multi-dimensional way that any truly good surgical procedure must encompass, is either lacking or glaringly glossed over in it versions. Often there is a team of professionals-surgeons, anesthesiologists, recovery specialists-involved every step of the way. In addition, there are concerned and often baffled family members waiting in the wings, worrying about themselves, wondering what all this change will mean in their human relationships. This will not often lead to pleasant viewing-and will certainly not appease an audience that is geared up for a quick-fix, dream tale.

So-called "reality-shows" often conclude giving incorrect impressions: change will not happen over night; in addition, change is not necessarily what one might expect, and even if it is, that does not necessarily guarantee joy.

One certain consequence of "Nip/Tuck" is that-for better or for worse-it has helped to lessen the stigma of plastic surgery. The job itself has been given a "nip/tuck"-though whether this is a blessing or a curse remains to be seen.

Dr. Robert Norman begins his essay on "Nip/Tuck" by summarizing Nathaniel Hawthorne's account "The Birthmark. " The storyplot is about your physician with a perfectionist personality who chooses to operate on his beautiful partner to eliminate her one imperfection: a birthmark. She moves along, ostensibly to please him-she herself doesn't appear bothered by this solo blemish, which is a small, faint facial scar-but she actually is bothered by the actual fact it bothers him.

During the course of the operation, she dies. This, concludes Norman, is a note that "nature, in all its randomness, can only be changed or altered at a cost. "

CONCLUSION

If there is one point that has been made abundantly clear during the course of research for this newspaper, it is this: in the industry of body adjustment, there's been exponential change. Huge leaps have been manufactured in the previous century, and in the last few generations, those leaps have undergone remarkable expansion. This alone is significant.

As we've seen, world has progressed since start. Body modification is at one end of the continuum. It really is ubiquitous. It is exciting and also frightening.

Discussions of surgical body modification in this newspaper have focused mainly on elective surgery performed for purely aesthetic purposes, so that it could be explored and assessed within the larger societal style towards accomplishment of physical excellence at any cost.

One need only start the tv or leaf by having a journal to be bombarded with all types of advertising for body adjustment. Chemical treatments can straighten wild hair and change complexion and texture. Surgical procedures can decrease or (more often) augment breast size. Penile implants claim to enhance performance. Unwanted fat can be removed in any number ways, which range from dietary changes to liposuction. Some signs or symptoms of ageing can be temporarily reversed with shots of Botox; others can be completely changed, again through surgery.

Today in the western world, body adjustment is widely used in all classes of world. Often it's the consequence of societal pressure to accomplish perfection. Sometimes this can be a ritual or rite of initiation within a group or communal hierarchy. Less often, although this is continuously increasing, your body is modified to improve its gender; this is performed through surgical procedures supplemented by hormonal and similar supplementary treatments.

Women are considered the most frequent focuses on of the pressure to accomplish somatic perfection, and therefore they will be the most frequent practitioners of body modification. However, this pressure impacts men as well. This newspaper will examine four specific types of body modification: tattooing and scarification; piercing; exercise and diet; and cosmetic surgery.

Although these are by no means the only ways of body modification, they can be being among the most widespread plus they cover a wide spectrum. Still, whether it takes the proper execution of a dietary adjustment or an extreme makeover, it is clear that a lot of individuals under western culture practice some kind of body modification. Because of this, this is a practice which merits close research and consideration. What lengths will a lot of people use this pursuit for perfection? Just how much of the will society sanction? What are the implications for our future and this of future years? They are the questions to be explored throughout the course of this research.

This paper has centered on four specific regions of body modification: tattoos and scarification; piercing; diet and exercise; and finally, surgical enhancement. Initially the spectrum I had developed hoped for was much wider, and would have included sex-change methods. However, gender mutation is no more a minor subset of body adjustment; it is swiftly becoming a self-discipline of its own, and it needs to be resolved so.

As shown previous, body changes has existed in various forms for thousands of years-some argue that "decorating" or boosting the body is a standard and natural take action; others assert that this "normal" and "natural" function is continuing to grow to unreasonable and undesirable levels.

Society has made immediate progress since the start, when crude hematite extractions and canine fragments offered as make-up and jewelry. Television set commercials and publication advertisements continually bombard us with suggestions for body adjustment on lots of levels. Substance treatments can straighten head of hair and change skin tone and texture. Surgical procedures can lower or (more regularly) augment breast size. Penile implants lay claim to enhance performance; unwanted weight can be removed in any number ways, ranging from diet changes to liposuction. Some symptoms of ageing can be temporarily reversed with injections of poison [Botox]; others can be entirely altered, again through surgery.

Today in the U. S. and other traditional western nations, body changes is widely used in every classes of population. Often body adjustment is the consequence of societal pressure for perfection.

It is seen, however, that the complete social significance of your body has definitely started to change. Shilling notes that before, the body was described by national authorities, but that just lately women-and men-have begun to "reclaim" their body, and to assess their self-identities in new and various ways (Shilling 1993, 30). Additionally, however, you have the development of a fresh technology, one which offers a variety of surgical improvements that have as yet been the products of knowledge fiction. Thus develops the paradox: we can remold and redesign our anatomies, can surgically manipulate them into anything we want these to be-however, we aren't quite sure what it is we wish those to be.

In addition to the confusion of our very own self-identity issues, there are sociable and demographic changes in traditional western society which cannot be ignored. Older people population is currently larger than in the past: there tend to be more folks, and we you live much longer. The needs of the elderly will without doubt impact societal behaviour and affect just how we look at ourselves as humans so that individuals.

Methods of categorization have been moving as we seek to redefine gender and gender, mother nature and culture, biology and population. Boundaries have started to combine and combine, and resulting misunderstanding is even more problematic. Change is both constant and immediate, welcomed and feared. The necessity to exert control over our anatomies seems stronger than ever, yet it is accompanied by a turmoil in their interpretation.

Additional factors are advances in such areas as transplant surgery. These exacerbate our doubt about your body by intimidating collapse the restrictions upon which we've come to rely. The series which separates body from technology has started to shift, leading to issues of legal and politics importance. "The idea that your body is the location of anti-social desire is thus not really a physiological truth but a social construct which has significant political implications" (Turner 1996, 65).

It in addition has been suggested that this excessive reliance on reality, coupled with the obsessive need to regulate our bodies, is one manner in which we react to a chaotic world. Huge global issues menace our futures, and we react to this by looking inward, however in the most superficial of ways.

The idea of chaos is another recurrent theme in recent discourse on body adjustment. We've seen that fashion is one way in which individuals attempt to assert control over the ever-increasing chaos of today's world. As Entwistle posits, "if nakedness is unruly and disruptive, this might seem to point that dress is a fundamental facet of micro public order (Entwistle 2001, 35).

This has been echoed by Armando Favazza: "Chaos is the greatest risk to the steadiness of the world, " he asserts (1996, 231). He goes on to explain how we need social stability to co-exist, that it gives us the framework for appropriate sexual behavior, the ability to recognize and make a deal among various cultural hierarchies, and the tools necessary to efficiently make the changeover from childhood into older adulthood. "The alteration or damage of body muscle" asserts Favazza, "really helps to build control of things and preserve the interpersonal order" (1996, 231). This may seem overly dramatic for some, but severe times call for drastic measures.

Perhaps the most dramatic consideration here's that in light of the risk of huge global risks, our refusal to recognize and dwelling address them is a fundamental failing that may have disastrous and irreparable effects: "at a time when our health is threatened more and more by global risks, we could exhorted a lot more to take specific responsibility for our anatomies by engaging in stringent self-care regimes (Shilling 1993, 5).

As he and other analysts explain, our inability to control outer chaos appears to have resulted in our focusing on our bodies as disparate parts of our selves and of our world: this is one small way we can assert control, or at least feel as if our company is.

In Section VII, number 87, the previous aphorism of Hippocrates, he writes, "Those diseases which medications do not cure, iron cures; those which iron cannot stop, fire cures; and those which flame cannot cure, should be reckoned wholly incurable. " We must tread carefully in this dangerous " new world " of technology.

According to Sander Gilman

To become another person or to become a much better version of ourselves in the eye of the world is something we all want. Whether we undertake it with ornaments such as charms or through the large selection of physical alterations from wild hair dressing to tattoos to body piercing, we respond to the demand of looking at and being seen. . . in a world in which were judged by how we appear, the belief that we can change our appearance is liberating" (Gilman 1999, 3).

The price we pay for that liberation remains to be observed.

REFERENCE LIST

Bordo, Susan. 1993. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, European Culture, and your body. Berkeley: U of California Press.

Bordo, Susan. 1998. "Anorexia Nervosa: Psychopathology as the Crystallization of Culture, " Stone I. , and Quinby, L. (Eds), Feminism and Foucault: Representation on Amount of resistance, Boston, MA: Northeastern U Press.

Dyer, Richard. 1997. White. London: Routledge.

Entwistle, Joanne. 2001. "The Outfitted Body, " in Body Dressing. Editors Entwistle, Joanne and Wilson, Elizabeth. Oxford: Berg (internet pages 33-58).

Entwistle, Joanne. 2000. The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress, and Modern Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Favazza, Armando. 1996. Systems under Siege: Self-Mutilation and Body Adjustment in Culture and Psychiatry. London: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Gilman, Sander. 1998. Creating Beauty to Remedy the Heart and soul: Contest and Psychology in the Shaping of Cosmetic Surgery. Durham: Duke University Press.

Gilman, Sander. 1999. Making the Body Beautiful: A Social History of Cosmetic Surgery Princeton, NJ: Princeton University or college Press.

Lowe, Maria R. 1998. Women of Material: Feminine Bodybuilders and the Have difficulties for Self-Definition. NY: NY College or university Press.

Sanders, Clinton. 1989. Customizing the Body: The Art work and Culture of Tattooing. Temple College or university Press.

Shilling, Chris. 1993. The Body and Sociable Theory. London: Sage.

Turner, Bryan. 1996. The Body and Population. London: Sage.

Vergine, Lea. 2000. Body Skill and Performance: The Body as Terms. Milan, Ital

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