Notes on the flow of discussion:
Cosmetic alteration as empowerment? (Negrin text) – match ‘outside’ with ‘inside’
Non-sugical body alteration
White, Western dominant norm for ‘beauty’ and cosmetic alteration
Middle class privilege in being able to afford surgery/body enhancement
Male/female spectatorship of the body – theories surrounding lesbian and gay identities
Cultural influences of the value of ‘weight’ regarding the understanding of ‘obesity’
Beauty not always equated with being healthy
Lack of body maintenance also a potential problem
Concept of ‘wellbeing’
Excessive exercise as a form of purging – addictive behaviours
Agency of the individual – informed choice (
In)visible bodies – trans, ‘disabled’ – the visible norm of the body in media and public consciousness
Norms of appearance – genetic manipulation
*Ref TV/news: On Treacher Collins syndrome http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12987504
Medicalisation of body alteration is new – body adornment and alteration has a long history (neck elongation, piercing/stretching of ear lobes)
Nature’s ‘peacocking’ – instinctual – attractiveness as a form of capital
Commercialisation of beauty
‘Facialiality’ – concentration of beauty on the face rather than the healthy body (Negrin text)
Body as performative tool/surface/site – Lady Gaga
Body as machine – athletes – cyborg bodies (featherweight boxers, actors)
Performance enhancing drugs in sport
How important is your body to your identity as an individual?
You right to alter you body?
Embodiment vs Subjectivity Relativity of ‘difference’ – different from – reinforces norms?
Dolezal text on desired invisibility: What about body alteration for people who want to be different?
Plurality of ‘norms’ – context-specific
Burqa – liberation/oppression – freedom from judgement on appearances?
Imagined ‘mirror’ of judgement by others
Invisibility of the body in the workplace – body as sexuality
Desire for invisibility during suffering – desire to hide
Menopause as invisible body alteration – freedom or mourning
Body alteration not always a choice
Value attributed to particular body parts