McBeauty. Is happiness an inside job? If it ain’t broken don’t fix it. Hardly.No black swans. Cosmetic surgery, a procrastination of the genetic code is situated at the charged sweet spot between emotion and capitalism. A heady mix. Part of it is about distinction and status; rising in the ordinal ranking, the pecking order that identifies social and economic standing. Its the Thorstein Veblen analysis of invidious comparison with our peers. Already, cosmetic surgery is not limited to the purview of Hollywood and politicians. It is becoming, perceptibly,a mass market phenomenon, a middle-class phenomenon where the self-perceived ugly ducklings are easy prey for the elective surgery industry. Apparently, some dutiful parents now give their off-spring nose-jobs and breast implants as gifts….
As a consequence, physical beauty is no longer seen as nature’s endowment but as man’s creation. Aging is no longer accepted gracefully but fought back with the knife. Imperfection is increasingly intolerable.to the very dilemma posed by the way capitalism manages femininity by simultaneously commodifying it, idealizing it, and insisting on its native defects. Cosmetic surgery, moreover, appears to offer the perfect corrective to the specifically female dilemma of an internal rivalry with the Other Woman.
Dorothy Parker quipped, after Fanny Brice’s rhinoplasty, that she’d “cut off her nose to spite her race”; I’d like to convey to my daughter that her unique features trump standardized versions of McBeauty….
Nicole Goldstein was just 17, finished high school and about to start community college, when she took the step she had been dreaming of through years of cruel taunting, and finally had her plus-sized nose surgically transformed. Her older sister underwent a nose job at the same time, and Ms. Goldstein said she knows many other teenage girls who have had similar operations recently while in high school or college. At clinics across the country, meanwhile, cosmetic surgeons are performing operations to fix protruding ears on even younger children — some barely out of Kindergarten — in what has become a surprising and contentious phenomenon….
Doctors say they see a sharp spike at this time of year in the number of young aestheic-surgery patients like Ms. Goldstein, eager to have their operation and heal in time for the return to class, be it in Grade 1 or first-year university. One British Columbia cosmetic surgeon even recommends children get such work done as early in life as possible to extract full benefit from their new, improved look. In Ontario, the ear surgery is covered by the province’s medicare system for patients under 18 years old….
…“The idea behind doing it at an early age … is we want them to enjoy the advantages,” said Dr. Tom Buonassisi, a Vancouver facial plastic-surgery specialist. “If they have a very, very prominent feature … it helps them emotionally at an early age.” Others, however, call the trend a particularly disturbing symbol of an image-obsessed era, telegraphing to children that people should conform to narrow definitions of beauty, rather than embrace imperfection. Read More:http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/09/10/demand-for-plastic-surgery-growing-among-canadas-youth/
Dr David Rabeeya (Iraqi born American rabbi), talks of a caste system in Israeli society, where the Arabs are clearly at the bottom, but also the non European Jews are considered to be of lesser value. He claims that the wholesale importation of Russian Jews was to ensure the demographic majorof secular European Jews over their Sephardic countrymen for generations to come….
…There is some truth to that, because a large percentage of the so-called ‘Russian Jews’ are not Jewish. In recent years, it has been more than 50%, and the reason why is because the Israeli establishment likes the blue eyed, blonde haired Aryan types as a racial group. The Russians look right even if they are not Jewish, and they preserve the Ashkenazi elite’s dominance. Read More:http://www.counterpunch.org/2001/12/13/how-to-lose-friends-and-alienate-people/a
Similar to Wilhelm Fliess—Sigmund Freud’s one-time friend who specialized in “nosology,” the idea that one’s nose was intimately tied to one’s sexuality—I believed that my prominent nose reflected the unshapeliness of my soul. Even though I lived in a New York suburb, home to thousands of Jews, I felt lonely, shy, and troubled. I thought that if I’d fix my nose, I’d fix my self.
So, at 16, I had a nose job. Apparently, it helped; right after, I found friends as well as my first serious boyfriend. Yet in the three decades since my operation, my previous nose has haunted me like the ghost limb of an amputee. I miss my old nose and I regret my decision to alter it. My new nose might be perky and far less noticeable—yet to me, it still stands out. Before, I felt like a stereotypical Jewish girl with a Jewish nose. Now, I feel like a stereotypical Jewish woman with a Jewish nose . . . job. Read More:http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/1526/a-bridge-too-far/
Finkelstein:I once asked my late mother, who survived Maidanek concentration camp, about Dawidowicz’s depiction of all the Jews in the ghettos and camps furtively staying faithful to their religion until their final steps into the gas chambers. “When I first entered my block at Maidanek, all the women inmates had dyed-blond hair,” my mother laughed. “They had been trying to pass as Gentiles.” The shocking accounts of Jewish corruption that could be found in conveniently forgotten memoirs like Bernard Goldstein’s The Stars Bear Witness were deleted in Dawidowicz’s fantasy. …Read More:http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=3&ar=102a
“For the first time in my life, I feel pretty! I feel free!” I wrote in my diary, transformed. Then I ran into an old friend who hadn’t fixed her nose which was just as large as mine had been. Looking at her, I felt like a coward—and a fake. Society’s buzz had conned me into believing my nose was too big to be beautiful, and my parents had bought me a more attractive look.
I graduated high school, went to college, and then worked in New York City. For a while, I moved to Paris, where I dated a medical student from Senegal. As people stared at us—interracial couples were unusual in those days—I became painfully aware that my boyfriend could never peel off his skin. Obviously, he’d always be black. And although I felt irrevocably Jewish inside, to the outside world, I was white. I had become an invisible Jew. Read More:http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/1526/a-bridge-too-far/
Evolution continually selects the best genes to proliferate the species. Emerging cosmetic plastic surgeries allow us to bypass our genetic code and cheat our naturally predetermined appearances by altering the perceived external flaws and ignoring the intact internal code where the “flaws” remain. Without these self-identified unwanted physical attributes, people who otherwise might not have been perceived as desirable mates for procreation allow themselves to be perceived as desirable enough to pass on their genes. TV shows are allowing us to witness the advantages over evolution that can be gained with the right amount of time and money. What we see on the outside is not necessarily what we are going to get on the inside, genetically speaking. With more and more people flocking to cosmetic procedures at younger ages, doctors and consumers need to understand and discuss the importance of this dramatic misrepresentation to the opposite sex. While there is a right to undergo the procedures, those who do so prior to having children, and even those who do not, are faced with important affective choices within a number of different relationships that need to be considered for both now and the future. Read More:http://jetpress.org/v20/scott.htm
Breast implants and nose jobs remain the most popular cosmetic surgeries in this country, but not far behind are anti-aging surgeries such as facelifts. This too is racialized. Not only are most consumers of cosmetic surgery white and female, but they’re middle-aged as well. And why would middle-aged white women be so obsessed with looking younger? Perhaps because white women are sexual to the extent that they look “innocent” and “pure” (unlike other racialized groups of women who are sexual precisely because they have “big butts” or some other marker of “hypersexuality”). And if a white woman doesn’t look young, she is no longer desirable.
When cosmetic surgery is desribed in this article and others as a sign that immigrant groups are “choosing” to embrace their cultural heritage by getting these surgeries done, there is a lot of ideological work being done. Cosmetic surgery- like all of the body project- is not a “choice” as much as it is a command. As Joan Rivers says in her book about cosmetic surgery, Men are Stupid and They Like Big Boobs, if you’re unwilling to get cosmetic surgery you might as well go live under a rock. If you’re unwilling to remake your body according to the prevailing standards of your race, class, nationality, and even georgraphic location, you might as well climb under that rock now. It doesn’t matter if you’re white or Dominican or Chinese American. Go under the knife or risk being seen as an outcast. Just remember that the knife you go under is not just surgical, but societal as well. Read More:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-inc/201102/ethnic-cosmetic-surgery