Re: Modifying the Body

Adrienne Dearmas (DearmasA@AOL.COM)
Thu, 18 Jul 1996 11:54:56 -0400

In a message dated 96-07-17 00:15:43 EDT, rs222@WORLDNET.ATT.NET (Robert
Snower) writes:

>It reminds of the Greeks of Plato's day complaining
> comtemptuously of their own contemporaries who still participated in
> sacrifice. These were THEIR subculture problem.

Why is it a problem? Very judgemental, don't you think?

> In today's dominant culture, we do not find very much ritual, do we,
> in its most degraded and trivial forms. The suburbanite

Then, is the suburbanite the representative of dominant culture?

>is not into
> wrapping (foot or head binding), keeps body-piecing and tattooing to the
> barest fad-of-the-moment minimum, does not perforate his urethra, unless
> the behest of his urolgist, does not remove his clitoris

(I think you mean her clitoris, don't you? ;-)

> I think it is a stretch to call plastic surgery a ritual. It
> lacks so many of the characteristics of true ritual. It lacks the
> feature. But most of all, it lacks the magic; it really in fact does
> remove deformities.

I have to seriously disagree with you here. Plastic or cosmetic surgery does
have its origins in reconstructive and deformity reversal intent. However,
the majority of surgeries performed today are not intended to remove
deformities such as harelips, cleft palates and club feet, they are intended
to increase a woman's breast size so her husband will find her more
aesthetically pleasing (footbinding, corseting, fgm, hello?) And in fact, for
many, cosmetic surgery is absolutely repetitive. Some might say as addicting
as piercing and tattooing. And, going back to the issue of permanence and
non-permanence, the most recent studies I've read out of the Netherlands
claim that facelifts, liposuction, collagen implants are not permanent and
must be redone every 5-10 years. So, while the intent is permanent, the
results, like many piercings, may not be.

- Adrienne