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Making the Body Beautiful : A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery

Making the Body Beautiful : A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery - 99 edition

Making the Body Beautiful : A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery - 99 edition

ISBN13: 9780691070537

ISBN10: 0691070539

Making the Body Beautiful : A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery by Sander L. Gilman - ISBN 9780691070537
Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 99
Copyright: 1999
Publisher: Princeton University Press
International: No
Making the Body Beautiful : A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery by Sander L. Gilman - ISBN 9780691070537

ISBN13: 9780691070537

ISBN10: 0691070539

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 99

List price: $47.95

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Nose reconstructions have been common in India for centuries. South Korea, Brazil, and Israel have become international centers for procedures ranging from eyelid restructuring to buttock lifts and tummy tucks. Argentina has the highest rate of silicone implants in the world. Around the globe, aesthetic surgery has become a cultural and medical fixture. Sander Gilman seeks to explain why by presenting the first systematic world history and cultural theory of aesthetic surgery. Touching on subjects as diverse as getting a "nose job" as a sweetsixteen birthday present and the removal of male breasts in seventhcentury Alexandria, Gilman argues that aesthetic surgery has such universal appeal because it helps people to "pass," to be seen as a member of a group with which they want to or need to identify. Gilman begins by addressing basic questions about the history of aesthetic surgery. What surgical procedures have been performed? Which are considered aesthetic and why? Who are the patients? What is the place of aesthetic surgery in modern culture? He then turns his attention to that focus of countless human anxieties: the nose. Gilman discusses how people have reshaped their noses to repair the ravages of war and disease (principally syphilis), to match prevailing ideas of beauty, and to avoid association with negative images of the "Jew," the "Irish," the "Oriental," or the "Black." He examines how we have used aesthetic surgery on almost every conceivable part of the body to try to pass as younger, stronger, thinner, and more erotic. Gilman also explores some of the extremes of surgery as personal transformation, discussing transgender surgery, adult circumcision and foreskin restoration, the enhancement of dueling scars, and even a performance artist who had herself altered to resemble the Mona Lisa. The book draws on an extraordinary range of sources. Gilman is as comfortable discussing Nietzsche, Yeats, and Darwin as he is grisly medical details, Michael Jackson, and Barbra Streisand's decision to keep her own nose. The book contains dozens of arresting images of people before, during, and after surgery. This is a profound, provocative, and engaging study of how humans have sought to change their lives by transforming their bodies.

Author Bio

Gilman, Sander L. : University of Chicago

Sander L. Gilman is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Liberal Arts in Human Biology at the University of Chicago. He holds positions there as Professor of Germanic Studies, Comparative Literature, and Psychiatry, and is a member of the Fishbein Center for the History of Science, the Committee on Jewish Studies, and the Committee on the History of Culture. He is the author or editor of over fifty books, including Seeing the Insane, Jewish Self-Hatred, The Jew's Body, Hysteria: A New History, and Freud, Race, and Gender (Princeton).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

CHAPTER ONE: Judging by Appearances

What Is Aesthetic Surgery?
Why Is It Aesthetic Surgery?
Remaking the Self
Criminal Bodies
Gender Questions
''Before and After''

CHAPTER TWO: Victory over Disease

Amy and the Princess
The Syphilitic Nose
The Strange Case of Tristram Shandy
Renaissance Noses
A Cure from the Colonies

CHAPTER THREE: The Racial Nose

Enlightenment Noses
The Jewish Nose
Irish Noses
''Oriental'' Noses-and Eyes
Black into White ill

CHAPTER FOUR: Marks of Honor and Dishonor

Character Inscribed on the Face
Too-Jewish Ears and Noses
The Telltale Foreskin
Greek Ideals

CHAPTER FIVE: Noses at War

Fixing Shattered Faces
Patriotic Noses and Weimar Surgery
Nazi Noses

CHAPTER SIX: Assimilation in the Promised Lands

Helping Jews Become Americans
The Israeli Experience
The Importance of Being Barbra

CHAPTER SEVEN: After the Nose

Erotic Bodies
Buttocks Have Meaning
Big Breasts and Bellies
Small Breasts -- No Breasts?


Men with Breasts
Transsexual Surgery
The First Cut Is the Deepest

CHAPTER NINE: Dreams of Youth and Beauty

Beauty and Age
Post-Aesthetic Bodies

CONCLUSION: ''Passing'' as Human