Venus Envy: A History Of Cosmetic Surgery
Venus Envy: A History of Cosmetic Surgery
Face lifts, nose jobs, breast implants, liposuction, collagen injections―the body at the end of the twentieth century has become endlessly mutable, and surgical alteration has become an accepted part of American culture. In Venus Envy, Elizabeth Haiken traces the quest for physical perfection through surgery from the turn of the century to the present. Drawing on a wide array of sources―personal accounts, medical records, popular magazines, medical journals, and beauty guides―Haiken reveals how our culture came to see cosmetic surgery as a panacea for both individual and social problems.
"Cosmetic Surgery lies at the nexus of medicine and consumer culture," says University of Tennessee historian Elizabeth Haiken. In Venus Envy , she looks at this peculiarly American medical specialty as it developed over the 20th century. Doctors wanted power and control, to only perform surgery for medical reasons, while patients--or consumers--wanted to alter their appearance as they saw fit, without much regard for the usual standards of medical necessity. Haiken documents this struggle in scientific debate, medical records, women's magazines, and the faces of celebrities like Fanny Brice, Michael Jackson, and Cher. In the end, cosmetic surgery...