Tag Archives: plastic surgery

Some November Links

Debbie says:

I have a really rich collection of links from the end of October:

If you were living under a rock somewhere, you might have missed the (shocking! horrible!) news that Renée Zellweger had work done on her face.

zellweger

Jessica Goldstein at Think Progress sums up a sensible feminist reaction, with links to various news stories.

If we’re going to perpetuate an entertainment industry that fetishes female youth and rejects everything else, we don’t get to trash talk women who choose to alter their looks through whatever means are at their disposal. We’re the ones who created a social and professional environment that is inhospitable to any other path.

We built that world, and now we also have to live in it.

You can find a related feminist analysis from Sarah Kliff at Vox.

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In a stunning medical breakthrough, “after 19 months of treatment in which cells from his brain were transplanted into his spinal column,” Darek Fidyka (who had sustained severe spinal cord injuries) “has recovered some voluntary movement and some sensation in his legs. He’s continuing to improve more than predicted, and he’s now able to drive and live more independently.”

Undeniably exciting, and many folks who are immobile after spinal cord injuries are undoubtedly trying right now to figure out how to get into the trials. At the same time, it raises the question of the value of walking, as we discussed here in July.

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I want to see Skin Deep, Carleton College’s new body-positive nude magazine. What a great idea! Sabrina Kenelly at TC Daily Planet has the scoop:

The student publication has three requirements for submission. First, they must have no clothing in the picture. Second, the picture must be submitted with the consent of everyone photographed. And third, the photographer cannot be oppressive; in order to combat and draw both racial and gender lines that are seen as problematic. …

Co-editor-in-chief Kyle Schiller said he hopes that the publication will raise awareness to issues such as fat and slut shaming. “I’ve spent too much time worrying about the food I eat and the clothes I wear,” he said. “I want to wear what feels good and I want to eat what I love.”

Schiller said he wants the publication to shock people, but in a way that’s body and sex positive. Body image issues and sexuality issues are taken for granted, he said, and things like fat-shaming and slut-shaming promote “a very real system of abuse.”

Apparently, Beloit students are also publishing a sex-positive erotic magazine. Is this a trend?

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And what happens to nude models 40-60 years later? Noreen Malone and Nadav Kander did an in-depth set of current photographs, with interviews and a related article for New York Magazine with former Playboy centerfold models, from 1954 through 1979.

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Here is Laura Aldridge, Miss February 1976, now 59 years old.

I was surprised by the commonalities they found among the women:

All the women in these pages—who went on to become journalists, entre­­­preneurs, real-estate agents, and sexagenarian nude models; who married, divorced, and, in one case, gave birth to a Victoria’s Secret supermodel — say the Playmate title imbued them with a sense of confidence that seems more of a precursor to the sexual freedom of third-wave feminists than related to the objectification and degradation that their contemporaries saw in the magazine. “I think everyone who walked in that door to be a bunny girl or Playmate knew what they had,” says Cole Lownes. “They may not want to admit it, but I think they knew [their power].”

Presumably, not all Playmates would agree, but it’s still interesting that ten of them share this feeling so strongly.

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The ever-insightful Annalee Newitz rants about the question of whether or not insurance coverage for frozen ovum is a feminist victory.

Why are we freezing women’s eggs, but not investing in the technologies that would take us beyond this primitive and unsatisfying solution to the underlying problem? And by “underlying problem,” I mean the way we still demand that women choose between work and children….

I think women should be demanding something more than frozen eggs and artificial wombs. We should be demanding that our workplaces provide childcare during working hours. I’m not talking about Google’s super-elite, super-expensive on-site preschool bullshit. I’m talking about CHILD CARE FOR EVERY WOMAN AT EVERY COMPANY. Sorry to go caps lock on you, but this solution to the work/child problem is so simple and so effective that I’d like to see it emblazoned across the sky.

If you look at it from this perspective, Apple and Facebook’s egg-freezing policy starts to sound a lot like a guy who just wants to get laid at a party. It’s weirdly focused on the fertilization part, and not the part that matters.

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Lesley at xojane offers a good, clear article on fat jokes, sparked by Andy Richter’s quick comeback to  Chelsea Handler, when she asked him (but not her thin guest) if he floats a lot in the ocean, and he said,

“Why, do you sink?” Waits a beat. “Might be that cast-iron heart.”

Most of my links are found through Feministing, Feministe, io9, Shakesville, and Sociological Images. For this group, Lynn Kendall found both the Playmates feature and the fat jokes piece, and Kerry Ellis found the Vox take on Renée Zellweger.

Returning with Links

Debbie says:

As you may have noticed, we were down for most of a week due to a malware attack. Endless thanks to our webmaster for tireless efforts to bring the blog (and the website) back up safely.

When the attack happened, I was just about to put up a links post, so that’s where we’re starting now.

Our own Lynne Murray found a fascinating article on webburgr about a newly discovered photographer, Vivian Maier:

woman walking in cityscape

Perhaps the most important street photographer of the twentieth century was a nanny who kept everything to herself. Nobody had ever seen her work and she was a complete unknown until the time of her death. For decades Vivian [Maier]’s work hid in the shadows until decades later (in 2007), historical hobbyist John Maloof bought a box full of never developed negatives at a local auction for $380.

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I’m not sure when I’ve read a better manifesto about diversity within a marginalized community than this one by smartassjen at Jen Richards.

This is a sample of the kinds of trans people I’ve personally met, talked to, learned from, heard about through mutual friends, or seen in the last two years. It is not intended to be comprehensive or definitive, but rather a glimpse from one specific person’s experience, over a relatively brief period of time, and in utterly random order. …

Trans women who are over six feet tall and still rock high heels. Tiny ones next to whom I feel like a beast. Some who wish they were taller, some incredibly anxious about their stature and who instinctively shrink their bodies. Tall trans men. Short trans men. Trans men so masculine that I don’t even notice their height. Trans man/woman couples so comfortable with their inversion of ‘normal’ height differences that the idea of normal becomes laughably absurd.

People who don’t identify as men or women, or who identify as both, or third sex, or as nonbinary or genderqueer or genderfluid or some combination of these. Some who see various stages of gender expression and identity as stops towards a final destination, others who comfortably live outside of any binary structure.

Trans women who love their cocks and have no desire for surgery, some who have always hated them, and every shade of horror, acceptance and enjoyment between. Some who have mutilated their own, through creative and dangerous ways, some successfully, some with painful consequences. Women who have their testicles removed, but do not want further surgery, and some who do that first and save up vaginoplasty later. One who medically transitioned, with hormones and surgeries, but remained their assigned gender in public. Trans men who pack and those that don’t. Trans men that bind and those that don’t. Trans men who sometimes pack or bind and other times don’t, or do or don’t at different times in their transition. Men who want phalloplasty, men who don’t. Trans men who love being penetrated and trans men who don’t ever want to be touched there. Many men and women whose feelings towards their genitals evolve over time.

And so much more.

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At The Weekling, Dr. Santayani Dasgupta has a very thoughtful and complex post about doctors and fat patients

The patient is large. Very large. At more than 600 pounds, he is a mountain of flesh.

“My stomach hurts,” he says, his voice surprisingly high and childlike.

THE OTHER DAY, a colleague brought to my attention an essay from The Washington Post called “A morbidly obese patient tests the limits of a doctor’s compassion” written by a Dr. Edward Thompson. Just the first two lines of it above had me furious. Not only were they a study in the power of negative metaphors, but as a fellow physician, they felt all-too familiar. T…

Indeed, although studies show that physicians are nicer to thinner patients, many of my medical colleagues don’t seem to realize that personal and institutional violence against fat people (and I use that term in solidarity with the fat activism and fat studies movements) is a thing. A real, grotesque and infantile thing. A real, grotesque and infantile thing that negatively impacts the health care that fat individuals receive….

As a faculty member in the Master’s Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, I know about the power of stories: stories told by physicians, stories told by patients. I know that having health care students read, write and analyze narratives can deepen their training in bioethics, medical professionalism, reflective practice, self-care and patient-centered care. Narrative study can help our students effectively diagnose, treat, and otherwise attend to the lives of their patients.

Yes, stories are powerful. But let’s not get too precious about them. Simply reading any story with a medical student or engaging them in a narrative writing prompt is not the same as actually educating them in structural issues of oppression and inequity. Those of us in the medical humanities professions must teach our students not only to listen to stories, but to listen to them critically; asking themselves questions like “who is speaking?”, “who is being spoken for?”, “what larger narratives is this story supporting?”, and “what additional stories are being silenced by this one?”

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Maybe I just can’t see clearly from my vantage point of being 60+, but I smell trouble coming for Silicon Valley:

Nitasha Tiku at Valleywag, working off an article by Noam Scheiber at the New Republic, says:

If I had $1 million for every time a founder told me “It’s impossible to raise funding if you’re not a twenty-something dude,” I could lead their Series A round. The same bias applies to hiring. The ideal resume shouldn’t be much longer than “Dropped out of Prestigious University.”

The body image connection? Plastic surgery to make men look younger. Scheiber talked to Dr. Seth Matarasso, a San Francisco plastic surgeon:

… the age at which people seek him out is dropping—Matarasso routinely turns away tech workers in their twenties. A few months ago, a 26-year-old came in seeking hair transplants to ward off his looming baldness. “I told him I wouldn’t let him. His hair pattern isn’t even established,” Matarasso said. …

… In ascending order of popularity, the male techies favor laser treatments to clear up broken blood vessels and skin splotches. Next is a treatment called ultherapy—essentially an ultrasound that tightens the skin. “I’ve had it done of course. I was back at work the next day. There’s zero downtime.” But, as yet, there is no technology that trumps good old-fashioned toxins, the most common treatment for the men of tech. They will go in for a little Botox between the eyes and around the mouth. Like most overachievers, they are preoccupied with the jugular.

For the record, I’m 100% in favor of young people having positions of responsibility, decision-making, and institutional power. At the same time, I believe diversity in all categories is the spice of strong choices.

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Eric Stetson at Daily Kos reports that JPMorgan Chase won’t process payments for Lovability, a mother-and-daughter condom company, because they are a “reputational risk”: Anyone want to bet they make the same decision about Trojan? Stetson got his facts from the Huffington Post.

I wanted to let you know that we actually will not be able to move forward regarding processing with Chase Paymentech, as processing sales for adult-oriented products is a prohibited vertical. I apologize for the confusion and wish you and your growing brand the best of luck in the future.

Remember, JPMorgan is an investment bank for the rich, but Chase is around every corner in big cities. You don’t have to bank with them, if you consider them (as I do), a “reputational risk.”

Most usual sources: Feministe, Feministing, io9, and Shakesville. And also, this time, Lynne Murray.