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Chapter 6

KINE 1000 Chapter 6: Gimlin- Cosmetic Surgery Reading

Kinesiology & Health Science
Course Code
KINE 1000
Hernan Humana

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Gimlin: Cosmetic Surgery Reading
According to the author, what are some common criticisms of cosmetic surgery and
of those who choose it?
Cosmetic surgery is dangerous. “Health experts estimate that the chance of serious side
effects from breast augmentation are between 30 percent and 50 percent” (Course
Obsession with physical appearance. Those who have cosmetic surgery are so obsessed
with appearance that they
risk their lives to be more attractive (Course Reader).
The body has come to be understood and related to as a commodity. “The body is a
symbol of selfhood, but its relation to its inhabitant is shaped primarily by the
individual’s capacity for material consumption” (Course Reader).
Cosmetic surgery is addictive. “…those who undergo it will complete one operation only
to discover some new flaw” (Course Reader).
The author is critical of many of these criticisms. What points does she make about
No evidence that cosmetic surgery is in general addictive
“…the ambitions of those women who undergo plastic surgery often
stop far short of attaining ideal beauty….plastic surgery frequently
achieves the exact goals intended by those who undergo it” (Course
Criticisms of plastic surgery fail to acknowledge the
complex, multidimensional nature of the motivations
of those who undergo it. “…criticisms of plastic surgery
…understate the extent to which this activity involves gender at an
intersection with age, race, ethnicity, and even class” (Course
Women’s experiences are not studied. “…criticisms …
overlook the experience of the women who have plastic surgery” (Course
What is the goal of the author’s research and what is her research method?
The goal of Gimlin’s research is to understand cosmetic surgery as a socio-cultural
phenomenon by analyzing the recounted experiences of women who choose to undergo
cosmetic surgical procedures.
“The research for this [reading] involved fieldwork in a Long Island plastic surgery clinic
and interviews with the surgeon and twenty of his female patients” (Course Reader).
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