Marie Claire and Red

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I was passed on a couple of UK magazines from a friend. A couple of children’s swimming and gynastics lessons later I found I have more or less read everything I wanted to read in them. Putting them down it struck me that the two articles/images that had grabbed me most were

‘Let’s Give A Voice to Women Who Cannot Speak Up For Themselves’ –  a piece in Marie Claire about International Women’s Day which includes some shocking images of women in Pakistan who have been victims of Domestic Abuse involving acid attacks to the face

and

‘Can you buy a better body?’ In Red, an article which apraises the various beauty treatments/operations under local anesthetic aimed at fat reductions such as ‘Smart Lipo TriPlex’ and BodyTite

Looking at them again now I am not too sure how to compare them – Clearly the Marie Claire article is much more serious and news worthy – these poor woman have been left horrifically disfigured. Their scarred faces really are shocking and hard to look at. When I first saw the images not having read the text I couldn’t work out what kind of scars they were. They are a mess, there are no straight lines, no cuts, no gashes, the facial structure has in many places been dissolved away and the healed wounds seem panicked and nervous. The wounds are angry, raw, brutal – yet paper thin, stretched, delicate, translucent.

Reading the second article about these procedures which are meant to be alternatives to cosmetic surgery I couldn’t help thinking again of brutality and pain – in a number of places it talks of pain and bruising. Fat is melted and sucked, vacuumed and subjected to high frequency waves, frozen to death. A cannula is inserted under the skin, loosening it away to allow for more fat attacks.

Living in Rio de Janeiro, it is impossible not to feel the presence of cosmetic surgery as a part of daily life. Cosmetic surgeons have the most elegant houses as their surgeries/consultancies and walking down the street it doesn’t take long to spot a face lift/nose job. Talking about it with friends everyone know someone who has had something or other done, or is going to have it done soon. Apparently amongst the rich Brazilians it is completely normal. Having had my second son here I soon learnt that I was abnormal having a ‘natural birth’ and thus foregoing the tummy tuck that comes as standard with a cesarian section.

Is there perhaps then a whole other kind of Talking Wound?  A cosmetic surgery wound that is invited, that leaves us better then before (?), that testifies to success and wealth?

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