- Beauty, health and risk in Brazilian plastic surgery
- Medische Antropologie
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In this paper, I take up the theme of the volume by analyzing the dynamic and sometimes conflicting relationship between ‘health’ and ‘beauty’ in the practice of cosmetic surgery. Approaching Brazil as a case study, I show how cosmetic and medical rationales are merged within a broader field of ‘aesthetic medicine’ that manages female reproduction and sexuality. Beauty effectively becomes an integral dimension of health. But drawing on an analysis of the larger historical conditions that shape the use of medical technologies, I argue that a cosmetic logic can also conflict with the goal of health, and minimize perceptions of risks associated with surgical interventions.
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