Chafetz

http://www.12newsnow.com/story/25531745/breast-implants-as-graduation-gifts-not-uncommon-in-southeast-texas

Briefly, the above article discusses the practice of parents giving their children the “gift” of plastic surgery. This reflects the gender belief systems of the day – that femininity should primarily be defined as making oneself attractive, while masculinity has grown to encompass the traits that we as a society consider to be good. This trend creates men who abhor the idea of being compared to or embracing anything feminine – which can be seen in the double standard of allowing young girls to act as tomboys while vehemently discouraging young boys from embracing anything that might be considered girly.

Chafetz would probably say that this is reflective of voluntaristic action, or the idea that women must cooperate with their own oppression because an alternative system of using coercion all the time would be to expensive to maintain. Instead, women learn what they perceive as feminine values and internalize these values. However, they can never achieve the ideal of femininity presented to them because the ideal is literally impossible to achieve. Elective cosmetic surgery, which might otherwise have a legitimate role in recovery from certain types of injuries, is thus embraced in the pursuit of this impossible ideal that women are so frequently judged against, despite the cost, danger and disturbing hidden meanings that accompany it.

 

Peter Jameson

 

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