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Buying BeautyCosmetic Surgery in China$
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WEN Hua

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139811

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139811.001.0001

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The Commodification of the Body

The Commodification of the Body

Chapter:
(p.124) (p.125) 5 The Commodification of the Body
Source:
Buying Beauty
Author(s):

Wen Hua

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888139811.003.0006

The anxiety about body image is captured by the ubiquitous consumer culture and the ever-expanding beauty market in China today. Mass media contributes to the commodification of female appearance by producing the feeling of imperfection and creating the desire to buy an “ideal beauty”. While some women actively construct their senses of self by consuming various beauty products, including cosmetic surgery, others are passively exploited by the profit-driven market and suffer from dangerous operations such as leg-stretching surgery. Nevertheless, both cases display women’s bodies being targeted by China’s thriving beauty industry.

Keywords:   China, Cosmetic surgery, commodification, ideal beauty, mass media, glossy magazine, normalization, beauty industry, leg-stretching surgery, consumer culture

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