During professor Sheehan’s talk entitled “Extreme makeover: The visual Culture of Plastic Surgery,” I found it interesting how she referred to the body as a part of visual culture and that an aging body is seen as unnatural. She pointed out that it is part of visual culture because the point of cosmetic surgery is to be seen by others, rather than to serve an only functional purpose.
The fact that an aging body is seen of as unnatural is not something I thought of and at the surface seems counterintuitive. However, with the amount of people undergoing cosmetic surgery and what people view as beautiful it makes a little more sense that people feel the aging body is not normal or at least not accepted. Furthermore, the amount of photoshop used to create images in magazines and other forms of media makes it only possible to achieve these looks by undergoing cosmetic surgery. Many people even refer to photoshopping someone as the “photoshop diet.” It was also interesting listening to how she pointed out how often people will doctor photos before posting them without even a second thought, and she questioned how much one could doctor a photo and still consider it natural, whether you can fix someone’s eye color that looks red, or if you could also change lighting effects.