Consumer capitalist societies have been described as inviting individuals to joyfully take responsibility for their bodies and to invest in body maintenance and enhancement in order to perform culturally appropriate self-presentation. The body is said to become the ‘visible carrier of the self’ in contemporary ‘consumer culture’ (Featherstone, 1982), the finest consumer object subject to endless triumphant, commercially mediated ‘rediscovery’ (Baudrillard, 1998). Fitness culture, for example, has been described as the epitome of such a trend in consumer capitalism, spreading all over the global West (Sassatelli, 2015). All in all, a variety of products and services indeed give evidence to the increasing process of performative, aestheticized rationalization of the body, whereby individualization is coupled with standardization, self-surveillance with spectacularization, discipline with hedonism (Sassatelli, 2012). Via commercial aestheticization, especially the surface of our bodies is endlessly celebrated or stigmatized as iconic representation of selves. In this chapter, we will focus on three arenas of body surface modification techniques which, as opposed to physical activity, are relatively instantaneous: fashion, body art and cosmetic surgery. Differently placed on the body modification spectrum in terms of physical risks, permanence and invasiveness, fashion, body art and cosmetic surgery allow us to reflect on the dominant cultural framing of bodies and selves in contemporary consumer culture, putting the structuration of consumers’ experience of embodied subjectivity under a critical lens.

Body projects: Fashion, Aesthetic Modifications and Stylized Selves

ghigi rossella;roberta sassatelli
2018

Abstract

Consumer capitalist societies have been described as inviting individuals to joyfully take responsibility for their bodies and to invest in body maintenance and enhancement in order to perform culturally appropriate self-presentation. The body is said to become the ‘visible carrier of the self’ in contemporary ‘consumer culture’ (Featherstone, 1982), the finest consumer object subject to endless triumphant, commercially mediated ‘rediscovery’ (Baudrillard, 1998). Fitness culture, for example, has been described as the epitome of such a trend in consumer capitalism, spreading all over the global West (Sassatelli, 2015). All in all, a variety of products and services indeed give evidence to the increasing process of performative, aestheticized rationalization of the body, whereby individualization is coupled with standardization, self-surveillance with spectacularization, discipline with hedonism (Sassatelli, 2012). Via commercial aestheticization, especially the surface of our bodies is endlessly celebrated or stigmatized as iconic representation of selves. In this chapter, we will focus on three arenas of body surface modification techniques which, as opposed to physical activity, are relatively instantaneous: fashion, body art and cosmetic surgery. Differently placed on the body modification spectrum in terms of physical risks, permanence and invasiveness, fashion, body art and cosmetic surgery allow us to reflect on the dominant cultural framing of bodies and selves in contemporary consumer culture, putting the structuration of consumers’ experience of embodied subjectivity under a critical lens.
The Sage Handbook of Consumer Culture
290
314
ghigi rossella; roberta sassatelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/632040
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