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Footprint Books

Making the Cut by Anthony Elliott & Skintight by Meredith Jones

November 2008, no. 306

In Making the Cut: How Cosmetic Surgery is Transforming our Lives, Anthony Elliott casts an unforgiving eye over the astonishing growth of ‘cosmetic surgical culture’. No longer the province of the rich and famous, Botox and skin peels, laser surgery and liposuction, face-lifts and breast augmentations have become part of the fabric of everyday life. Elliott’s analysis lays bare the culture of nip and tuck, and the era in which ‘many are calculating that a freshly purchased face-lift or suctioning of fat through liposuction is the best route to improved lives, careers and relationships’. Yet what compels people to act upon the desire for self-improvement in such drastic and sometimes life-threatening ways? Elliott identifies celebrity, consumerism and globalisation as fundamental to the increasing popularity of surgical solutions to social and personal dilemmas.

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